Borrowing Joy Practice

Sometimes it can be difficult to feel or experience joy, especially when there is so much suffering in the world and perhaps in our lives. And yet, without joy our hearts can become malnourished. So how might we feast on joy when we may not even have a crumb?

We borrow it! Just like we might borrow a friend’s jacket or a neighbor’s lawn mower, we can borrow joy. I was introduced to this idea by the amazing dharma teacher Tuera Sala.

We can borrow joy anytime we witness it, or purposely when we recognize our need for it. Here are a few simple steps you can try out in daily life (i.e. active meditation) or as part of your sitting meditation.

You may notice some resistance as you try and take in someone else’s joy. That’s ok! Bring kindness to whatever comes up for you as you open your heart to the truth that you, too, deserve happiness and joy. This practice is an invitation to nourish your body, heart and mind, so you can feast on the joys that are inherent in being alive. 

Keep returning to this practice again and again. You will find yourself noticing joyful moments more often, allowing yourself to feel then and experience them. You may even want to share your joy as an offering to others in need of a crumb.

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