Joy


What does it take to generate joy?  I say this is a question worthy of my attention, your attention, our attention.

Is there an experience that is more nourishing than joy?  The joy of being alive- present to the gift of life?  I say for me there is no experience that nourishes me more than joy.  What about you?

How often do you experience joy? Are you present to joy every moment? No?  How about every minute? No? How about every hour? No? How about once a day?  No? How about once a week? No? How about once a month?  No?

When was the last time you experienced joy?  When was the last time you opened the doors of your being to allow joy enter your life?  When?  Can you even remember?  And if you and I do not experience the joy in living then I ask this: what is the point of our living, of being alive?  Why bother with it all?

As I grapple with this question what shows up for me?  That my default way of being-in-this-world is to be on a journey.  What goes with a journey?  Planning. Preparing. Travelling. Hurdles-Obstacles-Surprise. Dealing with obstacles-hurdles-suprises. Breakdowns. Dealing with breakdowns. Busyness. Arrival at destination. Rest. Onwards to the next destination.  And the cycle repeats.

If you and I are so busy on busyness of life and our focus in on achievement then the doors of our being are locked. What are they locked to? Being present to that which is present. Being present to the miracle that is our existence.  Being present to the wonder of this world. Being present to joy – the joy of being here right now in this world.

I stopped the other day.  I took over the left over bread. Slowly patiently I tore it up into little pieces.  A smile was present on my face and in my being. Then I opened the door, went into the garden, and left these breadcrumbs in the right place – place where I see the birds hopping about.  In that being/doing I was a little child once more. Joy was present.  The joy of being connected with life. The joy of transcending selfishness and being of service.

On returning to the house it occurred to me that it really does not take much for joy to enter my house of being.  All it takes is thinking of my fellow participants in this game of life and engaging in little acts of kindness.  Making a cup of tea for wife or sons. Giving a hug. Receiving a hug. Telling a friend that she shows up as a source of inspiration for me. Cleaning the house so that it sparkles. Reading a book. Watching a movie. Writing. Going for a walk and allowing my face to be touched by sunshine.

Sometimes it doesn’t even take that. It just requires being present. Yesterday, driving daughter over to the gym, she asked me if she could turn on the radio. I said yes. Shortly, she was listening to one of her favourite songs, singing along beautifully and then the following came forth: “I just love music!” Wow! I found myself to be sharing in some of her joy.

It occurs to me that joy shows up when I chose to be joyous. It occurs to me that joy shows up when I wonder that I exist, the sun exists, the sky exists, laughter exists, hugs exist, movies exist, that I can drive…..It occurs to me that joy shows up when I put myself into action and contribute to the wellbeing of others.  How about you?

Getting present to the ‘awe/wonder’of Existence


“Existence is infinite, not to be defined: and though it seem a bit of wood in your hand, to carve as you please, it is not to be lightly played with and laid down.”  Lao Tzu

I say that if you and I dive into this, really dive into it, our experience of our living is transformed.  To be present to the awe and the wonder of Existence is to move from ‘ordinary living’ to ‘extraordinary living’. Sometimes, when I am present to that which exists between my daughter and I, I am profoundly shaken.  She is my world. And she exists only because my wife had a miscarriage.  It could so easily have been otherwise.

In the West, Existence is no big thing.  Existence slipped into the background centuries ago and most of us are never present to the ‘awe’ of existence.   That the mountains are.  That oceans and rivers are.  That waterfalls are.  That rain is. That snows is.  That the wind is. That trees are.  That grass is.  That deserts are. That lions are.  That birds are.  That fish are……….That I am.  That you are.  That we are together as beings-in-the-world.  That feelings are.  That love is. That sadness is.  That laughter is.  That language is…….

How magnificent Existence is!

“Existence is infinite, not to be defined: and though it seem a bit of wood in your hand, to carve as you please, it is not to be lightly played with and laid down.”  Lao Tzu

If you need some help in getting present to the awe/wonder of Existence I recommend reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy.