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Experience of Constant Bliss
Seeker: Dear James, thanks you so much for sending this along! I can’t wait to give it a read. I found Inquiry into Existence pretty hard going – I’m not quite qualified enough – but am listening to the last Trout Lake Panchadasi audio set and hope to find a way in that way.
Vedanta continues to work on me and despite still being quite identified with the “doer” I find that my attention is frequently drawn to the lived understanding that “I am existence/awareness/bliss” in the most simple way – the only way that I can explain it is that I become aware that something is flowing through this body as existence/awareness and that, in itself, is bliss. Still, and I realize this, I just described an experience, but right now, if I inquire as to where this experience arises, I find that it’s in “me.” So, perhaps slowly, Vedanta is weaning me away from looking for experience so that I can rest in the knowledge, rest in awareness as awareness.
James: I love the clarity of your writing. That “something” flowing through you is the non-dual bliss of awareness, the experiential aspect of you, the self. As the vasanas are attenuated by your sadhana, i.e. karma and jnana yogas, the experience “becomes” more and more available, even though it is always present. It is the self experiencing itself. As the vasanas ameliorate, it becomes more and more a prominent feature of the jiva’s experience and the limited experiences generated out of it by thoughts and actions become less and less meaningful until one day jiva’s primary experience is one of constant non-dual bliss. Discrete experiences generated by karma don’t stop, but they play on top of the bliss (superimposed is the Vedanta term) like ghosts dancing in the ether. You can’t get away from experience, as experience is the self and the self is all there is, but you can get away from “looking for” experience and identifying with discrete experiences. In fact the only problem spiritually is the “looking for” because the bliss that you seek in discrete experiences is going on all the time in the background, or if you want spiritual terminology, “in your heart.” It is incomprehensible – not to mention ironic – that what we always have what we seek, but that’s the way it is.