Soaking in Being

Ananda has been an ongoing exploration and inquiry for me for several years. My morning practice has gradually become what I call “soaking in Being.” Shortly after waking up and brushing my teeth, I sit in a favorite chair that fits me particularly well. The deep, sweet, physical relaxation of sleep is still present and readily available for me to “soak” in. I simply turn attention gently toward this felt-sense of Being. The body responds. It seems that Being loves it when the light of Awareness shines upon it. The feeling of well-being shines brighter when attention turns toward it. Waves of well-being wash over and through the body. Breathing slows and almost stops. The felt-sense of well-being or bliss seems centered within the belly as it ebbs and flows throughout the body. Sometimes it almost tickles and makes me want to laugh. Eyes are usually open and maybe even looking around the room, watching the morning sunlight stream in through the blinds. Thoughts may be coming and going, no problem. Meanwhile the body soaks. I feel it now as I type this.

Over the years, I’ve come to understand this as what is described in the Upanishads as Sat-Chit-Ananda, or “Awareness of Being is Bliss,” as Nisargadatta put it. When Awareness becomes aware of Being, bliss shines forth just as light and heat emanate from the sun. The light and heat are not separate from the sun. They’re all one thing. And Awareness-Being-Bliss are all one ‚Äúthing”: True Nature.

Just as the sun may be obscured by clouds or may even seem to disappear at night, so it is with the radiance of Ananda. But the sun never really stops shining. It’s just that our perspective is constantly changing, and we have to remind ourselves of that and come back to the felt-sense of Being, over and over again. It seems that this is the kernel of all spiritual practices, this remembering who we are and Knowing it even through changing circumstances–feeling it at all times and Knowing it as ourselves.

John Scott is a project manager for a university health science center and a Certified iRest Yoga Nidra Teacher living in Austin, Texas.

9 Responses

  1. Love it!

    My cells giggled with resonance as I read your description of the felt sense of Being. Curiosity perks up around the definitions of “Awareness” and “Being.” I wonder, are they different? Perhaps, for me, they are Shiva and Shakti, two halves of the same coin: Shiva – Being, Awareness – Shakti. No wonder Being lights up in the glow of its lover.

    Little orgasmic tickles of delight pulsing through! They remember themselves! “Her fire partially consumes misperceptions of differentiation.” Perhaps, for a moment, it is consumed fully, thus the delight of Being!

    In this month’s PBH exploration, I described Ananda as “quiet joy” the way another teacher had. It doesn’t feel that quiet at this moment, it’s more like a bursting!

    Thank you for this beautiful sharing and support in remembering John.

    Namaste

  2. Just so lovely… A wonderful reminder to me to get back into this practice. After a long, stressful year of “caregiving” my sister I’m out of practice… I’m also going to put in my journal and read it often and try to get back on track…
    I will repost this on my blog today!
    Thank you!
    MM

  3. What a beautiful description of Ananda! “Being loves it when the light of Awareness shines upon it.” My experience while reading your words is one of recognition and a lusciousness of Being. A smile, a giggle, a beam of light.
    Thank you!,
    Kate

  4. What an absolutely beautiful way to start your day and mine. Reading your words brought bliss into Being for me this morning.

  5. This is a very visceral, body-centered doorway to Consciousness. Your description of the practice takes me right there.
    Thank you for sharing.

  6. Wow… so beautiful… Thank you for inviting us into your morning practice, John. I felt myself there! I am inspired by your sharing and love that it coincides with the reawakening of my own morning practice.

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