As I write this, a small carved figure smiles at me. A happy Buddha; this little round man made of resin beams joy at me with all his worldly belongings in a sack slung on a stick over his shoulder.
This form speaks of simplicity, of the delight of enlightenment, of the freedom of the soul that truly knows itself.
When you study yogic scripture, the word “Ananda” comes up a lot. Ananda is the highest bliss; the power of ecstasy itself. It is to this ultimate joy that conscious awakening leads.
All of the efforts and guiding instructions of yoga lead to consciousness and bliss. These two things, ChitAnanda, are the purpose of all experiences. Chit is the highest knowledge, the consciousness that pulsates within all things; true awakening which comes, at least at first, in momentary blasts of clarity and light, ever accompanied by a hit of radiant joy.
When you simplify the practices we do, you find that it all comes down to these two things: ChitAnanda. The highest consciousness and purest bliss. These are what we cultivate: remembrance and celebration, awareness and expression, true knowing and ecstatic union with the Divine.
This is what the little Buddha is smiling about. He knows what’s up when it comes to bliss.
He’s gotten down to the simplicity and intimate experience of these two things. And because he knows the truth, that the essence of being is joy, he wants each of us to join him.
Sit beautifully, in a posture that is connected to the earth and sky. Open to the infinite possibilities that come from an expanded perspective.
Think of a time when you have felt totally connected to source. It may have been inspired by an experience in nature, relationship with another, the innocence and wonder of a child… It may have been in meditation, or in the spark of love.
As you remember this experience of divine connection, call on the feelings that accompanied it. Feel the simplicity of the moment. Feel the elation that is waiting for your invitation to rush in with all its loving energy.
Feel the clarity of your breath. Breathe into yourself the awareness that there are an infinite number of ways to come into pure knowing and the highest bliss. ChitAnanda offers itself to you in every moment.
Sit here, in this open awareness, and feel the pulse of pure joy within.
When you decide to come out of stillness, continue the awareness throughout your day. As much as you can, remember to see through this lens of connection and consciousness. As you move through life from an intention to recognize the joy in every moment, you will brighten the hearts of others and come into the heart of ChitAnanda.
Pure joy and Buddha smiles!
Katrina Ariel Koric