- Paperback: 246 pages
- Publisher: Bodhi Press (March 16, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615460216
- ISBN-13: 978-0615460215
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Being Bliss Paperback – March 16, 2011
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About the Author
Author Indigo Ocean is the founder of the Phone Buddies emotional support and peer counseling community and former host of the top-rated talk radio show "Together in Spirit," She attained a M.A. in Integral Counseling Psychology from the CA Institute of Integral Studies and a B.A. from Brown University. Find out more about her on her Author's page.
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Top customer reviews
At first, I was skeptical. I'm a mother, stuck at home in one place, one location, no car and a toddler. When she begins her adventure in Bali and then New York and onward as a free spirit, I wondered what in the world this could be teaching me. As I read more, in smaller doses, day by day though (especially the caring for others part) I understood more of what the book was trying to say. Since I started this book, I have really began to help others more as well and it has radiated some happiness within.
This book will reach some, and probably won't reach others. You won't know until you sample the book whether it's your thing, but I certainly loved it and don't regret my purchase at all.
The thesis of the book is that you can achieve self-realization through a combination of setting intention (being clear about your goals, day by day) and living in accordance with that intention (through a regular practice of paying attention and being alert to what is really happening, self-empowerment and discernment in what you choose to do and not do, and letting go, being open to and leaving space for the realization of that intention).
Much of the book is focused on ways to free ourselves the self-limiting thoughts that keep us fearful, disconnected, and caught up in our egos and the stories in our heads. She stresses that the objective is not “self-improvement” but the realization of one’s true nature. She quotes Osho as saying “When you think about freedom, you think as if you will be there and free. You will not be there; there will be freedom. Freedom means freedom from the self, not freedom of the self.”
The book includes several exercises (each to be repeated for three days) designed to give even the skeptic a sense of the possibility of achieving this freedom, and it introduces a broad spectrum of different meditation techniques that you can try until you find one that works best for you.
She describes her own ‘Ascension’ yoga practice, and also sets out her own unique form of ecstatic dance consistent with her meditation practice, which might work better for those who struggle with traditional forms of meditation. She recommends that if you dance alone that you do so free of disturbances and as much as possible with eyes closed. The music set she recommends you create for yourself involves a sequence of 5 different song types (~5 minutes each) each invoking connection with a different chakra -- a really interesting approach.
The book concludes with some practices for grounding when you’re trying to cope with negative emotions, and some counsel on relationships, specifically about how helping each other heal is a sacred responsibility for us all in this broken modern culture.
In writing the book, Indigo tacitly keeps coming back at each subject from three different perspectives, to appeal to readers with fundamentally different worldviews about how to make ourselves, and the world, more ‘blissful’. I would call them the rational, the spiritual, and the natural worldviews. Many of us may straddle or vacillate between them, and many books have been written trying to ‘reconcile’ rational and spiritual worldviews, but perhaps it’s more important that we just appreciate the differences and how and why they have arisen, and accept them. Indigo takes great pains in her book to use the ‘language’ of all three worldviews, so she doesn’t alienate readers regardless of where they are coming from. By doing so, she makes the book accessible to a wide range of readers.
I hope you find it as useful in your journey of self-exploration, awareness and appreciation as I have.
The book is also filled with many exercises the reader can do to achieve the same effects the author presumably did, that of growing to the point where the spiritual path becomes one of being in a state of bliss even while grappling with the inherent suffering of human life. Focusing on the Buddhist affirmative teachings, rather than those on emptiness, self-negation, and suffering, the book presents down-to-earth explanations of some rather complicated theories.
This is not a Buddhist book though. Along with a foundation in Buddhist philosophy the book is also filled out by such topics as spiritual dance, learning to channel, and miracles. Anyone looking for a strictly Buddhist book would probably be put off by the book's universal approach to spiritual understanding. The author seems to want to present whatever tools she has found to work for herself, not to be affiliated with one particular faith.
I give the book 5 stars because not only was it filled with eye-opening insights and unique perspectives, heart-warming in many parts (sometimes even moving me to tears), and fun and enjoyable to read, but also because I can't find anything to take off a star for. It is simply a very well written, truly useful book that has helped me to actually apply advanced spiritual theories (that I normally find somewhat obtuse) and genuinely change my life for the better.