Awareness is at our core, and as it begins to take form it manifests outward, into increasing levels of density. Its subtlest element (manifestation) is space. Space is the home of ananda. This is the point where the Vastness takes on physical form. As Universal Awareness moves into the individual body-mind system, its first and most subtle expression is bliss, or ananda.
What is Bliss?
The coming together of Vastness and individuality is experienced as waves of bliss. Bliss is not the same as happiness that is dependent upon circumstance. In fact, happiness would not be a good way to describe the yogic experience of bliss. Yogic bliss is a deeply settled inner recognition of Unity manifesting into form. It is a sense of wholeness and inseparability from all of life that gives rise to love and compassion. Most simply put, from an individual perspective, bliss is experienced as profound and complete comfort on every level.
No matter what the situation or the circumstances of an individual’s life, ananda is always present. Its existence is not dependent upon feeling good, and it isn’t lessened by sorrow or pain. Ananda is just always there. If we inquire deeply enough, even in times of suffering, we will see that ananda is present. At the cellular level, the cell recognizes itself to be awake and alive and immediately recognizes the entire family of cells around it to be the same.
Ananda is experienced in the body-mind as a spacious expansion of comfort and relaxation, the feeling of being at home in Universal Awareness and within one’s own skin. The experience of bliss is entirely natural and normal. You have very likely sensed it many times, and you may be aware of it already.
The only reason you perhaps haven’t consciously noticed ananda is that you are usually preoccupied with something else. It is just right there, just underneath and supporting whatever else is going on within you. Ananda is most easily recognized during savasana or meditation. In quiet practices you may hear the primordial sound of Awareness moving into form. The ancient yogis call this sound Nada. Nada is expressed from the interface point where Awareness takes on form. Ananda is a whole-body-mind-support-template experienced by every cell.
For Space — Try This:
—Stand in tadasana. See and feel the space around you. Can you hear the space? In the same way that we listen to the world externally with open attention, we listen internally. Where is the space within your body?
—Try feeling your joints. Soft joints are good places to experience space. Space is everywhere. It is within our structures, around them, and supporting them. But what is the consciousness of space?
—Recline in a well-supported and comfortable savasana. Relax deeply. Follow the sensations of relaxation. You will notice a sense of comfort and release; keep going. Inquire: where is this coming from? Allow yourself to drop more deeply into the sensation until it dissolves into space, inner space. Do you hear a sound?
Practice Yoga Nidra: The Art of Blissful Relaxation
Free Audio Download—Simple Resting Practice: