Heart Wisdom – Ep. 13 – Joy and Its Causes
Mudita is the joy and happiness experienced for oneself and others. This joy is born into everyone, but is not limited to the innocence afforded in childhood. It is alive in all of us, and mindfulness is the gateway. Meditation allows us to be present for ourselves, each other, and for the wonder and beauty of our mysterious incarnation.
- Live in Joy – “Live in joy, In love, Even among those who hate. Live in joy, In health, Even among the afflicted. Live in joy, In peace, Even among the troubled. Look within. Be still. Free from fear and attachment, Know the sweet joy of the way.” – Buddha. – Despite all that we endure, it’s possible (and recommended) to be happy
- Meditation (A grim duty) – We sometimes view mindfulness practice as a form of self-improvement, which can exacerbate the more judgmental aspects of our personalities. The real focus is in recognizing that there is a freedom in you to choose your Spirit, no matter what’s happened
- Mudita – The practice is to invoke, or bring into consciousness, the spirit of joy and love that belongs to you, as well as to others
- What About all the Suffering? – Loyalty to our own suffering often outweighs our willingness to embrace feelings of happiness. We see the state of the world around us and wonder whether it is safe to experience genuine joy. It’s not about denying or ignoring the shadow elements of ourselves and others, but acknowledging the spectrum and choosing to move toward peace, in everything we do
- Gates to Joy – Integrity (Sila) – when you speak and act in alignment with your integrity, you’re naturally happier. Generosity – the sharing of the heart with others, the spirit of offering is profound and sustainable. Gratitude – though it can be a simple appreciation of all the things you do have in your life, it isn’t dependent on conditions, it’s really dependent upon your heart – even your sorrows can be a source for gratitude. Trust – “to be enlightened is to be without anxiety about non-perfection” – we feel joy in the trust that we are a part of the greater stream of life. Mindfulness – meditation brings forth the reality of the present, the space of awareness that allows our experience to unfold, without fear and attachment. Connection – joy is contagious, mindfulness is magnetic – spend time with people who value these principles.
Photo by Loren Kerns via Flickr. Used under the creative commons license.