Experiencing Spiritual Bliss

Boy, this has been an energy rollercoaster week! We see it in our weather, as tempertures plunge, then rise a bit, and then take another plunge. And some of us might notice it in our moods as well.

Yesterday was my cleaning day. While in the middle of cleaning, I became aware of my thoughts. Dark! I was plotting and judging and just overall getting all worked up about NOTHING! I actually had to stop what I was doing, and take an assessment of my emotions. I asked myself if these thoughts I had were real or imagined. I asked myself if the issues I was stewing over fell in the rein of “coulda, shoulda, or woulda,” which is always an indicator of imagining the worst. When I had finally sorted out that these thoughts were not typical of me, I recognized that there was an energy shift going on. That helped me gain perspective of the moment.

Did I stop plotting and being worked up? Not exactly, but when my thoughts went there, I said to myself, wow, this energy has not passed yet! And so I gained perspective, which helped me not get so anxious about my thoughts.

As I write this, I am reminded that yesterday my friend, Kathy, sent me an email that goes along with the feelings I was experiencing. Here it is:


January 23, 2013


A few years ago I was overwhelmed by deep anxiety, a fundamental, intense anxiety with no storyline attached. I felt very vulnerable, very afraid and raw. While I sat and breathed with it, relaxed into it, stayed with it, the terror did not abate. It was unrelenting even after many days, and I didn’t know what to do.

I went to see my teacher, Dzigar Kongtrül, and he said, “Oh, I know that place.” That was reassuring. He told me about times in his life when he had been caught in the same way. He said it had been an important part of his journey and had been a great teacher for him. Then he did something that shifted how I practice. He asked me to describe what I was experiencing. He asked me where I felt it. He asked me if it hurt physically and if it were hot or cold. He asked me to describe the quality of the sensation, as precisely as I could. This detailed exploration continued for a while and then he brightened up and said, “Ani Pema…That’s a high level of spiritual bliss.” I almost fell off my chair. I thought, “Wow, this is great!” And I couldn’t wait to feel that intensity again. And do you know what happened? When I eagerly sat down to practice, of course, since the resistance was gone, so was the anxiety.

It is good to remember, when we are feeling anxious and have these dark thoughts, to check in with our emotions. We just might be experiencing Spiritual BLISS!

All is as it is meant to be!

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