The Path of Joy


Mridu analyses what lies beneath the joyful role that many meditators display.


Joy is superficial and meditation is a serious case. Right?


But this is indeed what we have been taught for generations…

So, let us examine the case step by step.

Most of us have been told during our childhood that “we laugh like idiots” or “we laugh for no reason” or we have been the target of serious criticism being asked, “what are you laughing at?” and we have heard countless adjectives and phrases that have blemished joy and laughter with negative imprints. This is clearly what society has taught us.

dancers at Serendipity Athens

But is this the case?

Osho says again and again that life is to be celebrated and to be enjoyed moment to moment. He adds that the temple is not for the long-faced, it has never been for them, and that our cleverness is our disease. He keeps on asking us if we have ever seen a neurotic animal; he underlines that a little foolishness and a little wisdom is good and that the right combination makes us Buddhas. But we still do not get it!

What do we really miss? And where to search for what we are missing?

While commenting on Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, Osho also asserts that in the ultimate level of consciousness the child emerges, innocent, spontaneous and true to its own being. Is there a chance then, that the last step on the scale of consciousness is regaining the first one? Regaining our childhood? And what is the elementary quality that characterizes one’s childhood?

What we have surely forgotten is the invaluable quality of playfulness; the quality that connects us with the ability to wonder, to wander, to trust, to discover, to experience, to grow. All these qualities have been categorised by society as ‘useless’ on our life’s journey and have been violently crushed under the burden of ‘success’, ‘effectiveness’, ‘normality’ and ‘safety’. All these qualities have been finally obliterated, leaving in us just a delicate thread that we recognize as our own ‘creativity’.

But this is not just the case for people who have let themselves be depleted under the pressure of society’s ideals but it also concerns many meditators among us who have put in a lot of effort to regain playfulness and joy, having created a new “conditioning of joy and fulfillment” that we express to others – yet we still manage to create sorrow deep inside.

Why is this so?

Let’s examine a phenomenon that is present in every human being, namely the deep need to have a purpose that will lead us towards a meaningful life. Another one is our need to idealise this purpose in order to support our self on the difficult journey towards attaining this purpose. And finally comes our need to show to our self and to others that we have attained the purpose, that we have succeeded.

In this last step a lot of us have become totally lost; we may have touched our joy and we may live sensing the bouquet of our joy, but we haven’t really connected with it. We have pushed our self to show that we are connected with the joy of life, stressed by the fear of a possible failure; as a result the part in us that has not been fully connected with joy plays its ‘joyful role’ and suppresses the sadness that it experiences. Often, too scared to admit it, we hide this part from others and ourselves, until cancer knocks on our door as the last witness to our true condition.

The conditioning we carry is very strong in attaining ‘our’ goals in life. In the case of many meditators, maybe the goals have changed from material to spiritual ones, but they still remain goals. Osho says emphatically:

There is no final destination life is going towards.Just the pilgrimage, just the journey in itself is life, not reaching to some point, no goal – just dancing and being in a pilgrimage, moving joyously, without bothering about any destination. What will you do by getting to a destination? If you really reach the destination of life, then what? Then you will look embarrassed. Nowhere to go…you have reached to the final destination – and in the journey you have lost everything.”

Osho, Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, Ch 7


Mridu TNBodhi Mridu Makri, M.A. in Psychology and Counselling, is also certified in Art Therapy, Primal Therapy, Meditative Therapies, Mindfulness and Energywork. She shares her passion for meditation and for people since 1990 and is one of the founders of Serendipity Institute for Creative Living in Athens. She is an Osho Therapist with 15 years of experience in working with people and leading groups.

Mridu has created two unique meditative groups on the path of joy – at the end of July and at the end of August 2014.

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