Writings, Art and Research


Loving bliss and practices to elicit this



Here are some thoughts about loving bliss and practices for this, loosely assembled.

I'm curious about loving bliss from the perspective of neurophysiology, after the at least thousands of generations that precede us, and with potentially thousands more ahead, for those who have children. I've had many experiences of this, which I don't associate with either religious or spiritual language.

I'm not sure people want to read about my experiences, but might instead enjoy reading ways in which they might 'access' loving bliss naturally, although, in brief, here are my experiences with it. Roughly from ages 1-6 were very fun years, coming into language with friends, and with my very fun mother - loving bliss was 'in the air' {i.e. in our bodyminds} ... and here too: on the island where I've grown up in summers in Massachusetts, when I was head sailing instructor there some years ago working with kids, and organizing a talent show in the evenings, and also while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for four months in California and Oregon a year later. I've also experienced loving bliss at North Pacific Yearly Meeting (Quaker) in the early 1980s, and in the pools at Harbin Hot Springs - http://harbin.org - as well as in the milieu of Harbin, and sometimes while contra-dancing, and while listening to Mozart's arias in "The Magic Flute," {e.g. 'Queen of the Night' arias ~> neural cascades of pleasure}, and when I've loved some women in the past – a lot.

Loving bliss doesn't occur for me continually in these examples, and these examples represent a variety of qualities of it, but it is these experiences, thoughts and neurophysiology I enjoy, find fascinating and wish to explore further with friends. I've also had these experiences while caring for others. They are each a kind of 'flow' experience (see Csikszentmihalyi's "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience").

Philosophically and neurophysiologically only, I think ecstasy (MDMA - methylene_dioxy_meth_amphetamine) is a fascinating, reference experience. The above experiences all loosely relate to what I imagine MDMA {ecstasy} experiences to offer. Such neurochemistry suggests that these processes are biological, and not supernatural or spiritual (as some might suggest), and ingesting such a compound suggests also that there is a kind of threshold across which these states emerge. While the following definition doesn't fully explain what loving bliss is for me, it does involve experiences that are deeply, gratefully harmonizing, and reciprocally appreciative and affectionate, both with a friend or friends, and alone, as well as profoundly and naturally high at the same time, and which are ongoing, biological, 'flow' experiences. {What is it for you?} So I think one can access loving bliss, and while I'm a little 'wired' for it - I think it's part of my neurophysiology - I'm interested in exploring the threshold effect idea, where we can think about, create and enter into these fugue-like states, naturally and extensively.

And while it's part of other people's neurophysiologies - - Kenneth Boulding's (Quaker economist and poet) comment, at Olney Friends' School in Barnesville, Ohio, when asked about his cheeriness: "Oh," (he chortled in his English accent – I've met him before) "it's glandular," - I think loving bliss is accentuated also by idealistic and intelligent discourse.

But I haven't had these experiences all the time, and don't have, and I'm curious about accessing this neurophysiology in an almost naturally emergent way, perhaps by doing less - wu wei {non-action in the Taoist writers' Lao Tzu or Chuang Tzu's senses}, - or as if one were surfing a wave, or singing a line of music rapturously and floating on this, or as easily and freely as 'googling' information and surfing the World Wide Web, and how, when, and for as long as one wants. How can one begin to just let loving bliss happen, and then welcome it on and on? {The pacifism, simplicity, integrity, open-endedness and focus on goodness of Quaker, silent meeting, as well as the relaxation response, seems to provide possible bases. How to let loving bliss emerge with awareness, and flower profoundly and profusely as it's beginning to bubble up in one's bodymind are questions, and experiences, I'm exploring. Let's explore this together, over decades.

I'm also interested in thinking out of the box – outside familiar patterns and norms, which is something (nontheist) Friends have explored historically (with conscientious objection to war, fighting and violence, for example) - to explore how to access loving bliss fully. Click on the 'notes' here for further thoughts about this - scottmacleod.com/yoga.htm}.

