Today I bought some red roses. I admire them on the hour every hour the color and beauty of them bring me so much joy. Buddhist psychology has a word for joy ‘Mudita’. Mudita means finding joy in every moment no matter how that moment is presented. If you look and are mindful there is joy when you do the dishes, eat a fresh plum, connect with nature or when we are working.
The practice of yoga is a practice of awakening, a reminder to wake up to what is joyful in our lives. Generally though, as we go through our day we are not too concerned about whether we can find joy in each moment because we are too busy working, cleaning, driving, just trying to get somewhere. We are also not too sure where that ‘somewhere’ is but we have an inkling that it is in the future and when we get there, we will find all the joy and happiness we have been longing for. As adults we have naturally forgotten the joy of wonder, each small leaf or large tree, each tiny bug. We have forgotten the joy of discovery, learning a new skill like riding a bike or skipping rope, we already know everything. So in general we are a little asleep to the wonder of joy all around us simply because we covered it up with the busyness of our daily life and our belief that we have already, ‘been there done that’.
To find joy in the moment you need to let the layers of your life fall away for just a second. Sit quietly for a moment and think ‘what makes you happy?’ You might be surprised to find it is very ordinary things. A nice meal. a conversation a walk in nature or time spent with love ones. Joy is hidden in the ordinary. If we tried we could feel joy in the waiting or working. If we wanted we could find some wonder in our lunches or the miracle that we can drive down the motor way at 100 kmph and still arrive in one piece. Maybe we could see some happiness in the wonder of life around us, how trees even manage to grow and birds sing.
Sometimes to find this joy we need to be reminded.
Practice for this week: All sentient beings long for happiness, joy and beauty. Remind yourself at the start of the day to find wonder and joy in as many moments as you can. There is plenty to go around, your capacity for joy is limitless.