Awake in the World

Awake in the World

Finding Balance Between Joy and Pain

Life is a series of ups and downs. It’s a pleasure between two pains. We get something we want and are happy for a little while and then something breaks down or gets in the way and we feel upset. The result can be anger, tears, hurt and despair. But nature is filled with joy and so are we, even if we can’t connect with it.

If you’ve ever flown on a plane you know that it’s possible to take off in the rain or fog on a dreary day and then soar up to 30,000 feet, high above the clouds where the sun is its usual bright self. Regardless of the weather on Earth and the clouds or anything else that may obscure it, the sun continues to be itself and shine on.


This is the nature of the sun. It’s also the nature of the spark of the Divine that shines within human hearts. Even if our troubled emotions, fears and worries obscure it, the joy or ananda (bliss in Sanskrit) is constant and unaffected. In Sanskrit that which is eternal and divine in the human being is called atma. Attuning to the Divine outside of us is a way to becoming aware of the Divine within us. May religious traditions say that God is omnipresent. I love the saying I heard in India: “God is above you, around you, belove you and in you.”

Our actions, thoughts and feelings can obscure it and make that Divine nature appear dim or nonexistent. For one who is in tune with it, a radiance shines from them giving a glow of joy.


Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at

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