By Swami Samvidaananda
Seeing purple crocus blossoms lifting their heads from the winter soil makes me joyful. I delight in each sign of spring. You have your favorite things that trigger joy. Perhaps you like to sit with a hot cup of tea, or snuggle with a pet. Maybe you enjoy taking a walk in the woods, or a stroll along an ocean shore. How wonderful that you have things that trigger happiness and joy for you.
Baba Muktananda, my Guru’s Guru, says you must have joy:
What is necessary is inner joy. When all the senses become quiet and you experience bliss, that is the attainment. —Swami Muktananda, Meditate, page 37
Who wouldn’t agree that joy is necessary? Without joy, life is dry. It feels empty and meaningless.
Unfortunately, there are two problems with your favorite method. One, the joy is not long lasting. You feel it while you’re sipping the tea, or taking the walk. But it inevitably fades. Then you have to reach for something again.
Two, it’s unreliable. Sometimes you’re distracted while drinking the tea. The cup is empty before you even noticed you were drinking it. Or the pet you want to snuggle with is not interested. They scratch you as they scrabble out of your arms! Maybe it’s cold and wet outside, and you don’t feel like going out. Then, no joy for you. You’re back to feeling empty.
The good news is the joy doesn’t come from the tea or your beloved pet or nature. No joy-rays are radiating from them to steep you in joy, the way sunrays warm your skin. The joy arises from inside you. That’s why Baba calls it inner joy.
There’s another reason he calls it inner joy. The joy and bliss that arise are not experiences that you merely have in life. They are an expression of your nature.
When you’re happy, when you’re joyful, when you’re loving and shining with light, you feel your best. You feel like you. That’s because in those moments you are being You. You’re being what yoga calls your Self, which is Consciousness-Itself.
Consciousness is the divine substance of everything that exists. Everything is made of Consciousness, like everything is made of energy. A classic yogic example is a gold bracelet, gold earrings, and a gold necklace. They all have different shapes and forms, and they are all made of gold.
A tree, a person, a planet, a universe, a multi-verse — it’s all the One Divine Reality. Consciousness is joyfully, blissfully choosing to dance everything that exists into existence. YOU are Consciousness, joyfully, blissfully choosing to dance everything that exists into existence.
The joy you experience in your day-to-day life is that Divine Joy, only on a smaller scale. And because you rely on things outside of yourself to trigger it, it’s intermittent and short-lived. However, you have the capacity to experience your Divine Joy to its fullest, most glorious extent.
How? By turning your attention inside. That is what meditation is. Baba says, “When all the senses become quiet and you experience bliss, that is the attainment.” Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation does this for you. The attainment is experiencing your own Self.
Once you know your own Self, you can still enjoy your tea. You can love your pet, and revel in nature. But you won’t do those things from an inner emptiness, looking to feel full. Instead, you’ll bring your joy with you into everything you do. And you’ll recognize every being and every thing as another expression of that same joy.
The most powerful and effective way to meditate is with a meditation master. My Guru, Swami Nirmalananda, meditated with her Guru, Baba Muktananda. And you can meditate with her. Swami Nirmalananda’s practices, her presence and her teachings give you your Self. Are you interested?