Shadows and Joy

Shadow Joy

 

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.
When the mind is pure,  joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
~Buddha

Joy can seem as elusive and slippery as a soap bubble.

Yet once, years ago in meditation, I realized that joy and misery lie just a hair’s width apart within my mind. The image of joy and misery just micrometers apart within me, was so clear that I startled and came out of my reverie giggling. I remember that moment in vivid detail even now years later.  And I know that I choose whether I will feel joy or misery or something in between in this moment. And the next. And the next.

It only takes a tiny shift in the mind to move from misery into joy; a micron of a shift; just a slightly altered point of view.

Breathe. And breathe again. Deep, slow breaths that fill your lungs. And feel whatever body sensations are present now; feel the sensations that joy is hiding behind. Breathe and feel your body. Then allow joy to step out of the shadows and be here now.

Can it really be that simple? Yes. Yes!

“A human being is only breath and shadow.”
~Sophocles

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