Reading: Joy on Demand
I really enjoyed his first book Search Inside Yourself and couldn’t wait to read Joy on Demand after reading the reviews.
I found his second book a little less accessible than the first, there’s a lot of mastery and “high level” enlightenment that is difficult to comprehend as it comes with tens of thousands of meditation hours to reach that level of detachment.
And managing suffering while still practicing compassion – I get it conceptually but I am so far behind in the reality of practice, I must admit I was a little discouraged.
So instead, I am working on baby steps on enjoying and mindfully staying present with slivers of joy – the relief going going to the loo when you really need to pee… going into an air conditioned space after sweating like crazy from the sweltering heat.
The idea to enjoy this little moments “this feels nice” is training the brain into little habits of joy and and gratefulness. And above all, practising mindfulness and being present in the moment.
“We have a mind condition that makes us itch for two types of pleasure: pleasure of the senses and pleasure of the ego. When our senses are pleasantly stimulated, as when we eat something tasty, or our ego is pleasantly stimulated, as when we are praised for something we did, we feel joy, which is good.
What is even better is if we can feel joy independent of sense or ego pleasure. For example, when we are eating chocolate, we experience joy, and when we are just sitting there not eating chocolate, we still experience joy. In order to do this, we train the mind to access joy even when it is free from stimulation. This is also the secret of raising your happiness set point.”
I probably have to revisit the book at another point in time with more meditation practice and more mindfulness practice.