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Anandamaya Kosha: The Bliss Body

Encased within Annamaya Kosha (the physical body), & the Pranamaya Kosha (the energy body), & the Manomaya Kosha (the mental body), & the Vijnanamaya Kosha (the wisdom body), is the Anandamaya Kosha, which refers to the Bliss Body. Ananda, a Sanskrit term meaning “divine joy“, differs from the temporary joy we experience through sensory pleasures in that it is a much deeper, felt, dynamic joy that may be found regardless of circumstances outside oneself as it originates from within.

As B.K.S. Iyengar puts it, “our desire for perfection is a desire for God”. We often wish to control, to know, to feel complete. However, simply as a matter of of our existence, we cannot. As human beings, we exist in a fraction of time, space, & universal reality & truth & therefore can never know all that is. The only certain truth, is what is, in the present, without label, possession, or attachment. 

And so, we are left with the eternal quest to figure out who we are. If we are not our body, not the labels we have inherited, our possessions, our roles or titles as suggested by the ego mind, who are we? As a matter of faith, we surrender to the unknown – to the truth that our existence & perspective, as a product of that existence, is & forever will be, inherently, partial. Acknowledging & accepting this universal truth without fear & instead with an underlying felt sense that all is well relinquishes our control, & with it, our ego mind. This is what is known as the Vijanamaya Kosha, or Bliss Body.

We are all wondering the earth with these hole-punched hearts. And no matter how we try to disguise that void with the many distractions, roles, possessions, attachments, & identities we assume, sooner or later, we are reminded of their temporary & contextual nature, & are right back to where we started. Confused & yearning for known truth. The Bliss Body is the deepest layer of the Koshas & for that reason can sometimes feel difficult to access, but may be experienced through deep meditation or prayer. When accessed, one is viscerally open to & aware of the freedoms & joys that existence has to offer. We feel comprised of goodness & are able to experience contentment & natural ecstasy. 

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samadhi

“Stop the words now. Open the window in the center of your chest & let the spirits fly in & out.” 

– Rumi

Through our practice, we attempt to shed the thoughts, stories, identities, & attachments that are falsely suggested by our ego mind to be our “self” but when questioned by our intelligent mind only serve to distract us from our path towards our true soul. We utilize the the body  to access the nervous system & calm any imbalances present. In doing this through the eight limbs of yoga, we shed that which is not eternal truth, that which weighs us down & clouds our judgement. That which we cling to out of fear, pride, or attachment, but does not serve us. What is left is eternal. What is left is our true nature. That is, our soul. By practicing different postures, breathing, & meditation techniques, we utilize the vehicle of the body, the physical, to target the nervous system & internal processes, the non-physical, in attempt to balance those fluctuations via the body-mind connection. In our ropes practice, we attempt to increase our sense of grounding. Much of the practice is about surrendering the tension in our physical bodies in order to surrender the tension in our mental & emotional bodies. We unite & harmonize our five koshas of being & are able to express our truth. 

Being a spiritual being living in a material world, we often choose to identify with aspects of the material world, which are constantly in a state of flux. In doing so, we misidentify our true nature. It may provide temporary comfort, a sense of “knowing”, which, short-term, can feel very grounding. But grounding through false certainty is not truly grounding at all. In fact, in attaching to & associating with our illusion of false truths is an active ignorance of true reality, & we are taken further from what is true. When operating in our ego mind, we are comforted by this sense of control, of “knowing”, despite being false. We therefore continue distracting ourselves with that which we deem to be true, instead of getting to the root of reality & experience itself, which inherently cannot be known, only felt. This is uncomfortable, & hard, & does not satisfy that desire to control, so we often & frequently do our best to not think about & ignore it.

When our ego takes over, we lose our sense of grounding & become ignorant to our true soul, that which is eternal & infinite. When we accept ego’s suggestive nature as truth, we are left with emotional hardships, unquenchable desires & thirst to consume more, to fill that void we all feel inside of us. The lack of knowledge of who we are & fear of the unknown is present inside each & every one of us. In meditation, we humbly accept that as a matter of perspective, nothing can be said for certain. Our intention in this practice is to trust, to have faith in ourselves & each other, in our authentic goodness. With that lightness, fly. Here we express the shedding of attachments & celebrate our true nature of oneness. 

This is my body & these are my prayers

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