The Key to Living a Joy-filled Life

The Key to Living a Joy-filled Life

Discover how the practices of Kriya Yoga awaken the heart and reveal innate divine qualities such as self-restraint, generosity, humility, and perseverance on the spiritual path. Listen to the podcast episode below where Yogacharya Ellen Grace O’Brian discusses the key to living a joy-filled life.




Segment One: Live an Awakened Life

  • What is Kriya Yoga?
  • What do you mean by Kriya Yoga living?
  • Would you describe for our listeners what an awakened life involves?

Kriya Yoga teaches that we are already whole and One with Universal Consciousness. I like the analogy that we are like a lamp with a dusty shade dimming the light.

  • How can we change, clean the lampshade, to fulfill our potential as divine beings?

The Bhagavad Gita chapter 16:1-3 list 26 qualities to cultivate liberation. In a recent Satsang series, you emphasized several of these qualities to nurture an awakened heart and open the mind to the truth of who we are, including self-restraint, generosity, humility, and perseverance. Kriya Yoga teaches that our essential self is divine and unchanging.

  • What do you mean by an “innate divine quality”?
  • How is it that our unchanging essential self has qualities?

When you talked about self-restraint you said, “One who is controlled by self-restraint obtains peace and peace removes all sorrows.”

  • Would you say more about that?
  • How do we stay anchored in the soul?

The Gita refers to humility as freedom from pride.

  • What is true humility?
  • Would you explain the difference between egotism and egoism?
  • How do we get over the inflated ego and begin to cultivate humility?


Segment Two: Qualities of an Awakened Heart

In the first part, we talked about Kriya Yoga living and the qualities to live an awakened life.  We started with self-restraint and humility.  Let’s move on to perseverance on the spiritual path.

Your guru, Roy Eugene Davis, often shared the quote from Lahiri Mahasaya, “Keep on keeping on, behold one day, the goal!” Paramahansa Yogananda also said: “Let your devotion to God be like a wood fire that burns steadily for a long time; not like a straw fire that produces a bright flame then quickly goes out.”

  • Why is it so important to be steadfast and stable to live an awakened life?
  • How can we build our perseverance?

Generosity is another divine quality.

  • What advice do you give about practicing generosity?

Freedom from anger is another important quality of an awakened heart. For some of us, anger, grief, frustration, negativity, and complaining have escalated to even greater levels during the pandemic. The yogic goal is to abide in the soul’s peace and stability so anger doesn’t arise.  But sometimes anger does come.

  • Would you talk about the 4 steps we can practice to move past anger?
  • Discern where anger comes from (thwarted attachments)
  • Learn how to manage anger (cultivate the opposite)
  • Discover how to transform anger (take restless energy and put it into constructive action)
  • Realize freedom from anger (dive deeper: Who do I want to choose to be?)

That brings us to the quality of Uprightness. In your blogpost on uprightness you write, “Uprightness unlocks our highest potential. It’s living the simple straightforward truth of our divine Self with courage and commitment.”

  • Would you expand on the definition of uprightness?
  • What does it look like to live life as a straightforward person?
  • In closing, what words of encouragement or inspiration would you like to leave our listeners?


The Yoga Hour Podcast offers inspiration, insights, and time-tested practices from the ancient system of Kriya Yoga—a philosophy and practice for spiritually conscious, fulfilled living today. This hour of dialogue with internationally renowned spiritual teachers offers keen insight into universal principles for enlightened living while touching the most practical aspects of our lives such as work, relationships, health, and diet.






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