Direct Experience of Bliss in Meditation

By Shree,

For meditation to work you have to have your own direct experience of peace and bliss!

There are numerous meditation techniques and methods available that one can learn and practice. However, it is my experience that unless you have your own direct experience of the highest state of meditation called samaadhi, then all the reading about it, as well as the practicing of the various techniques and methods will fall short of your expectations. All the scriptures and treatises about meditation are written on paper with ink, read using the eyes and then interpreted by the mind. They are not interactive or experiential by nature, so the true meaning can be easily missed and, thus, one's application may fall short of the truth they are trying to convey.

When meditation is taught using only the repetition of the mantra or placing attention on one’s breathing, it is missing the most important aspect of what meditation really is!

The second aphorism of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - yogas chitt vritti nirodha - reveals the truth and the greatest benefit of the practice of meditation. However, it's often misinterpreted and this misinformation results in confusion. When you sit to meditate the first thing you experience are thoughts in the mind. Conventional wisdom has interpreted this sutra as advising us to control the mind. But, mark it, you should become aware of the deeper aspect of the meaning! The essential nature of the mind is to think, so why should the mind do anything other than think? Just like the eyes see and the ears hear, we do not expect these senses to do anything other than what they are to made to do. So why should we expect the mind to do anything else but think?

We can start meditation with a different premise and that fresh direction is: let the mind be free to think. Trying to control the mind is like trying to stop the flow of the river. Wouldn’t it be better to just let the water flow in the direction it is already flowing? And if you want to get upstream you can use a paddle and canoe. In the same way, in meditation, just allow the thoughts to flow. And use the mantra and watching your breath as your paddle, to get to where you want to go. Just repeat the mantra and allow the thoughts to come and go, without trying to control them. When you try to control them you waste precious time and energy, get frustrated and abort your practice.

Not controlling thoughts and just repeating mantra is not enough.

You have to know what you are doing and what is supposed to happen. Otherwise you will just be repeating what you have been told to repeat and looking for something to happen without gaining understanding or having your own direct experience. The next step then is apply your intellect and bring in the knowledge of what meditation is and what state of consciousness you are experiencing.

In the waking state of consciousness there are thoughts, feelings and images that you are aware of. In deep sleep state you do not have any emotions, thoughts or images and you are still alive and fine. The meditative state, the fourth state of consciousness, is the source and basis of the other three: waking, deep sleep and dream states. Since you meditate in the waking state, you can use your waking state intelligence in a way that will bring about the desired result of meditation.

We have the experience each night, when we are in deep sleep, that there is a state where we are unaffected by the mind, its thoughts or emotions. Even the physical body has no pain while you are asleep. In this other state of consciousness you are free from physical pain, emotional reactions and the human mind with its conclusions, concepts and ideas. Yet you are still alive and well. In this magical second sutra Patanjali profoundly reveals that when human awareness – chitt vritti – acknowledges its essential source as the state of yog or unity, then one's true Self is known. And the fourth state of consciousness, your direct experience of samaadhi, is revealed.

Using the mind to return to one's source becomes the practice.

First, become aware there are thoughts. Great! This is your starting point. Then become aware that there is You, watching what you call your thoughts. There is a subject, You, and an object, your thoughts. What is happening is the process of watching your thoughts. When you apply your intelligence you become aware that you have a choice. You are the Watcher and not your thoughts. You can keep engaging the mind to follow all the thoughts and keep thinking them or you can shift your attention to the Watcher or Knower of the thoughts.

When you shift your attention to the Knower of the thoughts, you are automatically in the meditative awareness.

This process continues. Repetition of mantra helps you to keep your focus. Its very vibration is the meaning of the mantra. Mantra is a tool (like paddling upstream in the river). It helps dissolves your thinking back into the source that has always been there at the back of all of your thinking. This source, Self, is like a clear screen or mirror that all the objects and thoughts get reflected on. You become aware of what is always there, between and at the back of all your thoughts.

This is de-identication. You are de-identifying with your thoughts and identifying with You, the Knower of your thoughts. You directly experience bliss, the samaadhi state. Your intellect is now absorbed into sam - the unwavering, even state - the Knower. Meditation becomes your direct experience of the Knowledge of the Knower - unchanging and forever peaceful.

For more information on our Transformation Meditation Home-Study Courses and Teacher Training and to download a Free Doubt-Free Meditation MP3 go to:

Author's Bio: 

Sherrie Wade, M.A., (Shree) has come to realize that the peaceful meditative state is our true nature. She speaks and writes with clarity and wisdom as to how one can unfold this awareness and transform one’s life. She is a certified meditation instructor from the International Meditation Institute, Himalayas, India, where she has spent nine years in self-inquiry and study. Shree has been teaching meditation since 1985 and is now known as a teacher of teachers.

Shree received her master's degree in counseling psychology and has practiced in Florida for many years as a licensed mental health counselor (#3015), specializing in stress management and meditation.

She is certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors. She was Director of The Meditation Center, in Delray Beach, Florida, where she developed and conducted Transformation Meditation Teacher Training and evolved the home-study program. She has written articles for numerous newspapers and magazines and was a featured columnist for several years. She is currently Director of Transformation Meditation, Inc., an internet-based institute providing continuing education courses in meditation and yoga philosophy.