What Started Off as Oy! Quickly Became Joy

The setup

I had a doctor’s appointment. I actually waited until the last possible second to leave, which if you know me you’ll know that I don’t do that. I like to be on time!

I looked for my keys. Not in my bag. Not on the hook. (Okay, not freaking out!) Ugh! I’ll have to deal with this later, grabbed the second set and out the door!

Ha! not so fast missy. Got in the car, ready to lightly jam the key into the ignition…what?! Ah, there’s the keys. (Hmmm maybe I really am loosing my memory..?..) And the car is completely dead (okay, maybe mostly dead!).

Universe: “I’m sorry, you will need to deal with this now. …Really…now!!”

You know the rest. Cancel this, call that, nice guy jumps my car. Don’t shut it down for 30-minutes or it really will be dead. Oh boy! Now I get to go for a random drive. And yeah, there’s joy in all of this too.

I see it as a very good sign that my topics are in a general realm of synchronicity as the Touch of Light blogs by Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi. And because I am not proud, I have shamelessly excerpted from their recent blog, “Touch of Light and Joy.

The article

So a typical lunchtime discussion at home goes something like this…

“What do you think is the goal of religion?”
“Umm…well…maybe it’s about…”

Isn’t the goal of any spiritual path about Self-realization?

Aren’t religions in place to support this important spiritual goal? I was raised in the Catholic Church, attended many many services. And yet, I would never claim expert understanding in this.

Two lines of thought occurred to me simultaneously (yes! spelling word inclusion). The two times of year that most people are attracted to their religious practices are at Christmas (He’s born!) and Easter (He’s risen!). Two very joy-filled times of the religious year!

Our discussion kept going. (Just some highlights.)

But there must be a reason for all of this: religion, spiritual seeking, Jesus and the other great avatars. What if it’s only about showing us our true soul’s potential.

A Guru is here to teach us, sometimes discipline those of us that are willing and ready for it. But in the end, isn’t it always about deepening our connecting with Perfect Joy? Satchidananda. Yogananda reminded us of this Truth. Eternal guidance. We are ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new joy (bliss).

The Plan

(Shameless excerpting—please note that I added a few text highlights—because Nayaswami Jyotish said it beautifully and he has asked us to try a special “joy-increasing” exercise.)

“Where does this ability to stay joyful no matter what life throws at us come from? It originates first from feeling your inner joy, and then developing the habit of bringing it back repeatedly during the day. Joy, you see, is our natural state-the most central of all the ways that God manifests Himself. So we don’t need to create it, but merely to increase our awareness of it by removing the obscuring veils of self-involvement.”

“First we should try to deepen our experience of joy. This is best done in meditation, when the thoughts have been stilled. I would suggest that near the end of each meditation, you spend at least five minutes feeling a sense of joy and saturating your mind with a blissful vibration.

“Secondly, we should try to feel touches of joy as often as possible throughout the day, until it becomes habitual. Don’t wait for circumstances to make you happy: Learn to feel a happiness that needs no cause. One of Paramhansa Yogananda’s most advanced disciples, Yogacharya Oliver Black, said he surrounded himself with a bubble of joy and never let anyone or anything pop his bubble.

“This year members of Ananda are joining together in an experiment to see if we can deepen our consciousness of joy, and we invite you to join us….”

Satchidananda

Read Nayaswami Jyotish’s blog to see/hear more about this plan to deepen our consciousness of joy. It seems like the perfect time of year to start this process. We are able to be in this state, eternally! Our guru said so.

Let’s try to permeate our lives with this consciousness of joy! So that even when your car won’t start and you have an appointment that you need to be at in 10 minutes…Joy! You take the proper and safe steps…Joy! You have a laugh at yourself and your situation…Joy!

And maybe share a laugh with the person(s) helping you out. Ah, practice, practice, practice…. The world needs joy. Opening and deepening our consciousness of joy! It starts with each one of us. Joy!

Posted by Madhavi Eby

Madhavi Eby and her husband, David Eby, came west to Oregon in 1996 and feeling right at home, found and joined the Ananda Portland family. And have lived in Ananda Communities ever since. Moving to the Ananda Village (Nevada City, CA) in 2001, she joined the staff of Crystal Clarity Publishers working with others in helping to spread the message of this great work of Yogananda and Kriyananda. 2013 the Eby family moved back to Oregon and into the Ananda Portland Community, where she continues to spread her love of vibrant good health through food, humor and community. Madhavi has joined the management staff of the Temple and Teaching Center and also continues to practice her health coaching, love of cooking and chocolate.