How do you see yourself? How do you see the world around you? Do you see beauty each day when you arise or do you see conflict, destruction, chaos, helplessness and hopelessness? And what are the dominant feelings you live with each day: happiness, peace, contentment, or fear, anguish, despair, rage?
In this life we have many realities. Your reality is based on your perceptions and conclusions regarding any and all situations that arise in your life. The world can be an angry place full of hatred and ugliness if that is what we perceive and conclude. And that becomes your reality. Another person n the same city, in the same neighbourhood, on the same street, may see an entirely different world, a world of beauty and kindness; a totally different "reality" from his neighbour.
How is it that these two diametrically opposite realities exist so close to one another? It is because reality exists uniquely in the mind of the perceiver. To each mind there is a unique universe full of thoughts, perceptions, tastes, colors, sounds, and experiences. But all these color the ultimate truth of reality as they falsely categorize each facet as good or bad, which in the ultimate truth of reality it is neither. Reality just is...here now, beyond past and future.
The mind and the senses perceive but also distort the world we experience, and because we all have varying degrees of ego, we indulge into the senses and the mind more than we should. Mind creates the illusion of past and future. The senses create a false and inaccurate perception of the present. And the ego creates the separation from the unifying oneness of creation.
Each time we go deep into meditation slowly the mind stops, slowly the senses play a less important role, and slowly the ego dissolves. These are the moments we feel most at ease, most at peace, and move toward the state of bliss. Bliss is an unconditional state of simply "being". Happiness, on the other hand, is generally caused by an external criterion, a fulfilling of the senses, or even a nice memory that surfaces, but then the feeling of elation begins to fade as a new thought replaces the old memory. Bliss is not caused but is the result of removing all other causes. This is known as ananda to the yogis; the indescribable peace and contentment that bubbles up when we free ourselves from the attachment to past and future, still the mind, and calm the senses.
As we each progress along our individual paths, it is important to recognize that our inner reality is a construct of opinions, likes and dislikes. So if you feel you are not in a great place at the moment, try to aware that it is based on an opinion that is essentially fabricated by the mind and that a whole new reality is waiting to be created. Master your mind and you will master your reality. The discipline of yoga and meditation is a science and technique to promote that self-mastery. Bliss is always waiting for you behind the veil of illusion.
We are in an age where self-mastery is not only possible, but absolutely necessary. Always remember that if you don't feel that sense of self-mastery in this moment, that it will come. And when it does you'll be amazed at how powerful you really are. One of the greatest blessings is that your new found inner beauty will be reflected in the outer world as well. A world of joy, love, and beauty will be seen through new eyes. Have faith in your Self and when those moments of unexpected bliss arise, surrender to them; don't enter into the mind with judgements, opinions, attachments...just enjoy!