'Awake Joy' is the radiance that strings the happy and unhappy moments of the life situation together like the pearls of a necklace. In the direct realization of this radiance, the pearls dissolve into the precious freedom of conscious joy. Sensibly, inherent joy can not be given to you, nor can it be taken away. In essence, it is who you really are. If you are searching for joy, you are what you are seeking and in seeking, you can not realize your radiance.

I am not a therapeutic guide, who changes your life story, so that you can be more joyful. I am suggesting that you leave the story alone for awhile and turn your attention to the storyteller. In your willingness to surrender the teller of tales, joy naturally emerges. The life story then effortlessly transforms to reflect that joyful transcendence.

Of course, the conditioned mind does love repetition, so it is persistent. If you have ever read books to small children, perhaps you have noticed that they love reading the same stories over and over. They cherish the security of knowing the storyline and they adore the anticipation and expectation of what is already known. This is similar to repetitive adult storylines as we anticipate more of the same. The ego loves the known, because it is based upon it. Ego freedom is the end of psychological suffering and the conscious realization of ever-present joy.

Waves of Emotion

When you are identified with your story, you believe that outside circumstances cause your emotions to change. For example, someone does something that you either love or hate, so you feel either happy or angry. This translates that if you are happy, somebody can take it away and if you are angry, somebody else should fix it. By surrendering your true power in this manner, you helplessly ride the waves of emotion. You remain subject to their merciless push and pull. Your opportunity is to turn attention inward in self-observation to attend to what remains pristine and untouched by emotion.

At first glance, you begin realizing that your attitudes about past situations are linked to present emotional reactions through conditioned thought. Based on past experience, this conditioned linkage is the actual cause of your emotional storms. This is self-inflicted psychological suffering. You can not learn the Joy of Being, but you can observe how you deny this truth through self-observation.

You can observe how you drain your life force as you willingly perpetuate negative emotions through storytelling. You can even become aware of the instant, when you choose to do so. Meanwhile deep within, constant joy is, without the need of any condition or circumstance. My invitation is to look deeper than the storyteller for its discovery.

The Sky over the Sea

In attention to the here and now, you enjoy the sky over the sea of emotion. That is to say, you are free of the negative impact of your thoughts and their automatic constellation into negative emotion. When you sense the aliveness of simply being now, joy transpires. In the now, the time required for thought’s progression does not exist. Therefore, there are no thoughts to cause emotional contractions within your body. Mind can only do one thing at a time. When it is in still attention, it can not think.

This is not to say that life is then listless or lackluster. In lieu of the never-ending emotional roller coaster, you experience a changeless joy, which is gleefully energizing. Free in the sky of now, you are free of your self-created emotional reactions.

By observing, you discover that virtually all psychological suffering is due to your continued relationship with the past and the storyteller. This view is based on your psychological memory, which is the story that you are maintaining about a past incident. You can not get rid of your pain and keep your painful story. The result of psychological memory is that you live your concept of the past in the present moment.

We misconstrue the now to be a fleeting instant that is insignificantly squeezed between the past that we are trying to get over and the future that we are trying to reach. If we would examine more carefully, we would realize that the continuous now is virtually all there is. The Now is outside of time and therefore, it is the refuge of timelessness. Timelessness is eternal. There is nothing fleeting in forever.

Through self-observation, the emotional aspect of the mind can not use you. Instead, you become aware of your conditioning. This conditioning is the past alive in you. It is always earmarked by some sort of unease that surfaces as an emotional reaction. This is why it is unnecessary to process the past in order to be free of the past. A past fixation can only create more pain. Contrarily, when you are free of your conditioning in the present, you realize freedom from the past.

Releasing your conditioned behavior is not an external action. You release it through silent and still inner watching. You become conscious of your repetitive thinking and how it is linked to your emotions. Because you are observing, you no longer tend to identify with your thoughts, which source your emotional reactions. Through self-observation, you are distanced or detached from the troublesome inner dialogue. It is when you are distracted from the here and now that you identify with complicated circumstances. You are then mechanically tossed about by the waves of your past.

Of course, Now always is, whether you attend to it or not. I am saying that it does not really matter. In truth, you are always free and always Now. However, to realize this emotional freedom, you watch your inner dialogue to be present with your emotions. Instead of resisting the push and pull, you welcome the emotions as you observe and feel them. You become conscious of your mind activity and its attempt to add intensity to emotional situations. In doing so, you become aware of the internal mechanisms of perpetuation.

During self-observation, I am not asking you to change anything. I am asking you to simply watch. In Presence, you will find that you are not your mind, nor the emotional aspect of mind, your emotions. This is not to deny your emotions. In fact, by fully experiencing them consciously, you realize true freedom. Through uninvolved attention, you are liberated from the unconscious tendency to judge, label and categorize outer circumstances and inner feelings. Initially, your emotions are reduced to mere waves of sensation through your physical form. Subsequently, you notice that you are here before, during and after every emotion. While the sensations are impermanent, you realize that the one watching is absolutely still, permanent and free. In this discovery, you are joyfully unbound in the Sky of Now.

Author's Bio: 

Katie Davis is author of "Awake Joy" and travels worldwide to offer events in the form of satsang in spiritual gatherings. In 1986, Katie radically and spontaneously awakened without practices or teachers. More information, free videos and free newsletters with articles on being now, spiritual awakening and enlightenment, visit KatieDavis.org.