Journey to Ecstasy

Ecstasy is a state of consciousness.  We cultivate ecstasy when our hearts are open and we allow ourselves to be infused and supported by the energy of unconditional love.  We move beyond our ego needs and our struggle for survival into a psychological state of transcendence in which we trust the universe to support us and guide our activities.  We joyfully and willing answer the call for love without fear and so become an empty vessel through which the divine can reach to earth.  As love flows through us our hearts go on fire, our spirit rises up and we radiate light to all around us.

Opposite States of Consciousness:   Solemnity, Brooding, Gloominess, Heaviness, Density, Depression, Lack of trust.  In this state, we are preoccupied with meeting survival needs, the mind is anxious and defensive, the heart is distrustful and we begin to shut down emotionally.   Energy does not flow in our bodies, muscles begin to atrophy, movement becomes painful and limited.  Without faith in something larger than us, we are dispirited and do not have the will to care for ourselves or to engage in a healthy way with others.

The Teaching

When we are ecstatic we experience bliss, radiance, and joy.  We may have epiphanies and revelations. We live a truly inspired life.  This can happen only because our hearts and minds are open and trusting.  We open our arms to receive love and we give it in return without deliberation.  
     Doors open for us without struggle and we move through them gratefully and gracefully.   There is great spontaneity operating in our lives, so that we do not have to spend a lot of time planning for or controlling what happens.   We know that our job is not to figure out why something is happening, but to show up to the best of our ability and do our little part in the divine plan.
     Living a joyful, ecstatic life means we express our creativity and engage in work and relationships that nurture and challenge us.  We are not drawn to any form of self-repression and we do not work or relate to others out of sacrifice or duty.  We give others the same freedom to express themselves creatively and do not seek to control, confine or repress them.
     Some might call this a win-win approach to life.   You win because I can be myself around you.  And I win because you can be your authentic self with me.
My joy feeds you and yours feeds me.  Each of us encourages the other to self-actualize.  
     An ecstatic life has a strong spiritual component.  We feel that there is a higher power operating in life and it is guiding us to serve the greater good.   We don’t need to get credit for our contribution because the real credit goes to One who guides us and supports us.
     If we were running an ego-agenda, seeking name, fame, or credit for our words and actions, we would get in the way of the divine energy and it would ramp down. Doors would cease to open before us and we might become anxious and frustrated.  When that happens – and it does even for people who can embody ecstatic energy – we have to realize that we have bought into our fear and lost our trust.   We have pushed the angels away and tried to take charge with our egos.  Of course, that never works.
     So we have to remind ourselves that we are not here to do our ego’s bidding or to be driven by our fears.  We are here to serve the divine purpose and we can do that only when our hearts and minds are open.   We need to reestablish trust and be worthy of the trust that is placed in us. 
     Living an ecstatic life requires that we set time aside for communion with God and connection to our spiritual community.   This helps us to keep our hearts open.
     When we get too busy and preoccupied with the affairs of the world, our attention moves from the heart back up into the head and our connection to love becomes attenuated.  We have to return our attention to our heart and reconnect with love if we want to re-establish the flow of grace and purpose in our lives.

The Practice

Throughout the day today, be aware of when your heart and mind are open and when they are not.   When you are open and receptive you can receive love and share it with others.   It is a very natural thing.   You don’t have to look for love.  It is already there. You just have to open your heart to it and then giving and receiving happen spontaneously.  When you trust, the energy flows and the doors open.  When you lack trust, the energy ramps down and the doors begin to close.
Today, notice this as it occurs in your consciousness and experience.
     Today, try not to say or do things out of duty or sacrifice.  Move joyfully toward your creative expression.  Be playful and open.  When you do what you love to do and find most meaningful, you are living in an inspired way.  What you are devoted to and stay present with will continue to grow and prosper.   The energy will build and much will be accomplished without great effort.
      Today, remember to take baby steps.  Take one step at a time on the flat stones in the river and you will cross to the other side.  Don’t try to cross the river by jumping off the cliff.   Grandiose actions are wound-driven and make it clear that your ego has tried to take change.
     When you are content to take one small step at a time, spirit supports you in your journey.  It does not matter if you know exactly where you are going or how you are going to get there.  You just need to know what the next step is.  Then you can stay in your heart and make steady progress.
     If you don’t need God to do it with you, then you are living with false pride and you will pay the price sooner or later.  The river carries many broken bones from people who were impatient and made reckless decisions. 
     Stop trying to push the river or swim against the current.  You won’t make it. You will be a casualty of your own pride.    Slow down and get centered.  Let go and let God.  Take one step at a time and let Spirit get behind you.

Journaling Questions

What has been your greatest experience of ecstasy? How can you continue to be emotionally present and open to the ecstatic moment as it unfolds in your life? 

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