March 7, 2012

This is How I Found Bliss. ~ Amanda Ramcharitar

Jan Messersmith

Lately I’ve been on a hiatus of happiness after passing a very arduous exam that demanded tons of focus.

Amazingly, life hasn’t changed much outwardly, but inwardly, there has been a sense of freedom and possibility—as if the focus on one subject, once removed, has allowed for parameters of perspective to widen.

The world looks bright, beautiful, possible and unlimited.

It brings me to the question of how did the deep focus bring about this effect? And why does it seem that digression from focus feels so good?

In yogic terms, focus or concentration would be termed, “dharana.” We practice this concentration in asana, pranayama and meditation, regularly experiencing a deep feeling of relaxation after letting loose the reins of focus.

But outside of yoga, people practice this concentration all the time: musicians, scientists, scholars, chefs, builders, athletes…the lists goes on. Truly, humans and animals, in one form or another, practice dharana, which brings me to the second question: why do the after effects of this focus lead to feelings of illumination, “a job well done,” savasana, bliss, the first sip of wine?

This focus somehow leads us into expansion and release. Whether we realize it or not, it has side effects.

Or, is it that we’ve touched the yogic term, samadhi? Where our mind has stopped distinguishing “between the object contemplated and the process of contemplation. The mind and the intellect have stopped and there is only the experience of consciousness, truth and unutterable joy,” as William J.D.  Doran

I sometimes wonder why this cycle? This constant going back and forth, a never ending romance of focus and release, why can’t it all be release?

In these questions I like to look to nature to inspire answers, so I contemplated with Momma Ocean and the answer I received was, there are many many things dependent on our Mother Ocean, animals, weather, cleansing, supporting the land, yet there are times of soft tidal ebbs and flows where life can be at rest, to develop and give birth. Then there are times of great tidal movement and concentrated storms, where cleansing, washing, circulating happens, all equally necessary to the functioning of the planet.

This metaphor related to our lives can be thought of in the same way, our deep focus is needed to bring newness, to clear pathways, and open channels for understanding and growth, but we also need the time to assimilate these understandings, to breathe, to rest to prepare for the next birth and to live in joy and peace…

Bliss for sometime…


Editor: Brianna Bemel


Amanda Ramcharitar is a yogini, animal lover and environmentalist, as well as an artist, writer, ponderer and wanderer. She seeks to experience life through the expansive awareness of possibility and hope. Follow Amanda on  Twitter orFacebook.


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