Laugh and Cry Until You Understand Everything: My Experience with the Ananda Mandala Meditation

I knew Ananda Mandala could be a powerful, life changing experience, but I did not expect to loose control of my body in the way that I did. ‘Ananda Mandala’ means “bliss circle” in Sanskrit, and is an intense breathing meditation that was developed at a university in India. Originally it was a method practiced by yogis to release deep seated emotions and reach a higher level of consciousness. It’s usually done in groups, but I choose to do it sitting across from my partner in the comfort of our room. This turned out to be a good decision when I ended up lying down, crying heavily and with snot dripping out of my nose… not my finest moment.

We chose to do a guided meditation on YouTube through a speaker, and I knew before I began that I would have to really commit to it. It’s physically demanding on the body, in the way that you have to breathe in and out very fast and there are not that many breaks. I had already decided to commit fully this time. I had tried a similar breathing practice before that I found difficult to commit to and so didn’t really experience fully, whereas this time I decided to open myself fully to the Ananda journey.

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Once you do commit to Ananda Mandala, the affect that it has can be incredibly powerful. I had heard that it is akin to taking Ayahuasca in the way in which it can induce a psychedelic, out of body trip. Admittedly I felt a bit nervous beginning, as I did not know what would happen (and I am an incredibly sensitive person), but I have a lot of faith in the healing power of meditation and chose to trust my inner guidance.

About 15 minutes into the rapid breathing I felt an intense pins and needles feeling, all over my face and my body, as if people were rubbing balloons all over me. I then couldn’t feel my legs, at all, it was like they just weren’t there. I then continued breathing and realised that I wasn’t thinking anymore, at all, there was just silence in my mind. Instead I was feeling, deeply, and then my body began releasing.

At first I was laughing, a lot, and all I could see in my mind were lots of people rolling around laughing uncontrollably and I wanted to do the same. I realised: life is so funny, it’s not serious at all, we are all walking around the planet thinking and worrying so much and we take ourselves so seriously. I had this sudden understanding that life is a game, it’s not serious at all, we are all tiny blips of consciousness within the whole.

Then my body decided to cry, and it was like this huge release of energy began pouring out of me in waves. I couldn’t stop my body from crying, it was just deciding to heavily cry as though I physically had to release these emotions from me. I then felt as though I was joining a space held by the individual souls of everyone, made up of infinite consciousness, and I felt so much compassion for every single soul there. I felt so much compassion and love for myself, I started seeing myself living out random events of my life and this innocence that I had, for how deeply I am loved, and it was both very funny and very emotional at the same time.

Anyone wanting to take meditation/breathing further should definitely try the Ananda Mandala meditation as it is a very powerful and beautiful experience, depending of course on how sensitive you are. It is something you have to commit to though, and trust yourself to arrive safely on the other side. For sure I will try it again when I’m ready and see if I go through something similar, as I do believe it to be a way to access a higher level of consciousness that can bring you closer to your true, higher self and the infinite love that is at the core of everything.

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