I’m leading a year-long intensive with several students. Our topic is, “Cultivating Durable Happiness.” Sharon’s book, Real Happiness is one of our core texts and we’re all reading it this month.
Part of our overall practice is to keep a gratitude journal. Every day we write down what we are most grateful for. Over the years, this practice has helped me realize what really matters. It’s surprising how simple these entries are. The ability to breathe unobstructed. Food to eat. A healing conversation with a friend. A good night’s sleep. Waking up. The sound and sight of geese flying overhead. The teachings.
In going through an old journal I found two quotes that speak to the spirit of what we’re doing together this month. I wanted to share them with everyone doing the 28 Days of Happiness. The first is from Lao Tzu:
“If you look to others for fulfillment,
You will never truly be fulfilled.
If your happiness depends on money,
You will never be happy with yourself.
Be content with what you have;
Rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
The whole world belongs to you.”
The second is from Mary Jean Iron:
“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow,
or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want,
more than all the world, your return.”
Deep peace to you.