Joy does not simply happen to us.
We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.
If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.
Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities.
It is always our conscious choice which garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present — love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure — the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.
Sarah Ban Breathnach
The concept of wasted time doesn’t exist for a meditator. Little dead spaces during your day can be turned into profit. Every spare moment can be used for meditation. Sitting anxiously in the dentist’s office, meditate on your anxiety. Feeling irritated while standing in a line at the bank, meditate on irritation. Bored, twiddling your thumbs at the bus stop, meditate on that boredom. Try to stay alert and aware throughout the day. Be mindful of exactly what is taking place right now, even if it is tedious drudgery. Take advantage of the moments you are alone. Take advantage of activities that are largely mechanical. Use every spare second to be mindful. Use all the moments you can.
This early morning saw beautiful sunshine and finally the cherry tree at the end of the garden burst into flower. A picture of growth and life. And yet this last week I have gotten some news that reminded me that we are all subject to illness and change. There are times that we cannot predict or even understand all that happens to us or to those who are dear to us. And my work brings me into almost continual contact with the struggles and inner yearnings of people and also the deep-rooted patterns and habits that keep them locked in fear and anxiety. When things go well, as they have been for some time now, or when I am blessed to sit early in the garden on a day such as this, I easily fall into the belief that this will remain the case for ever. However, the news of this week and events over the last few weeks – with the disaster in Japan and the outbreak of war in Libya and the struggles of people in Syria and the Ivory Coast – remind me that our life here is unsatisfactory in a fundamental way. We can never be certain of the permanence of any external thing to which we look for our feelings of wellbeing. So this throws me back inside myself and to the ongoing cultivation of a quality of awareness that can work with everything that happens, good and bad. Moments like this help me to focus on the question of how I are living this life which is constantly subject to change. It reminds me to work with life as it is and not just with the parts that are as I like. What are the priorities I choose and which I want to endure? Can I practice mindfulness in all my choices? Where am I focusing my energy? In the small corner of the world where I am, can I stay in contact with people around that which is important and let go of all that contributes to the suffering of the world?
You are like a candle. Imagine you are sending light out all around you. All your words, thoughts and actions are going in many directions. If you say something kind, your kind words go in many directions, and you yourself go with them. We are …transforming and continuing in a different form at every moment.
Thich Nhat Hahn