How to get joy in presence?

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How to get joy in presence?

Post by Learis » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:19 pm

I'm reading the Power of Now, about halfway through. He says, in my interpretation, that when you learn to break free of your ego (stop identifying with your thoughts) and live in the "Now", you will feel a sense of peace and joy bubble up in you. If this is incorrect or incomplete in any way please let me know.

So far in my practices, I have learned to often observe my thoughts instead of identifying with them. I have had brief periods of not thinking and simply being aware and present, at least I believe I have. But I don't feel a sense of peace and joy in me when I do. I feel nothing. Granted this nothingness is often better than the fear and worry that my thoughts bring, but still... where's the joy? I'd really like some joy!

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Re: How to get joy in presence?

Post by Webwanderer » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:51 am

Learis wrote:where's the joy? I'd really like some joy!
First a little house cleaning - or perspective organizing.

The purpose of observing thoughts is to clearly recognize that you are not them, that you are not what you think you are. You are, as Tolle says, the spaciousness in which thought takes place. Get a sense of that. Feel that perspective for a while - conscious spaciousness. Consider then what that space is filled with. Not just passing thoughts but beliefs that give birth to those thoughts.

Our life experience is a result of the beliefs we hold and the thoughts those beliefs generate. It is mostly conditioning from our past, but it can be replaced with reconditioning of our choice. You've seen that you can break the identification with thought, but you must now choose what you will fill that space with. Life is not about nothing. You can't live in nothing. What is it said about life abhors a void?

Do you want happiness? Happiness and joy are born of how you think about life, what you see as valuable. What you fill that space with.

If you've seen that you are not your thoughts, that you are not what you think you are, don't just sit their in a funk. Rejoice. Celebrate. Dance around the room a bit. That's a big step worth your own recognition. Appreciate this breakthrough. You have just expanded your consciousness and being by this recognition and that's why you're here. It's not the end all enlightenment, whatever that is. But it is a turning point worth recognition. From who? From yourself - the only one that matters.

You can continue to fill that space with what pops up from the old conditioning, or you can purposefully choose something your prefer. For me the best I've found is appreciation. (Not the same as gratitude) How many things can you appreciate in a day? Beauty. Music. A kind word. A refreshing breeze. Art. An insightful thought. A thousand more. Appreciation can light up your day with happiness and joy, filling that spaciousness with wonderment and expansion. It's really just a choice. Happiness and joy will come with what positive thinking and beliefs you fill that conscious space with.


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Re: How to get joy in presence?

Post by Mystic » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:14 am

Stillness of mind is a state of peace resulting from unplanned awakenings. Time slows down and it is awesome. People and animals walking around become poetic and beautiful. Everything can become brighter as if light was increased. The experience of nature, the birds sing, the cricket chirps. The beauty of life is the essence of life that is in everything. :D

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Re: How to get joy in presence?

Post by painBody » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:29 am

I get what you're asking, because I used to ask myself that too, when presence was new to me. And believe me, it's not an easy question to answer.

"Where is the joy ?", you ask. To answer, I'll borrow some words Eckhart used that are probably better than any I could conjure up. "You cannot make it happen ... but you can allow it to happen."

To elaborate, you cannot be the direct cause of joy arising in your life. You cannot go through steps 1-n of a procedure to make it happen. But, by observing your thoughts and not following them into a place of chaos, you can create conditions that are conducive to feeling joy and peace, thereby allowing it to happen.

This is very counter-intuitive to all of us when we encounter presence for the first time, because it is so different from everything we do daily. How do you bake a cake ? Find a recipe, and follow steps 1-n, and at the end, you have a cake. Presence doesn't work like that. In many ways, presence is the opposite of doing. It is often the stopping of doing (which includes thinking), that opens a portal into presence (and the peace and joy that comes with it).

When you bake a cake, you are adding something to the present moment - i.e. mental and physical activity required to bake the cake. When you are present, you are removing something from the present moment - unnecessary thinking and/or physical activity.

There will be times, precious few moments, ... when you are not thinking ... perhaps at night, when it is quiet, and there isn't much to do or think about. You'll suddenly find that you're peaceful, without ever having planned that moment. When that happens, try to soak in that good feeling ... notice it, what it feels like, take a deep breath, take it in, prolong the moment as much as you can, and remember it. Don't just let it pass by, on your way to the next moment or next thing in your life. Remember it. Then, each time that happens, it's like you are taking one more step into this other dimension ... welcoming it into your life. By doing this, you shift the balance from 99% unconsciousness and 1% presence, to 98% unconsciousness and 2% presence, and so on. As Eckhart often says, it's all about "inviting gaps/spaces into your life." Over time, the spaces will get larger as you get more comfortable with presence.

So, remember that you cannot make it happen, but you can allow it to happen :)

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Re: How to get joy in presence?

Post by DavidB » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:03 am

We don't try and find joy in presence. The purpose of presence is to be the allowing for all manifestation and form to be, as it is, without judgement or criticism.

We come to find, through being present, the joy of living. Which is to say, the joy of being.
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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