I was on an OWA meditation ZOOM this Sunday that the brilliant Matthew Preece lead. About half-way into it, he read a quote from Preethaji referencing a "tension that causes joy." That did NOT make sense. I mean, think about it... tension is about tightness. The definition includes the state of being stretched tight and the state caused by forces acting against each other. So my visual of this in relationships is two people holding a rope and pulling in opposite directions or two people rooted to the ground pushing each other away. That doesn't sound joyful! In fact, it sounds the opposite of joyful -- it sounds like conflict, it sounds like STRESS.
Matthew has been leading OWA meditations a lot longer than I have and is incredibly insightful. Could it be that there was something I had totally and completely missed in all my training on all the teachings over the last couple years? .... Matthew is also from London and has a British accent. After a few rather confused moments, I realized I had misunderstood what he said. What he actually read was "It's attention that causes joy."
Ah, attention causes joy! Now that made sense! When you are actually paying attention to another but not projecting some ideal on them, or observing them from the past incident, you have joy. Plus, you are paying attention to yourself and your thoughts and emotions. So, my new shorthand for remembering what to do when I'm feeling tense or stressed and less than joyful is Attention Relieves Tension (And I like the way it sounds.)
The mediations of OWA are so practical. They help to bring attention and awareness to the real root of our tension and stress. You can hear from Matthew and other OWA meditation teachers every Sunday at 11am (EST). Just go to: zoom.us/j/880382296. (Note: the second Sunday of each month is always special, when OWA faculty lead a global the call at at different link: zoom.us/j/465622693)