”Recalling these teachings as I ride my bike so freely in the sunset through Bali, I keep making prayers that are really vows, presenting my state of harmony to God and saying, ‘This is what I would like to hold on to. Please help me memorize this feeling of contentment and help me always support it.’ I’m putting this happiness in a bank somewhere, not merely FDIC protected but guarded by my four spirit brothers, held there as insurance against future trials in life.
This is a practice I’ve come to call ‘Diligent Joy.’ As I focus on Diligent Joy, I also keep remembering a simple idea my friend Darcy told me once—-that all the sorrow and trouble of this world is caused by unhappy people. Not only in the big global Hitler-‘n’-Stalin picture, but also on the smallest personal level.
Even in my own life, I can see exactly where my episodes of unhappiness have brought suffering or distress or (at the very least) inconvenience to those around me. The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefitting act, but also a generous gift to the world.
Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people.”
”Three strands in a braid of sweet grass. They represent three spiritual qualities—-maybe love, kindness, humility. When I smudge myself, I purify myself in those qualities. I prepare myself for my day with the strength of those spiritual qualities. The smoke clings to my hair, my clothes, and it remains in the air of my home. As I move through the day and smell that fragrance, I am reminded of how I have chosen to live—-and in that is the power of greeting each day with reverence, calm, and prayer. That is how I learn to direct my humanity toward peace, equality, and harmony: one day, one person, one circumstance at a time.”
—-Richard Wagamese, Embers, One Ojibway’s Meditations p.45
”…When you recognize all the repetitive actions you take every day, many of them without awareness, it is easy to understand why making the larger changes of creating new thought patterns and beliefs, such as unconditional self-love and self-acceptance, can be so challenging. Just the simple act of making little changes in your daily routines can help you remember that you have a choice in how you live your life and remind you of the magnificent creator you are.
Creativity comes naturally when we are living a life of awareness.”
—-Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. Living a Life of Awareness p.105
”Nature reminds us that we cannot hold on forever. Only with letting go can new life come. . . . So autumn always makes me wonder what I am holding on to. What is it that I am afraid to let go of? . . . What must be put aside so that spring can arrive?”
—-John Izzo, Second Innocence: Rediscovering Joy and Wonder