Sowing: Seeds of Joy

For this last day of March and our theme of Sowing, I share a practice that I recently learned from an article by Elisha Goldstein.

Here are my shortcut instructions if you don’t want to read the article:

1. Get three index cards.

2. On the first print these words:

Joy for my Joy

“May I enjoy the achievements of my life.”

“May I open to the joy that is in me, and be happy.”

 “Breathing in, opening to joy, breathing out, I smile.”

3. On the second print these words:

Joy for Another’s Joy

“May I open to the joy in you.”

“May I delight in your success and be happy for it.”

“May your happiness and good fortune not leave you.”

4. On the third print these words:

Joy for All our Joy

“May all people enjoy success in whatever they set out to do.”

“May we all be free of jealousy and envy of others.”

“May everyone who has it share their good fortune with others.”

Decide what time of day you will do this each day and find a space where you can sit and not be disturbed for about 10 minutes.

Sitting comfortably, hold the cards in your hands.  Begin with the first card.  You may have a particular thing in your life for which you want to experience joy, or you may use the first card to invite those things to memory.  Spend a few minutes breathing in and opening to joy, and breathing out and smiling.  Say to yourself, on the inhale:  opening to joy;  and on the exhale: I smile.  When you feel a shift inside yourself, go to the next card. Think of someone whose joy you want to celebrate and work through the second card in the same way, spending a few minutes holding the thoughts suggested there.  Likewise, end the meditation by working through the third card and holding the experience of joy for the whole world.

I see this meditation taking about 10 minutes.  Maybe less.  Maybe more.  Let’s see what it’s like to cultivate joy in ourselves and for others and in the world.  I am practicing this every day for the next 30 days.  I invite you to join me.

Bob Patrick

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