This week’s meditation explores the third of the Four Immeasurables — the practice of Joy.
As we discussed in the previous post, we practice Joy in stages, just as we did in the guided meditation posts on Love and Compassion. You start with finding you Basic Inner Goodness, that clear knowing inside that all is well, and reflecting on your own qualities that reflect this knowing.
You then reflect on the fortunate circumstances of your life, much as we did in the practice of contemplating the precious human birth (see YMD5 for a summary).
Once you settle in with meditation on the precious and rare qualities you have if you are reading this, you use as a way to discover your Basic Inner Goodness. From here you simply expand this realization towards others.
How To Proceed Through These Meditations on Joy
You proceed in all each Four Immeasurable guided meditation by allowing each stage to mature before proceeding on to the next. Once you are comfortable with connecting, appreciating and rejoicing at the marvel of your life, you choose someone with whom it is easy for you to feel this.
You work when you feel comfortable with meditations focused on indifferent or neutral persons, and ultimately with persons with whom you may be in conflict, persons who may push your buttons, or for whom the mere mention of their name may elicit unpleasant emotions.
The process of the meditations on Love and Compassion is to reflect that just as I want happiness and don’t want suffering, others also are the same as I. We progress in those meditations by feeling these reflections deep in our hearts to the point that these wishes arise spontaneously for all beings.
Progress With Meditation on Joy
The process in the meditations on Joy proceed just the same. The key difference here is that rather than feeling Love and Compassion for all beings, we begin to work with cultivating Joy in their basic goodness, they’re good fortune, and their Buddha Nature.
Cultivating Joy may sound clinical, when it’s really emotional. We are learning how to rejoice in the good fortune of others. This practice opens some of the initial obstacles we may experience in the earlier meditations in ways you may see as you start these wonderful meditation practices.
Beginning with Joy and going forward into Equanimity, our meditations will bring in what we have experienced with the simple Buddha Nature meditations we have been doing up to now — simply resting in open awareness.
Aspiration and Dedication Verses
In these meditations I thought we could introduce opening aspiration and closing dedication verses, in addition to the Four Immeasurable reflections we have been doing.
So let’s begin.
Set aside twenty minutes or so when you can sit without distractions, and turn off your phone.
Reflect in such a way as it helps u to connect with your motivation in practicing, and giving voice to this thru the reciting of the aspiration prayer.
With boundless compassion and wisdom I will work for the welfare of all, may we be free from hunger and discord, and have joy and the world at peace.
Begin by settling into your posture.
Having a sense of uprightness, wakefulness and relaxation in body and mind.
Letting the mind rest in open awareness.
Letting everything be as it is without out blocking anything or needing to chase after anything thing
Relaxing and letting be – in open awareness.
Sit like this for a few minutes.
Then reflecting on own basic goodness and desire to be happy and free from suffering
Recognizing the good qualities within you, and your unique fortunate circumstances.
That you have a body, that you can see, hear, smell, feel.
And you have a mind that knows this is so.
That you have a mind that can reflect that not only do we recognize these qualities
We can also appreciate and rejoice this is so.
Reflect like this for a while.
And then offering the verses of the Four Immeasurables:
May all beings have happiness and its causes;
May they be free from suffering and its causes;
May they never be parted from sublime bliss free from suffering;
May they dwell in great equanimity, free from attachment and aversion toward those who are near and far.
Alternate reflecting on these verses and resting in open awareness for some time.
If you find you are getting disconnected or lost in thought,
You can again reflect on all the good and beautiful qualities within you or the fortunate circumstances in your life.
And appreciating and rejoicing,
And offering the phrases once again.
Resting in open awareness.
You can either continue practicing this way with yourself as the object,
or bring to mind someone it is easy for you in whom to see the good and beautiful qualities,
Someone who is living with good fortunate circumstances.
Get a visual image or felt sense of that person,
Then reflecting just as we have done when focusing on yourself.
As you progress you can move on to neutral person, and then to difficult persons.
Reflect that just like you they just want to be happy and free from suffering.
Bring to mind the qualities you can see in them that you appreciate,
Perhaps their capacity to express love kindness compassion.
The wisdom they exude that benefits others.
Rejoicing they have this body and this mind that makes it all possible;
Appreciating and rejoicing in their good fortune.
And then offering the phrase from the Four Immeasurable reflections
May you never be parted from sublime bliss, free from suffering.
If you find that you are feeling jealous or envious of them,
see if you can shift your focus from wanting something to just being happy for them.
That they have this good fortune.
Be happy with them.
Appreciating with them.
Rejoicing with them.
Then just resting in open awareness
Closing with a dedication verse, such as this one:
By the power of this compassionate practice,
may suffering be transformed into peace,
may the hearts of all beings be opened,
and their wisdom radiate from within.
Have a wonderful week.
Please use the comment box below to share your experience or ask any questions.