Toward the end of his life, Swami Kriyananda would often remark, “I feel so blissful, I can hardly contain it.” We had seen him maintain a joyful spirit during many difficult times: temples collapsing or burning down, car accidents, health crises. No matter what was happening around him, Swamiji demonstrated that it didn’t have the power to touch his inner Self.
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.
As with so many things in life, we can develop and maintain a buoyant consciousness if we apply ourselves. In order to bring joy under the control of our will, we must experience it both more deeply and more frequently. 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. Each morning, spend at least five minutes toward the end of your meditation centering your awareness at the spiritual eye, seeing light there, and deeply feeling inner joy.
Then, as often as you remember, but at least five times during each day, reawaken the consciousness of light and joy with this technique: Stop, close your eyes, and bring your energy to the spiritual eye, at the point between the eyebrows. You may find it helpful to place your fingertip there to help you focus. Now become aware of light and joy at that point. Do this for at least fifteen seconds. This simple practice will reconnect you with the presence of God as light and joy. All success, all happiness, flows from a superconscious connection to the Divine. Master said that keeping our consciousness at the spiritual eye is the fastest way to make progress.
While quick and simple, this technique can have a profound effect on your well-being. Be a spiritual scientist, and see if a simple touch of light and joy can help you become blissful all the time.
In light and joy,