Good morning, mindful ones! As we begin week two of self quarantine, it is so serendipitous that we have reached the bliss kosha in our studies.
The final of the five koshas is anandamaya kosha—the bliss sheath. Anandamaya encompasses not the feeling of bliss, but rather, the experience of bliss.
At this innermost layer we feel bliss which in my fleeting experiences is simply feeling more alive as we are freed of blocks on a physical or energetic level. Each breath is in acute focus, everything around is experienced in Technicolor and surround sound audio.
When we are in a state of bliss we are feeling happy, full of purpose and able to experience unconditional love for self and for others. We are liberated from suffering.
The anandamaya kosha is referred to as the true self. Connection to this layer can be described as “coming home.” It is the state of samadhi. ￼
In contrast to vijnanamaya kosha, you do not witness the bliss sheath, you are the bliss. Bliss can be thought of not as an ecstatic happiness or even joy, but a steady state of being, no matter what circumstance arises.
It’s so important to note that it is a state of wholeness and completeness with the moment and it is completely independent of any external circumstances.
Anandamaya is still a sheath, or an illusion, a layer that can be peeled back. When anandamaya is peeled away, we reach atman—our very center. Atman is our direct connection with the divine, with the essence of all that is. It is our pure consciousness. The soul.
Striving to reach anandamaya kosha is a futile attempt, for it is only revealed when we release any form of mind control over it. Anandamaya is not of the mind. It is a deeper experience than that which can be contemplated. Even describing it in words is not completely accurate. The bliss of a child fully immersed in the moment—that is anandamaya.
Yet, even this bliss, however wonderful it is, is still a covering, a sheath, a lampshade covering the pure light of consciousness. It is the subtle most of the five koshas. In the silence of deep meditation, this too is let go of, so as to experience the center.
Atman is the Self, the eternal center of consciousness, which was never born and never dies.
Atman, the Self, has been best described as indescribable. The realization of that, in direct experience, is the goal of Yoga. Both on and off our mats.
Have a great week, my mindful ones! Stay connected with us through our virtual classes! You can sign up online or on the app via our Elmhurst studio. All classes are streamed via the Zoom app.
I’m so proud of you for using this time as an opportunity for self-care and self-reflection. ❤️🙏🏾