taoist meditation: joy

The sage has no mind of his own
his mind is the mind of the people
to the good he is good
to the bad he is good
until they become good
to the true he is true
to the false he is true
until they become true
in the world the sage withdraw
with others he merges his mind
people open their ears and eyes
the sage covers them up

#49 daodejing
translated by Red Pine

chinese characters for the word "JOY"

study in texture and form

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 isn'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. The 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.

Deng Ming-Dao
365 Tao Daily Meditations
ISBN 0-06--250223-9

"Texture of Winter"
© 2006 lisbethwest

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