I have been trying to live this Dharma life of ten thousand joys and sorrows. Did the Buddha say that without mud, you can’t have lotus? So that is the way with joy and sorrow. It is the yin and the yang, love and marriage. You can’t have one without the other.
My period of sorrow has ended. Now I must step out of its shadow into the light. I have acknowledged the darkness. It is time to see the world with eyes anew. It is time to reframe the picture before me. I remember seeing a field of dandelions last summer. The first impression is: What a lot of weeds! But when I see them as potential for medicinal tea, I see them as a hundred million miracles.
There is time for everything under Heaven. Autumn is that time for thanksgiving, to count all our blessings. I’m counting all the things big and small that bring me joy. There’s at least ten thousand joys alone in the leaves of green, yellow and orange, quivering and shimmering in the morning sunlight as we rode around the park with Sheba today. And what about the crisp morning air and the brilliant sun, opening my lungs, my eyes and heart? Sheba alone is worth another ten thousand joys.
That guy riding with us is worth something, too. Without him, Sheba would be at a standstill, digging her skinny little legs in, refusing to move. But he is a beacon for her to follow. She does not want to be left far behind. So she trots joyfully and gallops at times, tongue hanging out. I have to admit that he brings me joy, too. I have discovered that I am not an island unto myself.
What other things bring me joy?
- The smell of bread and cinnamon buns baking.
- Seeing a pair of blue jays feeding under my trees.
- Having tea and conversation with my mother.
- Having coffee and conversation with friends.
- Blue skies.
- Walks and bicycle rides.
- The smell of coffee.
- Creating on my sewing machine.
- Writing, words, poetry.
- Hearing Paddy Tutty in concert at a small local church.
- Drinking wine with my housemate.
- Watching Sheba sleep.
- Making soup.
- Being still.
These are some of the things that bring me joy. What brings you joy?