The kind of spirituality I value
is one in which you get great joy
out of contributing to life, not
just sitting and meditating,
although meditation is certainly
valuable. But from the meditation,
from the resulting consciousness,
I would like to see people in
action creating the world that they
want to live in.
~ Marshall Rosenberg
Joy is a Light
Joy seems to me a step beyond
happiness – happiness is a sort
of atmosphere you can live in
sometimes, when you’re lucky.
Joy is a light that fills you with
hope and faith and love.
~ Adela Rogers St. Johns
Peace is Present
Peace is present right here and
now, in ourselves and in
everything we do and see. The
question is whether or not we are
in touch with it. We don’t have to
travel far away to enjoy the blue
sky. We don’t have to leave our
city or even our neighborhood to
enjoy the eyes of a beautiful child.
Even the air we breathe can be a
source of joy.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
From: The Long Road Turns to Joy
By Thich Nhat Hanh
The seed of mindfulness is in us, but we usually forget to water it.
We think that happiness is possible only in the future-when we get
a house, a car, a Ph.D. We struggle in our mind and body, and we
don’t touch the peace and joy that are available right now-the blue
sky, the green leaves, the eyes of our beloved. What is most
important? Many people have passed exams and bought houses and
cars, and yet they are still unhappy. What is most important in life is
to find peace and to share it with others. To have peace, you can
begin by walking peacefully. Everything depends on your steps.
From After the Ecstasy, the Laundry:
How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path
by Jack Kornfield
For almost everyone who practices, cycles of awakening and
openness are followed by periods of fear and contraction.
Times of profound peace and newfound love are often over-
taken by periods of loss, by closing up, fear, or the discovery
of betrayal, only to be followed again by equanimity or joy. In
mysterious ways the heart reveals itself to be like a flower that
opens and closes. This is our nature. The only surprising thing is
how unexpected this truth can be. It is as if deep down we all
hope that some experience, some great realization, enough years
of dedicated practice, might finally lift us beyond the touch of
life, beyond the mundane struggles of the world. We cling to
some hope that in spiritual life we can rise above the wounds of
our human pain, never to have to suffer them again. We expect
some experience to last. But permanence is not true freedom,
not the sure heart’s release.
From Turning The Mind Into An Ally
By Sakyong Mipham
When I’m teaching, people often ask me questions in hopes of hearing some esoteric truth. They seem to want me to tell them a secret. But the most fundamental secret I know is rooted in something that we already possess, basic goodness. In spite of the extreme hardship and cruelty we see happening throughout the world, the basis of everything is completely pure and good. Our heart and mind are inherently awake. This basic goodness is a quality of complete wholesomeness. It includes everything.
But before we can begin the adventure of transforming ourselves into awakened people-much less the adventure of living our lives with true joy and happiness, we need to discover this secret for ourselves. Then we have the real possibility of cultivating courage, from which we can radiate love and compassion to others.
Excerpted from The Mind and the Way
By Ajahn Sumedho
With mindfulness, we can be independent of the positions other people are taking. We can stand on our own two feet and take responsibility for acting in a virtuous way, regardless of what the rest of sociery is doing.I can be kind, generous, and loving toward you, and that is a joy to me.But if I make my happiness dependent upon your being kind to me, then it will always be threatened, because if you aren’t doing what I like-behaving the way I want you to-then I’m going to be unhappy. So then, my happiness is always under threat because the world might not behave as I want it to.
It’s clear that I would spend the rest of my life being terribly disappointed if I expected everything to change-if I expected everybody to become virtuous, wars to stop, money not to be wasted, governments to be compassionate, sharing, and giving-everything to be just exactly the way I want it! Actually, I don’t expect to see very much of that in my lifetime, but there is no point in being miserable about it ; happiness based on what I want is not all that important.
Joy isn’t dependent on getting things, or on the world going the way you want, or on people behaving the way they should, or on their giving you all the things you like and want. Joyfulness isn’t dependent upon anything but your own willingness to be generous, kind, and loving. It’s that mature experience of giving, sharing, and developing the science of goodness. Virtuousness is the joy we can experience in this human realm. So, although what society is doing or what everyone else is doing is beyond my control-I can’t go around making everything how I want it- still, I can be kind, generous, and patient,and do good, and develop virtue. That I can do, and that’s worth doing, and not something anyone can stop me from doing. However rotten or corrupted society is doesn’t make any difference to our ability to be virtuous and to do good.