dao joy

Chinese characters for "joy"

Reba in her garden, shortly after having her stroke

Do your devotions make you happy?
Is your life a joyous song?

In all this talk about spiritual devotion, there is one simple fact. You have to like it. It should make you happy. It is unfortunate that so much coercion, unhappiness, bitterness, guilt, and fear become wrapped up in spirituality. Why can’t we simply do things out of joy?

Practicing spirituality isn’t a matter of drudgery. It is’t a matter of fear. It isn’t for fitting into a social group. It has nothing to do with status. Being devoted to holiness in your life is a matter of joy and celebration. When you sit down to meditate, a smile should come to your lips and a feeling of joy should permeate your body. When you go to consecrated ground to give thanks and celebrate, you should do so not because of the day of the week or out of the habit of ritual, but because this is the best way that you know how to adore your gods and express the wonder of being on this earth.

Yes, yes, there is much unhappiness in this existence. That unhappiness is part of the overall field of negativity. There are also positive things in life, and spirituality is foremost among them. So whenever we practice our spiritual devotions, let it be in gladness and joy.

365 Tao
daily meditations
Deng Ming-Dao (author)
ISBN 0-06-250223-9

Reba's view of the garden
in the series of Reba Exhibit photographs:
Motorola V220 cell phone photoshop filters
©2005.10.11 lisbeth west

I want to thank all of those who have responded to my request about vegan health diet and herbal remedies for cancer in dogs. Reba has a small stroke last Saturday night and we took her in to her vet to discover that the mass that was small and "not to be worried about" was indeed cancer. We are asking any and all resources we can find for our Reba. We are blessed to be near the Veterinary Hospital at Colorado State University — where holistic medicine and acupuncture is an excellent option for us.

Thank you for your patience at this time. I have spent every moment caretaking her and assisting her in learning how to walk a bit better after her small stroke. She is doing well.

I have only been able to focus on my personal meditation, consulting the Oracle and working on this photo exhibit of my dear Reba. Thank you for your tolerance and patience. We will do well with your healing energy sent her way. We are grateful for so many wonderful friends.

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