How to imagine and envision the kind of loving bliss you want, and then realize this? Sometimes loving bliss just bubbles up for me, - especially in beautiful, natural areas, in the Harbin Hot Springs' pools, and in silent meeting, among many places. While a beautiful place can help cultivate bliss, omega-3 fatty acids (1000 mg flax seed oil, 3-4 times per day with food) may also be helpful. And nontheist friends, with the possibility of shaping friendly language that doesn't invoke the supernatural, but where loving bliss arises partly vis--vis an emergent language and culture, may also facilitate this. So, for me, both Harbin Hot Springs with its wonderful milieu, as well as the open-ended form of the unprogrammed, nontheist tradition of the Society of Friends (Quaker), offer interesting contexts in which to explore these questions, neurophysiology and language.

I'd love to explore and find ways with you to give rise to the wondrous weather of loving bliss in our bodyminds, whenever we want it, freely and with personal freedom, and in so many ways.

Let's communicate further, directly or indirectly, about loving bliss as friends. :)

Warm regards,


Practices to Elicit Loving Bliss

A basis for loving bliss (the following open the way to bliss for me, - explore innovative ways for yourself):

relaxing into the relaxation response (Benson 1972)

releasing and breathing practices (especially delicious ones)

{a healthy bodymind also seems important, - walking, yoga asana, swimming, dancing, a good diet, and flax seed omega-3 fatty acids taken with food, and a daily multivitamin?}


For bliss {each of the following can be a rich kind of flow experience, - especially when cultivating bliss; in some ways these are 'technologies' for bliss}:

listening to music (iTunes)

dancing (especially New England contra-dance for me)

singing & improvisational, play singing

making music

playing and working with kids

eating extraordinary food

making love, intimacy, sexuality & coitus

conversing (mind-expanding & receptive, intellectual conversation)

engaging great music, poetry, literature, art, etc.

enjoying incredible nature, natural areas, wildflowers, flowers ..., - richly


opening to bliss while moving back and forth between Harbin Hot Springs' hot (113 F / 60 C) & cold (60 F / 15 C) pools

shaping a virtual world to explore practices of loving bliss?

smiling ~ beaming :))

~ What helps you elicit bliss naturally?


For love:

reciprocated, ongoing affection for another, a friend

exploring love in art, music, and ideas with a dear friend, and/or friends

nameless, loving understandings between friends who love one another

receiving and giving warmth and love with a radiant friend


Practice loving bliss:

consider using language that works for you as a kind of art or technology to bring these qualities of bliss to your bodymind in a variety of ways

> learn loving bliss through practice
{guidelines for practicing loving bliss vis--vis practicing a musical instrument}

> rekindle a lovingly blissful memory in your bodymind, and let this flower

> explore loving bliss {with friends} ~ dream it ~ write about it~ focus on it ~ create it :)

Knowledge-based resources
(starting approaches for exploring loving bliss)

Benson, Herbert and Miriam Z. Klipper. 2000 [1972]. The Relaxation Response. Expanded updated edition. Harper.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihalyi. 1997. Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life. Basic.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihalyi. 1991. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Rider & Company.

Foster, Rick, and Greg Hicks. 2004. How We Choose to Be Happy: The 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People--Their Secrets, Their Stories. Perigree.

Oasis, Happy Heavenly. 2004. Bliss Conscious Communication: Transmuting Ordinary Chats Into Extraordinary Conversations. New Zealand: Books for Earthlings. ISBN 0473097664.




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Copyright Scott MacLeod's Arts 1998 - 2014


Loving Bliss Letters

Friends' Dalton Letter

Loving Bliss and Practices to Elicit This

Loving Bliss as Friends

Eudaimonia is Flow and Bliss

Guidelines for Practicing Loving Bliss vis--vis Practicing a Musical Instrument



This Friends' Dalton Letter is relevant to exploring loving bliss: