Note: this is the BLOG entry, and the conversation, that set my life on a new, extraordinary, course.
I had a conversation with a close friend (who in three years time would become my wife) the other night, and in a seemingly casual way she asked “What are the three things that you would really like to have in your life?” I’m not sure if she was expecting me to say something profound or pedestrian, but after a moment I came up with these three things:
1) the continued and expanding experience of bliss;
2) the attraction of abundance into my life; and
3) the growth without boundaries of love.
1) the continued and expanding experience of bliss
For me, bliss is both a mental & spiritual practice, as well as a physical experience. Bliss is a state of being that I experience when I am able to transcend the illusionary boundaries that separate me from the world.
The feeling is like that of being washed with cold fire. It begins in my chest, just below my heart, and floods over me, extending through my gut and my chest, down my arms and legs, up through the crown of my head, out the tips of my fingers, and through the base of my feet into the earth. At its peak, the experience is like being a sun, but rather than super heating the feeling is cooling, like water over stones in a mountain stream.
During the experience I feel as through I can see in 360 degrees. My sight is not limited to my eyes. My experience of the world transcends my five primary senses. I don’t see less when feeling bliss, I see everything. I experience the world with my heart, and with my spirit, and for fleeting moments feel what avatars have been telling us for millennium, and what quantum physicists have been confirming for the last half century: everything is one.
This experience of bliss comes most often when I am writing. I’ll be typing away at the computer, feeling as through the story I am penning is being written through me rather than by me, and the experience washes over me. Sometimes I write through it, letting it speed my fingers on the key board. Sometimes it’s so intense that I stop and press my palms to my desk and allow bliss to flow through me.
I’ve felt it walking down the street in my new Fernwood neighborhood. I’ve felt it when I am with a lover. And I have felt it with my children, when I am able to rise above the challenges they make on my ego, my patience and my frailty.
I have learned to feel the experience of bliss coming on. I can sense it starting, and can will it to expand and flow throughout my body, and into the world around me. I want to learn to create this experience at will, so that I can live in an ever expanding state of blissful awareness.
2) the attraction of abundance into my life
A significant part of the story I have told myself about my life is that “I don’t deserve success.” This is different than saying “I deserve to fail.” In essence, I’ve believed that I should only come close to success, but not actually achieve it. I believe somewhere in my heart there is a fear of what success means, and that has kept me from achieving the success that I really want to attain in my life: unlimited love with my family and friends & in my romantic relationships; deep and meaningful service through my work; the actualization of my purpose in life as a writer.
I’ve had to recreate the central story of my life: I deserve success. We all do. The universe wants us to succeed. God, the Tao, Buddha, the Hindu Gods, and all the other avatars and forces of life in the world all want us to succeed.
For so long I keep repeating, “the universe will not let me fail.” Now I believe that the universe will conspire in my success! This has been a fundamental shift in the mythology of my life.
With this shift has come a willingness to accept success, and what it means. Responsibility, hard work, patience, discipline, and the attraction of all good things into my life.
This is what I mean by abundance. An abundance of love, an abundance of joy, of peace, of pleasure, of happiness, of good health and well being. It means an abundance of wealth too. Money is simply a representation of the exchange of energy in the world. If I can be present in the world with love, with joy, with peace, and in good health and well being, and bring those things as an act of service to those I work with, then I will achieve financial success in exchange. This is not about growing wealthy at the expense of another; it is finding abundance and success in collaboration with those I serve.
Here I am tempted to write, “easier said than done.” But then, that is part of my old mythology too.
3) the growth without boundaries of love
Bliss and abundance lead naturally to love. Love is the fundamental force of the universe that creates life. We experience love in relationship to other things, to other people, and to situations that give us pleasure. But love is pure energy, the force of life that gives all matter in the universe form, and that gives rise to our experience of connection too all things, be they mountains and oceans, our lovers or our children.
When in bliss, I feel the boundary between myself and the world evaporate. That boundary doesn’t actually exist at the quantum level. This is pure love. All life is the expression of the universe’s yearning for form, for substance, for expression, and to create through that form the desires and longing of that life force. This happens through love.
When I experience myself as a part of the universe, rather than separate from it, it becomes natural to attract abundance into my life, and the fundamental form of abundance is love.
For me to love in the way I dream possible, I will have to work through many of the barriers that I have created for myself. Anger, impatience, and fear all stand as obstacles. But each of these is really an opportunity for spiritual alchemy that can lead to a deeper, more profound experience of the world as it really is: a universe of limitless possibility, where the boundaries between each of us and the world of physical are constructs of the limitations of our five primary senses, and where the fundamental force of life is love.
Those are three of the things I would like to have in my life.