Joy as a response to suffering

I struggled for years with feelings of guilt around being joyful. Although I’ve always felt tremendous gratitude for the life I’ve lived – all the interesting experiences I’ve had and the love I received firstly as a young child, then growing up, and now as an adult – I’ve often been caught in the trap of wondering how I can feel happy when so many children, men, women and animals in the world are suffering, mistreated and in pain. In addition, there’s all the damage inflicted on the plant and mineral kingdoms, often at the hands of ruthless human beings. I’ve come to the conclusion that precisely because of this painful reality it’s part of my life purpose to be joyful – in the sense that it’s not only my right to be filled with joy but rather also my goal. It’s my task to smile, to bring positive energy to my exchanges, to be centred and believe in Love – the Love that is the essence of each human being. Smiling, laughing, enjoying each and every moment is a great gift I can share with the world. Continue reading

Using the fruits of meditation in daily life

Meditation had brought spirituality to the forefront of Joy’s life. The results of her spiritual practice echoed throughout the day. It implied a state of consciousness and being that she endeavoured to work on at every moment. This brought with it a level of objectivity and detachment that was enabling her to more often observe and direct her thoughts, words and actions in everyday situations.

No longer being compartmentalised as a mere relaxation technique, meditation had gradually taken on more and more significance. It had become the channel through which Joy set the tone for her day and for her life. She now deemed her life to be a spiritual experiment. Meditation and contemplation of spiritual matters were for Joy a bridge to another – unseen – world. She could glean meaning about the significance of day-to-day living from that world which wasn’t physical.

To use the fruits of meditation in daily life was something Joy felt was intrinsically important. She became almost nauseous whenever she met people who purported to actively practise a spiritual or religious path, but who in daily life systematically acted and spoke with bigotry, intolerance, racism and other forms of selfishness. Continue reading

Understanding relationships

Through numerous, relatively short-lived relationships with men, Joy had been forced to learn detachment and how to stand on her own two feet. She had discovered that relationships referred to something much more encompassing than mere intimate relations with members of the opposite sex. There was the relationship that existed between each man and woman and the rest of the human race, for example. And beyond that, Joy was learning to sense the relationship that existed between her self and the Soul – the human Soul; not her individual soul, which was another illusion created by the limitations of the rational mind. Even more encompassing was the relationship between humanity and the planetary entity, or greater still, the larger cosmos. When she looked up at the stars at night, Joy experienced a sense of revelation. How short-sighted it was of humans to go about their daily lives without due consideration for their place in the universe. This wider cosmic perspective on relationships was paralleled by her contemplation of the smallest aspect of her being – the cells in her body that were, in essence, nothing more or nothing less than energy. Continue reading