* * *
Jesus was in a happy mood. His disciples asked him the stages he went through to such joy.
"My Father first led me by the hand," Jesus said, "into the Land of Action, and I lived there for several years." Next, He led me to the Land of Sorrows. I lived there several years, until purged of many desires of inordinate attachment. Then, I found myself in the Land of Love, and these pure flames burned more in me that needed to be transformed. Then, I found myself in the Land of Silence, and I was shown the mysteries of life and death, of total surrender to the Divine Darkness."
They inquired, "Was that the last stage, Master?" "No," Jesus said. "So," they asked, "where did He lead you next?" "I was led to the Land of Laughter."
*Adapted from Anthony de Mello. Taking Flight.
* * *
When I began meditation I studied the psychological aspects to the practice, including how material of repressed shadow could arise. I learned the shadow was neither good nor bad, but could contain both positive and negative feelings, memories, and so forth. I was ready, then, for repressed negativity to arise, disturbing aspects, like anger, jealousy ~ I had no idea what would arise of this. I was surprised, however, when the most prominent repression was joy. I had not known how joy, something I had thought no one would repress, I had repressed. However, I now see this as natural, for I had been raised in a family where joy was repressed, as though joy was dangerous and had to be kept pressed down. Looking back, it seems we had no idea that joy was offering itself to us, that we had permission to be joyful and enjoy things. In fact, it seems the community and world around me did not have much joy, as I reflect back on my childhood and youth.
Over the next some 30 years, I had to learn of joy ~ I still am. I learned joy is my birthright... that through inner healing more joy would arise in and be expressed through me... that I am worthy of joy, or better joy is not based on my doing anything to be worthy... that I do not have to feel loved to be joyful... that joy is one of the most important gifts I can give the world... that joy is not happiness, but a subtle bliss, marked by contentment, and oft felt most powerfully in silence... that joy and sorrow can exist together, in oneness, for they share in one Truth, one Source... that joy never arises from anything outside myself, but from my Oneness with Life... that I should never use anything done to me by anyone to be a reason to lose my joy, regardless of how hurtful or unfair... I learned, thankfully, how wonderful the joy of joyfulness is.
♥ ♥ ♥
Grace and Peace to All
The Sacred in Me bows to the Sacred in You
*Lotus of the Heart is an interspiritual work of Brian Kenneth Wilcox, Florida USA. Brian is a practicing spiritual contemplative, interspiritual Chaplain, and writer of nonfiction and poetry.
*Move cursor over photos for photographer and photo name.
*These presentations, at times, include adaptation to gender-inclusive language in quotes from other writers.