Sat ~ Consciousness
Chit ~ Awareness
Ananda ~ Bliss
These three words show us a direct path we can practice. The two definitions of conscious are: ‘aware of and responding to one’s surroundings’ and ‘having knowledge of something’. The two definitions of awareness are ‘knowledge or perception of a situation or fact’, and ‘concern and well-informed interest’. And the definition of bliss is ‘perfect happiness, great joy, so much so that one is oblivious to anything else’.
How then, can we bring these three words – Sat, Chit, Ananda – out of obscurity, and into every-day life, where the most important practice happens? Each day has the potential to be full of unique and incredible experiences, if we decide to live up to our potential of actually showing up for them. As Wim Hof said in a recent interview “We don’t need acid or beer or LSD to experience the moment and the real purpose of life. We just need to pay attention”. The only problem is that we’re just not paying attention.
The Fast-Track To Samadhi?
If you’ve ever taken a look at Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, you’ll know that within these pages is almost an instruction manual of how to reach Samadhi, or ‘bliss’. We move through the stages of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dyana, and eventually reach Samadhi. This advice is all very useful and the practices are truly transformational, but if there was ever a way to reach a state of bliss in much less time, without the Yoga postures, the breathing techniques, the cleansing or the sitting for meditation, would you want to know what it was?
Paying attention. It’s that simple. Making the decision to actually experience and feel and taste and explore every moment of every day. Making the decision not to ‘wait until’ something else happens for us to really live life, or waiting until we think we know enough to do what we’ve always wanted to do, but to actually just sit down, shut up and pay attention.
The path of Sat Chit Ananda essentially shows us how to act with full awareness and participation in the every-day, and therefore experience the direct meaning of Samadhi.*
To be conscious: How often do we walk along the street, perform a seemingly ‘mundane’ task, or even have a conversation without actually engaging in the situation at all? The multitude of things and stuff we have accumulated as a Western society throughout the past 20 years (Television, iPods and the headphones that attach to them, mobile phones, computers and laptops and tablets) was made with the intention to connect us as a world, yet we are currently more disconnected to each other and the world than ever.
Instead of reacting to our surroundings, we can respond to them more fully by simply and primarily jus being more conscious of them. The first step is to actually know that the word around us exists; how does it feel to sit where you are now and read this? What does it feel like to take a deep breath in and out, who is around you and where is your focus drawn to? This doesn’t mean our senses are scattered around all over the place, it actually means we take more control of what we intend to focus our senses upon.
To be aware: After being conscious and knowing what and were we are and who and what is around us, the next stage is to actually be interested in it. The next time you find yourself in a conversation, notice if you are actually interested in what the person has to say, or whether you’re just waiting for your turn to speak. If you have a task to do – such as chopping vegetables for dinner or washing the dishes – are you doing it while thinking about something else? Or are you fully engaged in the action, and therefore actually fully engaged with life in that moment?
To reach a state of bliss: Bliss isn’t necessarily something we can practice; the most effective way to reach it is to be positive within ourselves and actively choose how we use our thoughts and words to bring about a more useful way of feeling, to make the effort to engage in each moment of life, and lastly and importantly, to let go of the results and see where life takes you….
*The direct translation of Samadhi is:
Sama, meaning ‘same’, equal, or ‘real’, and Dhi, meaning ‘to see’, ‘comprehend’ or ‘understand’. The word we all equate to Bliss therefore, actually means ‘to see equally’, ‘to understand and comprehend reality’. It’s not about floating away and escaping this body or this world; it’s about submerging ourselves in it and reaching our potential in it.
Interestingly, the Sanskrit prefix ‘Sa’, can be found in many other words like Satya (truthfulness), and the word Sat is also often translates as ‘truth’. It makes sense than, that when we choose to