Cultivating our capacity of joy

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Cultivating our capacity of joy

Postby emmapeach » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:47 pm

Hi,

me again. I'm sorry I have to ask so many questions but I need some answers, somehow.

I have just listened to a talk by tara Brach where she talks about the cultivating of our capacity of joy. I've heard and read exactly this over and over again and I hunger for moments of joy which seem to appear less and less now. It is not that I am so depressed I cannot feel joy, it is rather like I have forgotten how it feels. Sometimes I try getting myself in a joyful mood by remembering happy moments or things I like and love but - nothing. I remember the moments but the relating emotion misses more and more. I was able to feel the most happy moments when i was in the middle of my worst depressive episodes, probably because it was so contrasting to the feelings I had every day, all day long. Like sunbeams. But now I just seem to have forgotten what it is like enjoying joyful moments. I know it is crucial to feel joy and happiness but my mood level is alternating between neutral and stressful and tired and *forgetit*. I also have noticed that I seldom allow myself feeling happy because there's so many problems I have caused and that a solution has to be found for, so feeling happy seems like an undeserved luxury.
I knwo I'm weird but I'm looking for my way and I am so grateful for any hints where to go...

Thanks for listening
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Re: Cultivating our capacity of joy

Postby KonchokZoepa » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:54 pm

you are making a big deal out of joy or happiness. i can feel that you are even stressing about not having enough joy or happiness. when the stress goes happiness is there, when you stop obstructing and obscuring your sky like mind there is space and there is joy, naturally, without having to force it or struggle to make it happen. so just let go, stop forcing, stop struggling and having these battles inside your head about these things. relax and let go. let it be. when you dont force anything and you dont crave for happiness, happiness is there. its right in front of you all the time. you just need to let go and relax, stop the inner dialogue of your fighting mind and open to see and experience that happiness was there right in front of you. its not outside somwhere that needs to be cultivated, it exists inherently within you. let go.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Cultivating our capacity of joy

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:27 pm

This might sound counter-intuitive, but let go the desire to have such moments. Otherwise it is just discontent. 'I don't like this feeling, I want a better feeling'.

I had this realization some time back after having had some episodes of bliss following meditation. Even though I had just been sitting for short periods of time, and had only just begun the practice, and even though my way of life was far from being pure and virtuous, there would be moments of unexpected bliss after meditating, like while just standing in a checkout queue or something. But after a while I realised that there wasn't anything I could do to make those moments happen - they would come and then just go again. 'The wind blows where it lists'. So after a while I gave up hanging out for them. I realized that as long as the mind was thinking about it, wanting to have it, then it was looking in the wrong place. I came to think of it as 'the bliss you cannot have'.

So the idea of 'cultivating' is actually a bit misleading. The only cultivation you can do is to sit and watch your breathing and your thoughts. You have to turn up for practice. But beyond that, it isn't up to you and there's nothing you can do about it.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Cultivating our capacity of joy

Postby Nosta » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:25 pm

Emmapeach, I feel like you too. I think that the stressful life, responsabilities, hard work and so on make me forget that joy. Daily life is to much heavy.

On the other hand I think I am a little more prepared to protect myself against bad things.

I would like to have some more joy too or, at least, feel much more relaxed towards things.
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Re: Cultivating our capacity of joy

Postby lobster » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:10 am

emmapeach wrote:I know I'm weird but I'm looking for my way and I am so grateful for any hints where to go...

Thanks for listening


Go to the chocolate shop and to children.
Keep practicing gratitude. Be kind to your body by exercising it.
Plant something, joy preferably and watch it grow.

:hug:
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Re: Cultivating our capacity of joy

Postby Simon E. » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:27 am

emmapeach wrote:Hi,

me again. I'm sorry I have to ask so many questions but I need some answers, somehow.

I have just listened to a talk by tara Brach where she talks about the cultivating of our capacity of joy. I've heard and read exactly this over and over again and I hunger for moments of joy which seem to appear less and less now. It is not that I am so depressed I cannot feel joy, it is rather like I have forgotten how it feels. Sometimes I try getting myself in a joyful mood by remembering happy moments or things I like and love but - nothing. I remember the moments but the relating emotion misses more and more. I was able to feel the most happy moments when i was in the middle of my worst depressive episodes, probably because it was so contrasting to the feelings I had every day, all day long. Like sunbeams. But now I just seem to have forgotten what it is like enjoying joyful moments. I know it is crucial to feel joy and happiness but my mood level is alternating between neutral and stressful and tired and *forgetit*. I also have noticed that I seldom allow myself feeling happy because there's so many problems I have caused and that a solution has to be found for, so feeling happy seems like an undeserved luxury.
I knwo I'm weird but I'm looking for my way and I am so grateful for any hints where to go...

