The Book Of Joy

Sunt cărți care-și fac drum către tine. Apar mereu în discuții, în fragmente citite întâmplător, până te conving să pui deoparte teancul care-și așteaptă rândul pentru a cumpăra una în plus. Doar că asta e cartea de care ai nevoie ca de un reminder fixat în fiecare zi, la aceeași oră, să te trezească puțin câte puțin din ideea că o viață în care suferința își face constant simțită prezența trebuie să fie lipsită de bucurie.

The Book of Joy este un exercițiu de recunoștință, o carte a exemplului și un dar pe care Dalai Lama și Desmond Tutu îl fac oamenilor, probabil o ultimă întâlnire între două personalități-gigant care încearcă (și, cred eu, reușesc) să răspundă la întrebarea – Cum găsim bucurie în fața suferinței inevitabile?

Las mai jos câteva fragmente de simțit și trăit de azi, de acum. Fix din momentul ăsta!

We create most of our suffering, so we should be able to create more joy.(…) Our perspective towards life is our final and ultimate freedom. The way you see the world, the meaning you give to what you witness, changes the way you feel.”

Discovering more joy does not save us from the inevitability of hardship and heartbreak. In fact, we may cry more easily, but we will laugh more easily, too. Perhaps we are just more alive. Yet as we discover more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennobles rather than embitters. We have hardship without becoming hard. We have heartbreak without being broken.

Nothing beautiful comes without suffering. (…) Suffering can either embitter us or ennoble us and the difference lies in whether we are able to find meaning in suffering.(…) Deep down we grow in kindness when our kindness is tested.

As you grow in the spiritual life, you are able to accept anything that happens to you. You accept it not as a result of your being sinful, that you are blameworthy because of what has happened – it’s part of the warp and woof of life. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. There are going to be frustrations in life. The question is not – How do I escape? It is – How can I use this as something positive.

We have to take care of ourselves without selfishly taking care of ourselves. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we cannot survive. We need to do that. We should have wise selfishness rather than foolish selfishness. Foolish selfishness means you just think of yourself, don’t care about others, bully others, exploit others. In fact, taking care of others, helping others, ultimately is the way to discover your own joy and to have a happy life. So that is what I call wise selfishness.

The ultimate source of happiness is simply a healthy body and a warm heart.

In the blinking and buzzing world of our lives, it is so easy to delete the past and move on to the next moment. To linger in the longing, the loss, the yearning is a way of feeling the rich and embroidered texture of life, the torn cloth of our world that is endlessly being ripped and rewoven.

The true measure of spiritual development is how one confronts one’s own mortality. The best way is when one is able to approach death with joy; next best way is without fear; third best way is at least not to have regrets.”

A prayerful and meditative life can give us that pause, the freedom to respond instead of react. “

As our dialogue progressed, we converged on eight pillars of joy. Four were qualities of mind: perspective, humility, humor and acceptance. Four were qualities of the heart: forgiveness, gratitude, compassion and generosity.”

The acceptance of reality is the only place from which change can begin. (…) Acceptance allow us to move into the fullness of joy. It allow us to engage with life on its own terms rather than rail against the fact that life is not as we would wish. It allow us not to struggle against the day-to-day current. “

You are made for perfection, but you are not yet perfect. You are a masterpiece in the making.”

To choose hope is to step firmly forward into the howling wind, baring one’s chest to the elements, knowing that, in time, the storm will pass.”

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