I want to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day! Love yourself today and do something special, just for you!
My comment on the Valentine Day’s show, Where We Live, on NPR.
Most people will never know joy. Some will have only glimpses. A small group will experience profound joy but lose it. Only a tiny fraction will gather joy about them like a warm coat and wear it everywhere they go.
These are the ones who have uncovered the bones of joy and understand its anatomy. All others will settle for momentary bits of happiness amidst the trials of life. Which will you be?
“Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out indefinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel at the net’s every node, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars of the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that the process of reflection is infinite. The Hua’yen school [of Buddhism]
How much time have you spent considering joy? It’s an emotion that many of us experience fleetingly, but rarely do we ever consider how we could expand our joy. While many people believe joy can be found in material wealth or possessions, climbing the career ladder, or building a family, most people don’t realize joy is an internal process.
Please answer these questions as best you can.
- Where does joy live?
- How do you know you’re experiencing joy authentically?
- What makes you open to joy?
- How can you find joy more consistently?
Now let me give you my answers:
Where is joy? Only and always in your mind when you experience yourself as connected to the Source of all Life.
I told the fable above because this is where joy lives. If you could accept, without any doubt, that you are intimately connected to every part of Creation because of the light in you and every other being, there would be no need for war of any kind, big or small, physical or emotional, internal or external. And joy would be your constant state.
How do you know you’re experiencing joy authentically? It will steal upon you like a lover coming up behind you and wrapping their arms around you until you feel completely engulfed in love. It can happen anytime, anywhere for no apparent reason. It is a deep upwelling of bliss that eliminates all thought.
What makes you open to joy? Your willingness to leave the past behind and refuse to be concerned about the future. Joy can only be experienced in the present moment.
How can you find joy more consistently? Joy can only come when your mind is calm. You can advance a calm mind by forgiving yourself and others for past mistakes. Every time a judgment appears in your thoughts, you need to recognize it as a deterrent to your peace and let it go. Holding grudges will safely keep joy far away.
I practice and teach “meditative contemplation” to nurture and connect to the joy which is always available. It is not always accessible because of the fearful state of your consciousness. Fear will chase joy away. You can and must eliminate your fearful thoughts to experience joy.
The biggest mistake you can make about joy is believing that it is elusive. Joy is an active choice you make when you monitor your thoughts all throughout the day. Every sad, jealous, anxious, angry thought that you can notice and assertively toss out will bring you closer to your joy.
Now you know why I said that few people will ever know joy. The steps to its achievement are simple but not easy for most of us because of our resistance to staying in the moment. And yet it is the most natural state of being when you banish all thoughts that hurt.
Here is my definition of joy:
- For my purposes, joy is not a synonym for happiness which is temporary and dependent on externals.
- It is not the emotion felt at achieving something or receiving something.
- It is the ever-present ultimate experience of exultation of which we are capable.
- It exists only in this moment.
- That means no regrets from the past and no fear of the future.
- What is left and was always there is a total sense of well-being, in harmony with all things.
- Joy issues forth when your mind is at peace with itself, conflict-free.
- It alights on all people and things unconditionally.
- Joy is like the air we breathe: most of the time we are unaware of it although completely
surrounded by it.
It is never too soon to begin your journey to joy!
Peace and love always,
And don’t forget…..Everything begins with a thought.
In my new book, Calm, Creative, Joyful: Lessons in Transforming Your Life, you will acquire abilities you didn’t know you had, to transform the thoughts that hurt so that your life becomes a play of endless opportunities for success and happiness.
Available on Amazon.
Connect With Me