If you want to live positively and joyfully, learn to give the fruits of your actions to others, and determine that you will not allow yourself to be bothered by anything in the exterior world. If you do not learn to give, then you are being selfish and negative. A negative person is selfish; a positive person is generous. You cannot rely on a negative person. There are some people who never come in contact with their positive emotions – they only remain negative all the time. And because of this they are unable to give to others.

So learn to give to your own people, those with whom you live, those who are closest to you. Learn to give spontaneously in your mind, action, and speech. That is your first step to freedom. It is attained when you learn to do your actions with love and learn to give. Love means non-harming, so you should resolve that you will not harm, hurt, or injure your spouse, children, or friends – that means that you love them. The expression of your love is not hurting or harming others. Love does not consist of telling someone that you love them and cannot live without them – that is mere selfishness. If you love someone, then don’t harm or hurt them – that is the real expression of your love.

Editor’s Note

This is an excerpt from The Art of Joyful Living by Swami Rama, published by Himalayan Institute Press.

From the 2010 – 2013 Practice given by Swami Veda Bharati to the AHYMSIN sangha: “Read Swami Rama’s ART OF JOYFUL LIVING. Keep track of what progress you are making in the paths shown there.”