Posts

Showing posts from November, 2011

Rare and Precious Joy

Image
When I talk to people about how much they experience joy, most say, “Not so much.” Joy is not a frequent visitor, and when it does appear, it’s fleeting.
Joy arises when we are open to both the beauty and suffering inherent in living. Like a great sky that includes all different types of weather, joy is an expansive quality of presence. It says “Yes to life, no matter what!”Yet it’s infrequency lets us know our more habitual posture: resisting what’s happening, saying “No” to the life that is here and now.We tend to override our innate capacity for joy with our incessant inner dialogue, our chronic attempts to avoid unpleasantness and to hold on to pleasure. Rather than joy in the present moment, we are trying to get somewhere else, to experience something that is better, different.
The great French writer, André Gide, said: “Know that joy is rarer, more difficult and more beautiful than sadness. Once you make this all-important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation.”
J…

Living Whole-Heartedly

Image
The happiest people I know have something in common: they are whole-hearted in how they engage in their lives...whole-hearted in relating with others, in work, in meditation, and in play. They have a capacity to give themselves thoroughly to the present moment. Yet for many, it's challenging to engage with this quality of presence. Take this personal ad for example. It says: Free to a good home, beautiful 6-month old male kitten, orange and caramel tabby, playful, friendly, very affectionate, ideal for family with kids.  OR handsome 32-year old husband, personable, funny, good job, but doesn't like cats.  He or the cat goes.  Call Jennifer and decide which one you'd like. How often do we find that in our relationships, rather than loving presence, we have an agenda for someone to change, to be different? How often do we find that our insecurities prevent us from being spontaneous, or whole-heartedly engaged with friends? You might think of one important relationship and ask y…