“You don’t get to hang out in the bliss state too often.” A fellow yoga student said this in class the other night, recalling his own time at Kripalu – specifically, being so blissed out that he poured soup on his plate while going through the dining hall line.
I did that, too. Twice. And I took my razor with me to the bathroom when I was intending to brush my teeth. Luckily, I figured it out before applying the so-called pedal to the metal.
I guess you could call this inattentiveness, as opposed to bliss. A lack of presence. Not grounded in an OOMPH, MY FEET ARE PLANTED kind of way, but more with one’s head and heart in the clouds – floating.
Since I got back, I’ve been riding waves of happy, tired, anticipatory for the craziness of the coming fall … but not blissful. Perhaps it’s due to the lack of oxygen: I haven’t breathed nearly as much since I got back. And I’ve probably OM’ed less than six times. (OMing got on my nerves at times – it can be the yoga community’s response to, “Gosh, not sure what to say now.” – but it’s also full of the same power that prayer provides. And OMing with a large group is pretty powerful stuff.) I cried the other night for this – realizing my lack of breath, my limited OM’ing, my very very pedestrian savasanas. Savasana, also known as “corpse pose”, is the relaxation state at the end of a yoga practice and during my month away I entered some very freaky, dream-like savasanas that were not awake but also weren’t asleep. They provided me Faith – and they appear not to occur here in the confines of my living room – at least not to date.
Last night, Tobey asked me to do Reiki on him. “What is Reiki any way?” he asked when I got done. I had him rub his hands together and put his palms against my palms. Then I backed my palm away a centimeter. “Can you still feel my palm?” I asked. He nodded, eyebrows raised with interest. I backed off further and further, with him nodding each time.
Gesturing to our hands, he said casually, “That’s always there.” Meaning that that feeling and that possibility always exists. It just takes us to stop and notice. To practice.
Just like the Bliss State. Just like the lessons we learn from breathing deeply with others and holding a space with them. Just like the lessons we take every summer from the juiciest peach or an evening outdoor swim – the lessons we can call on in January. Or the lesson that my son provided me last night when he was both curious and incredibly wise – a lesson that I’ll remember the next time he’s having a fit about a Lego set or a game he wants and making he doubt his sanity. Just like the lessons imparted by sleeping children who remind us that everyone – every single one of us – has slept that peacefully, that beautifully. Just like that: Bliss is always there.
p.s. Even hours after originally writing this when I was downtown and my son – not wanting to go home – was writhing on the ground and threatening to sleep down there, to never come home, to not listen to me ever again, nor to ever let go of my hand which he was gripping with surprising strength – even then, bliss was there. Or so I reminded myself.