A Source of Joy
When we are living in alignment with our deepest heart’s desire, joy follows. The trouble arises when we, as conditioned human beings, lose touch with what that desire is. Clearly, we are not referring to desires that creates suffering – the longing to be something you are not, the wish to have something you do not have, the incessant push of craving and longing. We are referring to the place within you that recognizes who you authentically are, that sees your inherent goodness, and is inspired to participate in life from that place.
To be clear, such participation is likely not a ‘doing.’ Rarely do we consider being quiet, listening to ‘the still, small voice within,’ and practicing ‘simply being,’ as a form of participation with life. We assert, however, that not only is that a powerful form of participation, but, also, that action from any other place will not lead us to true joy.
For example, I want a new partner. I believe that a new partner will make me happy. He will be richer, better looking, perhaps even more spiritual. (Fill in your conditioned blanks.) If I search for this new Mr. Right from the perspective that who I am with is Mr. Wrong and that I won’t be happy until I find the ‘real’ Mr. Right, then I will be forever caught in the loop of longing, searching, perhaps finding – and if so, the satiation is bound to not last which will throw me back into the longing. Or, perhaps I simply never find the real Mr. Right, leaving me to be bound by the world of longing and …‘but… if only’s.’ Meanwhile, ‘the still, small voice within’ whispers something else. Meanwhile, the deepest heart’s desire is, once again, silenced and overlooked.
When we are still, when we can see what’s underneath our conditioned mind’s overlay, we begin to get a sense of a different kind of desire. Awareness Practice not only shows us how to access what’s underneath, but it teaches us how to train our attention to focus on it. It is then that we touch into the longing that is both a call and a response — all in the same instant. For example, you may get in touch with a deep desire to experience unconditional love. Or the desire to ‘simply be.’ Or the
desire to be free. Such desires arise within a context in which the need is already met.
Such need has nothing to do with the world of life content. It will not be met when ‘I have a new car, or live in a new place, or change my job.’ Nor can the need be rejected by the power of content, which we cannot control (although the conditioned mind will yammer on about the ways that we, in fact, can, thus perpetuating our world of longing.)
This need, this deepest heart’s desire, is a reflection of who we are at the core of our being. Because we are conditioned to have our attention on the content, say, my example of ‘a new partner,’ we miss the process of ‘longing to experience love more deeply.’
What do we mean by ‘the desire arising within a context in which the need is already met?’ Your experience of unconditional love is what calls you to unconditional love. If you hadn’t experienced it, you wouldn’t have a taste for it. It is your experience of ‘simply being’ that calls you to ‘just be.’
When we are in touch with what our deepest heart’s desire is, underneath the holograms of content, we can begin to practice moving though the world from this essence. Because this essence is a reflection of who we are at the core of our being, we can practice learning to live our lives from a direct experience of who we actually are, rather than the illusion of what we ‘should’ be or ‘wish we were.’ It is that manifestation – living life from the source of who we are, without confusion, that leads to joy.
For what could be more joyful than moving through the world, participating with life, from the awareness that who you authentically are is precisely the experience that you’ve been hoping to find? From such a place, we can participate with life by developing an ability to not get in the way of life, via all our conditioned shananagins – ie. ‘trying to be right, seeking control, incessant craving.’ From this new place we participate by resting in the awareness that we are what we’ve longed for. We are what we’ve sought. Once there is clarity about such needs being inherently met, we can fully realize that anything is possible and thus go about whatever task is at hand motivated by our joy, rather than our suffering.
Caverly Morgan has been devoted to Zen Awareness Practice for the last sixteen years, during eight of which she lived and trained at a silent Zen Monastery. She is the founder and director of One House of Peace, a nonprofit organization that began as a small meditation center in Sacramento, CA, and has recently expanded into Portland, OR, where Caverly maintains her own spiritual practice while offering the gift of practice to others.
Caverly currently teaches workshops throughout the country, including regular workshops in Portland, Sacramento, and Charlottesville, VA. Caverly also sees clients, who wish to bring a practice of consciousness into their lives and/or deepen their spiritual pathway, on an individual basis. In working with students, she is known for addressing the questioner, not merely the question. Her unique combination of humor and clarity, along with her unwavering commitment to consciousness, provide the foundation for the work of transformation that she practices and offers to the world.
One House of Peace now offers ‘Peace in the Schools’ to teach students how to achieve their full potential through mindful practice. Students learn to pay attention to their internal daily-life experience and cultivate understanding and compassion for themselves and others.For daily inspiration from One House of Peace like them on Facebook.
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