This is the third and final installment of A Map To Happiness Within You.
You can view the previous two emails in this series here.
We’re on the final leg of our epic journey within through the layers of being to find the treasure of happiness within.
Let’s recap where we’ve traveled so far:
- We’ve traversed The Mountain (Annamaya kosha) of the physical body.
- Crossed The Rivers (Pranamaya kosha) of the energetic body.
- Cut through The Jungle (Manomayo kosha) of the mental body.
Now, we’re ready to start the final stage of our journey exploring the last 2 layers, with the final one holding the treasure of happiness within.
If you recall, the black face of The Cave awaits us, and there’s a shadowy monster lurking inside.
It’s the beginning of the end.
No turning back.
Are you ready?
The Cave – Intellectual Body (Vijnanamaya kosha)
The intellect is what makes us uniquely human.
It’s our ability to discern, inquire, plan, will and judge. It’s the light that illuminates our life with self-awareness.
As you enter the cave, you must light a torch to see what’s inside. This is the torch of self-awareness that illuminates everything in our lives.
This self-awareness illuminates what would otherwise be darkness, but in doing so creates a dangerous monster: the ego.
As you enter the cave, you notice a creature lurking behind you at every turn.
It’s dark shape following you.
Fear shoots through your body. You run.
It chases after you.
You turn corners, dodge stalagmites and run for your life into the darkness.
But you can’t escape it!
It’s definitely going to eat you.
You feel dread.
But as soon as you do, another feeling arises.
With nowhere to go and nothing to lose, you feel a sudden sense of courage.
You turn around to face the shadowy beast!
As you turn you finally realize what it was chasing you this whole time. It wasn’t a monster.
It was your shadow.
The same light that illuminated the cave, illuminated your shadow too.
By misidentifying your shadow as something separate, you experienced fear.
Similarly, by identifying ourselves as separate and isolated beings we live in ignorance and fear unable to experience our true nature.
With this new knowledge of your wholeness in hand. You are ready to experience the joy and happiness within.
The Treasure – Blissful Body (Anandamaya kosha)
Now that you can move freely from the ghost of the ego, you carefully make your way into the heart of the cave.
You venture within the darkness, searching until after a long time you come to a small chamber.
On the far wall, you see something reflected in the light.
You approach, and see a brilliant mirror standing on the wall framed in gold.
You see the pure reflection of your consciousness and being without the distortions of the other layers for the first time.
You feel pure love and happiness. You’ve realized the treasure within.
Ananda means bliss, joy, peace, or harmony in Sanskrit. It’s the essential nature of every living thing, however the outer layers of being obscure and hide it from shining through.
When we feel love or joy for an outside person or event, it always arises from within us. The external thing is only a stimulus.
By journeying within and overcoming the obstacle of each layer, you’ve gained access to the internal source of joy, peace and love independent of any person or thing.
The only thing left for you to do is to rest here, to abide within yourself in self-abidance.
The other layers may cloud over this happiness from time to time, but you know now, without a doubt, that the treasure of happiness is always there waiting within you–as YOU!
Well, my brave traveler, we’ve reached the end of our journey.
Contentment. Peace. Happiness. Love.
It’s all yours.
You accomplished some incredible things.
You’ve navigated the restless rockslides of the body, calmed the raging waters of energy and the breath, cut through the countless thoughts of the mind, overcome your identification with the shadow of the ego, and seen the pure reflection of who you are.
Now it’s up to you to make good use of your new treasure. To help others find it for themselves, and to share your wealth with all you meet.
I hope you had fun with this series. It was fun to write it.
Does the idea of a journey help you relate to life’s quest for happiness? Did the concept of koshas help you understand how to find it? Was this series too weird for you, or did you like it?
Hit reply and let me know your thoughts!
P.S. I’m super excited to be delivering my Yoga of Meditation workshop this weekend at Yoga Bloom O’Connor. A few spots remain if you’re in Canberra and want to go on this journey through the koshas live and in-person.