I'm currently participating in "Mind-Body Odyssey," the Chopra Center's 21-Day Meditation Challenge (a daily series of 15 to 20 minute guided meditations and questions to reflect on about your meditation experience...it's amazing, and something I will definitely be writing more about in a future post). The other day, the mantra of our meditation was Sat-Chit-Ananda, a mantra that was simplified into meaning Truth (Sat), Knowledge (Chit) and Bliss (Ananda) for all of us newbie meditators participating in the challenge.
Truth-Knowledge-Bliss...this idea really intrigued me, so I wrote down the mantra on a post-it note and added it to my inspiration board as a reminder to do more research on the subject, and as a prompt to recite the mantra to myself throughout the day. A few days later, I googled "satchitananda" hoping for some clarification on the meaning of the mantra and this is what I found:
"SATCHITANANDA is the living spirit-filled (spiritual) result of merging unlimited and subjective absolute beingness with objective absolute consciousness. Here, in the instant of integration, there manifests a complete and spontaneous expression of non-dual integration of subjective and objective -- of beingness and consciousness. Instantaneously in the sacred moment an ever present holotropic morphology or Great Perfection arises as our natural and authentic state (sahaj)."
So, obviously instead of getting clarification, my research led to a whole bunch of new questions. A few hours and many websites later I've determined two things:
1) The real meaning of "satchitananda" is incredibly complicated, in some ways it describes the path to enlightenment, and it's a mantra I will probably be researching and exploring for the rest of my life....it's really powerful stuff.
2) I may not be close to fully understanding and being able to effectively use this mantra right now, but the simplification from the guided meditation - Truth-Knowledge-Bliss - can have a major impact on multiple aspects of my life. For example:
I had to face a hard truth a few weeks ago...my caffeine addiction had gotten out of control. I was drinking (no exaggeration here) at least one 14-cup pot of coffee a day, often more. I was getting horrible caffeine withdrawal headaches (which often triggered migraines). And I was beginning to suspect that my over-consumption of coffee was affecting my nursing baby Dylan's ability to sleep.
After some research on the effects of caffeine consumption on both migraine-sufferers and breast-fed babies, I realized that I needed to to cut back....seriously cut back. It seemed daunting...I was convinced that I needed all of that coffee just to function, to push me through the chronic fatigued that accompanies my migraines. Plus, let's be honest, I really freakin' love coffee and I had no desire to drink less of it.
I spent some time learning about how much caffeine is okay while nursing, and how to consume a very limited amount of caffeine on a strict schedule to help reduce the possibility of withdrawal causing a migraine. This meant two small cups of coffee, and two cups of black tea a day...no more, no less, always consumed at the same time. At first it was really difficult making the change...I was tired and cranky, my headaches were awful, and Dylan wasn't sleeping any better. It seemed like a waste of effort, but I stuck with it.
After 3 or 4 days, things started to change. I still feel as tired as I did when I was drinking a pot of coffee each day, but I don't feel MORE tired. I'm still getting daily migraines, but they aren't being triggered by caffeine withdrawal anymore (and eliminating a trigger is a MAJOR accomplishment for a migraineur), I no longer feel like an addict, and the best part, Dylan has been sleeping through the night, every single night.
Now, this might not be transcendental, "I've become one with the universe," enlightenment-type bliss, but it's still a major improvement in my life...all it took was for me to accept the truth of the situation, gather knowledge on how to make things better, and then act on that knowledge.
Just think of how many things in your life can be improved with a little "Truth-Knowledge-Bliss"...health issues, relationship issues, financial issues...the possibilities are endless.