The Next Buddha is Sangha

The fourth factor of Awakening is Piti—the third of the uplifting or energizing factors along with Investigation and Energy.

“Rapture” is the classic translation for Piti.  A closer translation may be deep aliveness and joyful interest. According to the texts, Piti fills the mind and body with lightness, agility and energy. Coarse and uncomfortable sensations are naturally replaced with soft and gentle, smooth and light sensations.   Mental and physical states are pervaded with an ineffable state of happiness and delightful satisfaction naturally resulting from steady practice; there is a gladness of the heart in uncovering and seeing clearly, bare truth.  Emily Dickinson famously expressed this understanding:  “To live is so startling, there is little time for anything else.”

What may be challenging is that awakening Rapture in our practice often requires that we look impersonally and directly at pain, moment to moment, without self-criticism or self-accusation. Through this process, we release resistance and unleash joy. But it does not come because we strategize to “get joy,” try to get rid of pain or grit our teeth and bear it to hopefully feel joy.  We understand pain as not “my pain,” but as universal. We are present with detachment, energetically investigating what is really there (moment to moment sensation and emotion, moving, shifting and changing) rather than what we conceptualize is there (unmoving solid sensation or emotion that is “me”). We bring curiosity to the dynamics of the mind and body, untangling ourselves from a fixed idea of stasis to find true aliveness.  Through allowing and knowing the flow of experience, piti appears.

Rapture, joy and aliveness are the natural, unforced fruit of your consistent and deep practice.  Practice now!