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“Joy is our birthright!”

by Michael Ketterhagen

My yoga teacher proclaimed this in one of his recent lectures. He was talking about the result of the Vishoka Meditation practice. He meant that at our core there is a presence of absolute joy. The joy he speaks of is the fruit of the Vishoka Meditation practice.


I supposed that just by the fact that we are a child of the Creator, whatever name or label we may give that reality, we are the child of joy, freedom, love and compassion. But what if we don’t have a loving image or understanding of the Creator. What if we think that the Creator often “mis-creates.” Yoga would say that my mind was distorted somewhere in my life and that I have lost touch with my true self.


Look at children! When they are fed and feel safe and secure, they are very happy and express their joy in many ways. Maybe we are trained to be sad, trained to suffer. Maybe we were not given what we need either in utero or in early childhood.


Humans are created usually in joy… in the pleasurable experience of the man and the woman involved in the sexual encounter. If that is the case, then why do we suffer? Buddha says it is because of our desires. We suffer because we want something and can’t have it or we have something and are worried about losing it.


Even the woman who carries the child in utero often experiences painful moments during the pregnancy and certainly during the birthing process. Joy only comes when the eyes of the mother fall on the child who has emerged from her womb. She forgets the painful moments that preceded.


Is this the case with true joy? Joy is often preceded by painful moments or challenges that are not necessarily pleasant.


But maybe joy is not sensual or even imagined but only experienced through awareness. Maybe there is an entirely different aspect to reality that is not sensory or not even imaginal.

In my practice of Vishoka Meditation that seems to be the case. True joy transcends the sensory and imaginal systems of our knowledge. True joy just blooms like the sudden awareness of the rainbow or the brilliant sunset or sunrise. It is just there!


I think this is the joy of the experience of union with our Creator, the joy that is just known by all around us, when we are born. It is the joy too that comes from deep “listening” meditation.


That is our birthright.


I pray to the divinity in you!

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