Meditation On Joy

Sons and daughters of Love and Light.  Today we shall concentrate on joy.  We are here to celebrate joy.  I mean  the true joy in being alive, the joy of the Essence, the Self, in which we are united within ourselves, and with the universe.  When  we are whole, life is holy.  There is no ego in such joy.  There is no fear in joy.  There is no pride or greed in joy.  Joy of  the Essence is in being awake, aware.  To live meaningfully to be creative, to give all we have to give, is the way to joy.  Joy is within, but we have to discover it, experience it through meditation.

We come to this world so that we can find our ultimate center, which is happiness, joy.  But we keep hoping that joy will come to us from the outside, that someone or some circumstance will give us happiness.  But really, friends, there is no need to wait.  The happiness you wish for is already there,. Waiting for you, but you must open the door so it can come out.  We do not come here to acquire anything, but to experience.  Polish the rough diamond of your soul and it will display lucidity, the luminosity that is its intrinsic nature. 

Mahavir said, “I came to show you the treasure of wisdom and joy hidden in you as the tree is hidden in the seed.” However, this treasure of wisdom and joy has nothing to do with material possessions, or with intellectual knowledge.  I know a father who provided his family with a palatial home in the suburbs with a beautiful garden looking out over the bay.  Unfortunately, he was so busy he had no time to spend with his wife and son.  The son, who was a college graduate, had his own car and all the  Possessions are a wasteland without love. 

We must distinguish between pleasure and happiness.  Happiness consists of unity and harmony within ourselves, and with the universe.  Pleasure is either self- gratification, such as drink, sexuality, drugs, daydreams; or it is filled with ego, with craving for the center of the stage.  Hapiness stems from doing our work, and giving.  A mother takes care of her child, feeding it, encouraging it, and is happy when the child is happy. 

So, friends, observe carefully and differentiate between these two phenomena: the line of pleasure and the line of happiness.  Pursuit of pleasure will not take you to the abundant life.  Cultivating happiness can and will. There is never assurance of “happiness ever after,” a phrase common in fiction.  There are always hitches-things big and small that go wrong-and we will not know joy unless we maintain our balance.  Whether our expectations of someone or of ourselves are fulfilled or not, maintaining our balance will insure our happiness! Also on the forward path there always comes some suffering and pain.  When you are scaling  the mountain peak, you will get tired and hot.  You may even fall back down a bit, which can be both painful and frightening.  But finally you will reach the summit and will see the whole universe spread out before you.  At this point, there is a fullness of joy.

What we usually do is weave around ourselves a cocoon of safety and the habitual which feels secure; a cocoon made up of all the threads of many small preoccupations and diversions and accommodations in the world.  We acquire a house and possessions,  but our house and possessions possess us, confine us.  We have a car, so we are free to travel, but even the car keeps us on a leash, so we are not inwardly free.  We must emerge from the cocoon of habit, take the risks of change.  Let even suffering come and, paradoxically, we will draw from it happiness!

The mother, in order to give birth to the baby must go through much discomfort and often intense pain.  However, she is happy with her baby.  She willingly accepts the pain not because she loves pain for itself, but only for what giving birth has brought to herself and to the world.  We do not blame any outside force for the pain that progress in life demands.  It is our work transform ourselves; and pain and suffering, when borne wigh awareness, often contribute to this transformation.  Christ on the cross cried, “Father, why hast thou forsaken me?”  That showed his human pain.

You must work on yourself and for mankind.  That is why all the great prophets and Arihantas lived as exemplars.  Why can’t you grow and glow like them? When you feel love, God is there.  When you give something. God is there.  When you help someone, when you dedicate yourself to understanding.  God is there. When you dedicate yourself to joining others in making the world better, God is there.  All the positive qualities in your are the expression of God shining through you as joy.

We must also know that when things are going well, when we are content, this is the time we should be soft and tender.  In this way we can share our joy with those around us.  When, on the other hand, we are in difficulty, when we are feeling discouraged, this is the time to be strong and firm.  This way we can resolve our problems.  But usually we do this in reverse.  When all is going well, when we feel we are in the midst of personal good fortune, we do not care, we do not hear we do not reach out to help   anyone; we become hard.  And when we are down, we crumble, feel overcome, and rush to seek from others that which only we can give to ourselves.  The difficulties we face are like the invigorating winds of winter.  When trouble comes, we must not deny the trouble, so it will be repressed and thus create a psychological problem, Instead, let us say, “All right.  Now I will trouble the trouble and the trouble  will be over. ”Winter comes, but spring will follow.  Life consists of just such cycles.  When it is coldest, in a few weeks spring will arrive but if we do not have patience, if we let ourselves become upset, then when spring comes we will not be fresh and strong to appreciate it.  This is my teaching; do not  identify yourself with the ups and downs of life-you are Atman: consciousness, Self.

We will not uncover joy in ourselves, if we do not give it to others.  And the happiness we experience will be proportionate to the happiness we give.  This realization is beyond words-joy is known only in experience.

Once an ancient seer was at the point of death, and his disciples came to him and asked, “How should we live? What should we get from life?” “What should we give to life?” The seer was quiet for a moment and then picked up a mango, held it in his hand and after a few seconds put it down.  His disciples again begged him, “Before you depart, please tell us your secret.”  Again the seer picked up the mango and held it, and then put it down.  His disciples begged him a third time, “You are leaving, but before you go, won’t you explain to us the way and the truth?”  Again the seer picked up the mango.  Then his disciples understood what he was trying to tell them.  He was saying, “Find that life is sweet like a mango. And make life sweet like a mango.” 

If you want happiness, spread happiness.  If you want life to be sweet, give sweetness.  Do not expect form the world what you are not willing to give.  If you want appreciation, show appreciation.  If you want understanding, give understanding,  When you experience sweetness, you will radiate sweetness all around you.  When you inwardly radiate truth and love, you see a different world, live in a different climate.  Words, gestures, actions can all convey the sweetness of a mango. 

You can be an instrument of sweetness, if your concern is for others’ well-being and growth.  The potter often taps the pot to shape it, but not to the breaking point!  Each is ultimately his own potter-each has the right to learn from his own mistakes.  But we do not want to let the other destroy himself or others, through his blindness.  Therefore we try to give out as much as we can of light and love. 

We have to have had the experience of certain states of consciousness to know they exist.  Children who grow up in slums often do not know forests and streams exist! To them, nature is an unknown land.  Also, many people have experienced various pleasures, but they do not know the various states, states of cosmic consciousness, states of bliss, that exist. (I do not call these “altered” states of consciousness, but “realized” states.)  To many, these are as unknown as North and South America were to Europeans, when only a few explorers had been there.  As with anything which is unknown, fear may come as a barrier to growth.  Then we remember that the wind of grace is always blowing, but we must open our sails.

Let us concentrate on the treasure of joy which is within. . . . .

The light we seek in church and temple we must find within ourselves, through meditation.  We find the wellspring in ourselves, not outside.

Man is evolution becoming conscious of itself . . . . Vision and inspiration will come as we meditate. . . . .

THOUGHTS

  • WE have not come here to gain material things but to find the positive qualities that are the expression of joy, shining within us.
     

  • Meditate and open the door to the ultimate center of joy and light within.
     

  • The wind of grace is always blowing, but we must open our sails.

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