“The Very Experience of Life is Ecstasy”

Back to Blog · 5 years ago

Living Flow is the authorized publisher for the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism. As we write this,  2020 begins and a new decade dawns.  So we thought it would be a wonderful time to share a powerful quote from Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz :  “the very experience of life is ecstasy”

Ponder that for a moment, before jumping back into your busy life and routines. This is a quote from an enlightened Buddhist master: clearly this is a very different perspective on life than almost anyone has. What does it mean? How can this be? Life is surely filled with pain, strife, suffering, disagreement, and disappointment. Even if things go “well” in life, whatever that means to you, we all get old and die. How is this experience of life “ecstasy”? 

Rama is not denying any of those realities. He is speaking from the perspective of enlightened mind. We all have enlightened mind somewhere in our consciousness. It is the top of the mountain of perception. It is the Buddhist belief that any of us can learn to experience it. When our awareness even briefly touches our enlightened mind, we see life for what it truly is: radiant shifting awareness expanding into the infinite. That’s about as far as words can take us. But there’s an experience available for each of us to discover and enter. 

In the awareness of enlightened mind, when we experience life directly without the distortion caused by our thoughts, senses, and emotions, we experience a blissful ecstasy. We are free from the limitations of our own awareness: we see our awareness merge into an awareness that has always existed and will always exist.  While the body may still suffer physically, all mental suffering drops away in this state. We experience a joy and freedom unlike anything in this world. 

As you set your sights to the future, setting your goals and dreams, remember that right now, beyond the surface of life, is an ocean of ecstasy, just waiting for you to jump in.

Meditation is the plunge into that ocean, available to all.