Thanks for listening

Forget ' cultivating joy '. The way out of the maze is to let go of all ideas of captivity and freedom and of wanting things to be other than they are.
Breath in and out. Start right where you are. Its not easy but it is possible. Constantly bring your mind back to what is arising right now. Dont try to distract yourself with anything.
After a while things change..guaranteed. Be aware of the changes. Seek the companionship of those who are grounded.
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Re: Cultivating our capacity of joy

Postby oushi » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:37 pm

emmapeach wrote:Hi,

me again. I'm sorry I have to ask so many questions but I need some answers, somehow.

I have just listened to a talk by tara Brach where she talks about the cultivating of our capacity of joy. I've heard and read exactly this over and over again and I hunger for moments of joy which seem to appear less and less now. It is not that I am so depressed I cannot feel joy, it is rather like I have forgotten how it feels. Sometimes I try getting myself in a joyful mood by remembering happy moments or things I like and love but - nothing. I remember the moments but the relating emotion misses more and more. I was able to feel the most happy moments when i was in the middle of my worst depressive episodes, probably because it was so contrasting to the feelings I had every day, all day long. Like sunbeams. But now I just seem to have forgotten what it is like enjoying joyful moments. I know it is crucial to feel joy and happiness but my mood level is alternating between neutral and stressful and tired and *forgetit*. I also have noticed that I seldom allow myself feeling happy because there's so many problems I have caused and that a solution has to be found for, so feeling happy seems like an undeserved luxury.
I knwo I'm weird but I'm looking for my way and I am so grateful for any hints where to go...

Thanks for listening

Joy cannot be cultivated, but it can be revealed. Although it is always available, it is still covered by cares. Removing those is hard, or even impossible in a particular moment, but by removing delusions we move closer to joy.
Say what you think about me here.
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Re: Cultivating our capacity of joy

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:40 pm

Try looking around you and realizing the amazing complexity of this very moment.

What the Buddha noticed, and sought to remedy, was the fact that no matter what people did, regardless of what religion they followed, or how much wealth they had, or any of these things, their minds were always striving for something else, some source of lasting satisfaction, lasting peace of mind (not restless) and joy.

He saw that people kept relying on things that were only temporary in nature to begin with, and when those things ended, the joy they got from them ended too. Simple cause and effect.

He determined that the source of joy was the mind itself, and taught methods of bringing the mind back to its natural state, which is free from constant grasping and clinging for things to make it happy.

The fastest and most complete and effective way to attain perfect joy is to work with your own mind.
the source of joy is internal, not external.
.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Cultivating our capacity of joy

Postby Simon E. » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:52 pm

:good:
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Re: Cultivating our capacity of joy

Postby KonchokZoepa » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:02 pm

:good:
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Cultivating our capacity of joy

Postby lobster » Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:58 am

The fastest and most complete and effective way to attain perfect joy is to work with your own mind.
the source of joy is internal, not external


As we all know the internal is externalised.
So the very diversity and extremes of the external/internal/reflective reality become more joyous.
Practice and life become a joy. :woohoo:
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Re: Cultivating our capacity of joy

Postby Ayu » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:33 pm

emmapeach wrote:Hi,

me again. I'm sorry I have to ask so many questions but I need some answers, somehow.

I have just listened to a talk by tara Brach where she talks about the cultivating of our capacity of joy. I've heard and read exactly this over and over again and I hunger for moments of joy which seem to appear less and less now. It is not that I am so depressed I cannot feel joy, it is rather like I have forgotten how it feels. Sometimes I try getting myself in a joyful mood by remembering happy moments or things I like and love but - nothing. I remember the moments but the relating emotion misses more and more. I was able to feel the most happy moments when i was in the middle of my worst depressive episodes, probably because it was so contrasting to the feelings I had every day, all day long. Like sunbeams. But now I just seem to have forgotten what it is like enjoying joyful moments. I know it is crucial to feel joy and happiness but my mood level is alternating between neutral and stressful and tired and *forgetit*. I also have noticed that I seldom allow myself feeling happy because there's so many problems I have caused and that a solution has to be found for, so feeling happy seems like an undeserved luxury.
I knwo I'm weird but I'm looking for my way and I am so grateful for any hints where to go...

Thanks for listening

Take yourself as a little child and teach it with love, care and patience. Please, don't use the longing for joy as a means to put yourself down again.
I guess, i experienced this state of mind that you are in some years ago. The inner detractor seemed to eat up my whole life. I could overview it in my diary and came to the point to say: If I don't start to think positive, i will die!
Then i tried to avoid negative thoughts for some time - as an experiment. I tried to figure out the positive side of everything.
The result was astonishing: I didn't only feel much better after two weeks of this practice, but also things and people went out more nicely, friendly. On such a ground joy can grow SLOWLY by itself.

Joy comes by itself from the heart, littlebit silent in the beginning. It is nothing one can create by willforce or even not by "making" it. It grows as a product of good spiritual practice, good ethical conduct and faithful honest positive thinking.

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Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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