THE NOT ACCIDENTAL JOY
Posted: June 1st 2021
When was the last time you felt joy?
Because our minds tend to get preoccupied with what’s wrong we may not notice the absence of joy in our lives.
I remember when I was listening to a dharma talk on the four heavenly abodes (joy is one) and it struck me that joy had become foreign to me. My kids were little and I had a lot on my plate. I was chronically grumpy. Irritation, worry, and escape were my unconscious practices.
My heart felt brittle. It longed to remember joy. When I learned that there were practices that could reconnect me to the giddiness of being a little girl running around the backyard I was game to try.
I’m not talking about fake joy. Fake joy is what we buy into when we get hooked by thinking that I’ll be happy once I get there or have that. If I only had a bigger house. If I only didn’t have cancer. If I only had a partner that really understands me, then I'd be happy.
I’m talking about boundless, unconditional joy. The term we use in Buddhism is mudita.
When we shore up the heart with wholesome states we have more steadiness, the nervous system can let down, and we can enjoy our lives more.
P.S. I love this poem by Lynne Ungar…
The Way it Is
One morning you might wake up
to realize that the knot in your stomach
had loosened itself and slipped away,
and that the pit of unfulfilled longing in your heart
had gradually, and without your really noticing,
been filled in—patched like a pothole, not quite
the same as it was, but good enough.
And in that moment it might occur to you
that your life, though not the way
you planned it, and maybe not even entirely
the way you wanted it, is nonetheless—
persistently, abundantly, miraculously—
exactly the way it is.
Let’s practice together. Watch Carina's Dharma Talk & Meditation on <The Medicine of Joy> OR Click Here to see Carina's Current LIVE Offerings.
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