We seem to only experience joy when we get a desire fulfilled, remember a great time or have a sensory experience we find pleasant. We always seem to connect joy to an outer experience. But there is no joy inherent in an outside thing or experience. Joy is the natural experience of the Self and joy is available only in experiencing the Self.
Joy is always Self-generated. The only joy we ever experience is when we are experiencing the Self, our consciousness. It is never caused by the fulfillment of desire or any outer experience. So why do we associate joy with getting something, finding love or having a favorable sensory experience?
Our mind is always grasping. It is always desiring something. It is always seeking fulfillment outside, searching. So we are in a perpetual state of resistance to ‘what is’ and we are always feeling a mild to extreme state of dissatisfaction. The mind is never at rest or at peace. When we fulfill a desire, experience a pleasant sensory experience or remember a pleasant past experience the mind moves into a state of satisfaction and relaxes it’s grasping, dissatisfaction and outward seeking. In this calm state of mind we become open to experiencing the Self. Because joy is the natural state of the Self, we experience joy when all that resistance subsides.
The joy and love we feel from a relationship is also Self-generated. The other person is creating a reaction in us that again allows our mental fluctuations, our monkey mind, to relax. We desire someone and they appear and then we feel joy and love. It’s the same process as getting the pair of shoes but on a more powerful level.
The problem with thinking joy is reliant on fulfilling desires or a sensory experience is that it is always fleeting. When we get the new pair of shoes we feel joy but it only lasts a short while and then we are back to desiring something else, seeking joy. It is only the joy of the Self that is ever-present and constant but our grasping, resistant mind is too busy to allow us to experience it.
The joy we experience in getting the shoes is but a shadow of the full bliss experienced by directly experiencing the Self. And here is the value of meditation and mindfulness. They train the mind to go within and experience the Self, or at least calm the mind. That is the value of surrender and acceptance because they allow the mind to relax and feel joy.
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