Monday, March 3, 2014

Joy in My Ear

UPDATE: 2/28/14: My ear finally cleared for good! That's how long it took. This article was originally published 4/2/10. It got much better initially, but then I let it sit like that for a long time. In the end, it was just pain-body. When I finally developed enough presence to concentrate on it, I felt it move from my ear (like a little sprite or tiny benign demon that had found what it thought was a home; use what metaphor you will) into my cheekbone and then finally disappear.

Sweep your body clean daily. Search it with your awareness and winnow out any pockets of negativity in its physical dimension. Turn off your mind and feel your body from the inside. Call this meditation if you like.

It isn't pretty. Check your heart. Check your guts--negativity loves to linger there. Check your legs, your knees. Check your ears. Yes, that's right, you heard me correctly: CHECK YOUR EARS!

For many years, my left ear has been clogged. It's something I have accepted. But I have cleared out all the other "normal" pockets of anxiety (See A Cure for Anxiety Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4). What is this but anxiety? Why differentiate? Negativity, absence of joy, call it what you like.

That's right, you heard me correctly: ABSENCE OF JOY!

Our body's natural state is joy (See The Joy of Being, Explained). You should feel a dull, barely perceptible joy at all times in the background as you progress through your day. But whenever it occurs to you, it's there, you feel it.

Joy is your body's natural state, and it will generally cure what ails you. It's not that you turn it on as a result of meditation (or running, or holding your baby) and then turn it off in your daily life. When you meditate, you are simply focused on it and can turn it on more brightly.

For joy to obtain in your body, all you have to do is remember it, allow it. For many people this is natural. For many others, unnatural neutrality has been taught and learned. And for yet others, outright negativity is their constant state.

Without a doubt, I will get out the Q-Tips, the hydrogen peroxide, a trip to the doctor, whatever it takes--I told you this wouldn't be pretty. It might even uncover another dietary change I need to make (See A Cure for Anxiety - Part 4).

But don't be fooled. The root cause of this problem is an absence of joy in my ear.

Photo credit: InventorSpot


  1. It's odd, but I think I'm in a way afraid of joy. Maybe that's why I block it out and have pockets of negativity that show up physically as aches and minor maladies, and emotionally as occasional doldrums.

    I like what you say Todd about sweeping the body clean with awareness. Awareness is energy, after all, and when the energy of awareness is beamed into the body it truly does seem to have a cleansing effect. I've experienced this directly from doing body scan meditations.

    I hope you find a joyful doctor to help unplug your ear. Even though absence of joy is plugging up your ear, use whatever sensible remedies you can to unplug it- that's an intelligent approach. Spiritual understanding doesn't negate conventional approaches to healing, and vice versa- they can work together.

  2. This joy really changes the external circumstances of our lives. It is what we are trying to get to. It can seem scary to feel it. But we must be brave and accept the new life that is awaiting us. I'm preaching to myself as much as to anyone else.


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