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And Joyful Meditation

When we look within and detach from without, we meditate. For some it is sitting in a lotus position, eyes closed, of clear mind and
watching the breath. For others, like myself, it is in any quiet moment when the mind can turn inwards from the outside world. It is a
soft world free of anxiety and pleasant to be in. Even while walking or reading or listening to music or just lying down, the mind quickly
reaches for that special sanctuary where it can find itself. And there, like a shipwrecked traveler on a peaceful deserted island, it escapes
into the fantasies of its own construction. In that quiet moment, it is free.

I find this a useful tool whenever things get tough. I just stop and look inward, and let it be. I imagine that somehow, it will all work out.
This does not necessarily change things immediately, either outside or inside myself. I may still feel frustrated or angry and afraid. But
like little fingers probing delicately in all directions away from me, my mind reaches out into that world, both inside and out there, for
that what caused me pain. Like a white light that comes down from some great and mysterious cosmic source, I find a peacefulness and
joy that brings me back into my center.

Meditation of this kind can be a useful tool. It is especially helpful if I should find myself in a disturbing situation. Sometimes, it is the
result of some cause I cannot control. Other times, it may be due to someone else's actions that are threatening to me. This causes
frustration and anger, and fear. But if I turn it around and instead see it as both sides of the same thing, it becomes easier. Anger is fear.
We are afraid of what we cannot understand or control. So to become angry means we are afraid, and to dispel this fear, we reach into
ourselves and into that world inside to find joy. So if I feel threatened by some external force, either human or incidental and beyond my
control, I reach out for it in my meditation and try to heal the hurt, either in myself or in the other. This takes courage, but faith is
courage. And when I calm my mind this way, usually and in some surprising way, it works.

This kind of everyday meditation does not require any special discipline. Meditation techniques can have their own powerful results. It
was reported that certain monks in Tibet, through meditation, could warm their bodies to such a degree that even if sitting naked in the
snow, they would feel no cold. It is even said that the snow around them melts away. The same is true for yoga techniques, when they
are not primarily for healthy exercise; the yoga master can still his heart to such a rate that he could be buried alive, and live. But these
are feats of the mind that border on psychic tricks. Such esoteric feats impress us, but are they really meditation in daily life? In fact,
meditation can be a simple state where, like in a state of spatial and timeless being, our mind connects in its inner self with its greater and
wonderful force of its cosmic being. These are not strange and esoteric forces, but rather are the same elemental forces that give us life.
From their great reservoir we draw their strength, and with that strength we repair what had been wounded. We become detached from
this pain and find in its place an ease that heals. And when it works, in the end, it all works out.

We are not bad when we do this; there is no dark magic or harm in it. It is almost like another form of worship, of connecting with that
great mysterious force in the universe we call God. To attract goodness into ourselves, and clarity and healing, and to repel harm or pain
or meanness, are natural and universal to us. We had practiced this kind of shamanistic magic for eons, though not always for the good.
But when it is used in a positive way, it has the ability to push away anger and fear. No doubt there are mean spirits in the world, same
as there are mean people, but they are empowered only if we allow them. Really, there are no bad people. There are only those who are
confused, who had somehow separated themselves from their humanity, and thus regressed and fallen into meanness. If we do not give
into them, then they are powerless. And this can be done even at the level of meditation, where they are then bathed by us in the white
light we feel inside ourselves. In time, it heals them too and returns them once again into the human fold. This does not mean that we
stop taking action to protect ourselves again evil intent. To the contrary, we must act because we live in a physical universe. It means
only that if we do it in a meditative way, it heals. And when we do this in a peaceful way, we also heal ourselves.

When such is the case, evil does not find a handhold when we have faith and spiritual strength. In the same way, by simply tapping into
that great source of love that surrounds each and every being, disease or pain become less present in us. Love is healing. And when we
eat in a loving way, careful of the food we put in our bodies, think healthy thoughts, and bathe ourselves with that same love through
meditation, we see it enter into every part of our body, into every organ and vessel and vein. Then we bring into our body the same
beautiful and joyous energy that daily enables us to live and breathe. Upon waking, we should stop for a moment and think of this
energy entering our being, into every part of it, and then reaching out into the world we are about to enter. Before us will part pathways
as we rise to face the day in beneficial in positive ways. But to do this, we must reject gently those things that are troublesome, move
them aside to find their own place, and not in us, either through direct action or meditation. They will fall away like ripe fruit and cease
to stand in our way. It takes courage to do this, to not fall into fear, but the power that flows from it is surprisingly effective. We rise and
step forth unopposed, even when events or persons had worked hard against us. In this kind of peaceful meditation, we prevail with the
least opposition because we reach far into a greater force than that which is causing us concern, and in our success we step forth into that
other side of pain, into joy. This can be contagious, and others around us will begin to feel this joy too, though they may not even know
why. When we meditate in our daily lives, we are also healing what is around us. Fierceness becomes tamed, and fear loses its anger. In
joyful meditation we become more than mere ambassadors of good will. We actually become healers of hurt.

This hurt that exists around us has many ways of reaching inside. It could be from a mean word, or gossip, or from some action taken
against us. We suffer, and with this suffering, if we lose faith in our beautiful inner self, we gradually break down inside. With it, we
break down the body that sustains our life. In time, it allows invasions by those hurts which make room for foreign agents that find their
way into the host's weakened vital forces. As the immune system weakens further, it actually begins to self destruct. We then become
susceptible to various kinds of diseases. The weaker the life force within us, the more our immune system breaks down. Our
predispositions to disease, perhaps due to other factors such as our genetic makeup, may make us weak, but the mind is powerful
enough to compensate for it. It is not that doctors are superfluous, far from it, but medicine is successful only where we have the power
to heal ourselves. And if the joy and faith of life is suppressed, and in its stead is a life of fear and unhappiness, the power to heal is
damaged. Why is it that we find illness on the heels of unhappiness, but strength in the joy of others? And why are those who are joyous
healing to us? It works both ways, their strength heals us, but when we heal ourselves, we also give power to those around us to heal
themselves. Yet, how often do we let this happen?

So in this is the power of meditation, to empower us with our minds in ways that repel hurt, and instead heal. Whether we heal the anger
that brings on confrontation, or the unhappiness that brings on disease, both come from the same source, from the same lack of joy.
When we find that soft place of sanctuary inside, we radiate out into the world in a non invasive way from that same peaceful source we
find inside us. It is as easy as to live and breathe. But to live by this is not easy, since we are challenged almost daily to doubt our
strength. Yet, the strength is there if we are willing to go into it. Be aware of it. And when we are, a wonderful magical force enters into
our being and existence. If you had not already tried this, take a moment and find out for yourself. You will be a witness to this: When
we are joyful and strong, mostly in all kinds of circumstances, it all works out. Joy is a powerful medicine.


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