June 17

Today's quotation:

Because gratification of a desire leads to the temporary stilling of the mind and the experience of the peaceful, joyful Self, it's no wonder that we get hooked on thinking that happiness comes from the satisfaction of desires.  This is the meaning of the old adage, 'Joy is not in things, it is in us.'

Joan Borysenko

Today's Meditation:

Joy is in us.  It really is to be found nowhere else, no matter how nice certain things may make us feel.  We experience many nice moments when nice things "happen," but the joyful person is one who is able to maintain his or her joy even when circumstances aren't necessarily so joyful.  The things, the money, the sex, the promotion--these aren't the things that bring us joy; rather, they just make us feel pretty good for a while until our habitual emotions and perspectives take over once more.

When we're able to cultivate the joyful parts of ourselves, though, we can allow ourselves to feel that joy all the time.  And certain things may bring us higher, but we won't allow other things to bring us lower.  Joy does not mean bubbling over with happiness all the time--rather, joy is about recognizing the beauty and wonder of the world and ourselves and allowing that recognition to help us to approach life in positive and uplifting ways.  Joy is about how we see and react to the world.

We can cultivate our joy by focusing on the beautiful and wonderful.  Personally I find my joy growing a lot when I cut out the negative elements of my life--the movies about murder and hatred, the books in which people are cruel and violent, the people who constantly criticize and complain--and focus on the positive.  There are many books and movies and articles and songs that are uplifting and that illustrate the potential we all have to grow into loving, compassionate people.

Your joy is your doing, just as your lack of joy would be your doing.  No one contributes to it unless you let outer influences determine your inner feelings.  And when we cultivate our own joy we can help others to discover their own joy inside of themselves as well.

Questions to consider:

Are you joyful?  Why or why not?

How might you get in closer touch with the joy that's inside of you now?

How might material gratifications trick us into thinking that joy comes from outside ourselves?

For further thought:

Joy of life seems to me to arise from a sense of being
where one belongs. . . of being foursquare with the
life we have chosen.  All the discontented people
I know are trying sedulously to be something they
are not, to do something they cannot do.

David Grayson


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