The whole idea of spiritual blissfulness had me looking for some kind of spiritual masturbation during meditation; an experience where my whole body feels orgasmic or ecstatic.
It took a large dose of humility to admit to myself that this kind of blissfulness is not what the spiritual journey is all about.
One way to understand blissfulness is to learn how to be sincerely excited and joyous with absolutely nothing. Let me explain.
My son loves Starbursts. Everything he eats is now compared to Starbursts. If I give him a sweet and juicy kiwi, he spits it out saying it is too bitter. He has set his baseline very high regarding the sensation of sweet.
One day Timmy will grow tired of Starbursts. In order to learn how to enjoy subtler flavors he would have to reset his “sweet baseline” back to zero. That takes some time, and some self-denial. Once that is done, then even potatoes can be sweet in a way that Starbursts just cannot be.
In life, we set our “joy baseline” very high. Every joy or pleasure you experience is now compared to the greatest pleasure you have experienced so far. If you are used to buying whatever you want without worrying about the cost, then you have lost the subtler joys of working hard to achieve what you want, for example.
One day you may grow tired of your high standard for joy and pleasure, and you may want to reset your “joy/pleasure baseline” back to zero. That will take some time, and some self-denial. Once that is done, then joy, no matter how much of a punch it packs, can be found everywhere, in every moment, and in huge abundance!
One more analogy: if you don’t like your mom’s cooking, eat nothing but oatmeal for 30 days. Perhaps her meatloaf will taste differently once you finally have a meal that doesn’t taste like bland oatmeal, and what a treat it is!
Having a delicate palate in food or in life’s pleasures reduces your enjoyment’s availability.
The intensity of a joy or pleasure does not make up for our need for a variety of joys and pleasures. Contrast is the spice of life!