the sacred joy of a belly laugh

1-Pics for Blog Edits78

‘Why aren’t you dancing with joy at this very moment? is the only relevant spiritual question,’ Sufi seer Pir Vilayet Inayet Khan tells us. Your life is a glorious gift and you are loved by Lady Wisdom. Israeli theologian Martin Buber also opens our eyes to this truth: ‘The beating heart of the universe is holy joy.’ Look around and you’ll see how the flowers, trees, squirrels, and stars all emanate delight in their being. When he is about to leave his disciples, Jesus tells them, ‘These things have I spoken to you, that you may be in you, and that your joy may be full.’ What a beautiful legacy- passing on abundant joy.’ ‘Always remember,’ Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, the Hasidic teacher, says, ‘Joy is not incidental to your spiritual quest. It is vital.’ So cultivate it. Why is it so hard for us to be joyful? Is it the pressures of life which give us no relief, or the suffering of the innocents, or the rampant injustice in the world? Or is it the fear that seizes us when we think of tomorrow? Listen now to Frederick Buechner, a contemporary Protestant writer: ‘The world is full of suffering indeed, and to turn our backs on it is to work a terrible unkindness maybe almost more on ourselves than on the world. But life indeed is also to be enjoyed. I suggest that may even be the whole point of it.’ Rejoice and be exceedingly glad……Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

we rarely let go of our doingness…..where does play wiggle up into moments of nothingness, becoming everything we are here for? envisioning a languid moment on the front porch or a beach amble or perfect daydream……complete with the sweet promise of nothing……..

Life can be profoundly moving, just as it is. Each moment can feel like a great investment. But we have to be careful not to crush a moment by revering it. The eminent theologian Alfred North Whitehead once said, ‘I have always noticed that deeply and truly religious persons are fond of a joke, and I am suspicious of those who aren’t.’ One thing I look for is a graceful lightness of being. The most profound joy- and the deepest laughter- come from a wholly examined relationship to the world. Being able to goof off is not just a matter of humor or laughing or being silly. Goofing off is the ability to stop being purposeful, to drop the attachment to goals. The trick is not trying to do nothing; the trick is to stop trying to do anything. This is true mindfulness: just give everything else up, cut all other ties, do nothing but experience and enjoy the moment. Do nothing else…….Sallie Tisdale

the sweet spot of remembrance

Every day

I see or I hear


that more or less

kills me

with delight,

that leaves me

like a needle

in the haystack

of light.

It is what I was born for-

to look, to listen,

to lose myself

inside this soft world-

to instruct myself

over and over

in joy,

and acclamation.

Nor am I talking

about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,

the very extravagant-

but of the ordinary,

the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.

Oh, good scholar

I say to myself,

how can you help

but grow wise

with such teachings

as these-

the untrimmable light

of the world,

the ocean’s shine,

the prayers that are made

out of grass?

…..Mary Oliver

4 thoughts on “the sacred joy of a belly laugh

  1. Little by limitless I am learning to let go and not be doing anything. The bicycle comes to mind, one that is well made is silent in the wind, the trees rush by, the carriage seems almost surreal, dreamlike, joy at the simplicity of motion.
    Day to day, when I let go and live in each moment the joy returns, no matter how much they try to unsettle you, returning to the moment, restore the peace. Great narrative, and reminder. May the joy of this Sun-day rest quietly in you …

    • pausing in the endless rituals of self-improvement and reflection is a wise choice, but so much better when it simply just happens as a natural part of a daydream and easy-going spontaneity…..that of course, doesn’t happen frequently, and so I find your process of letting go to be so inspiring…..this bicycle metaphor really speaks to me….may need a special photo for my desk….may the wind whoosh by in sweet reverie g.f.s….

  2. If asked what my most endearing trait might be, without a doubt, I know it is my laughter. As a youngerster, I tried many times to stifle what sounded more like a wounded hyena. But somewhere along the line, I realized the joy that is found in this uncontrollable expression of gratitude. There is surely nothing more sensual than the sound of laughter.

    Though I may at times embarass others around me, I make no effort to control the language of my heart. Let us never seek to silence the music that is our bliss. Somehow, I know the same is true of you my friend. I think it’s a hoola-hoop day……. I’ll take the purple if you’re good with the blue. ~ Love you, Me

    • love this unabashed joy and self-compassion…..and oh, how did you know? Blue is my favorite color:) I am clearly a doing-my-own-thing kind of girl, complete with bubbles, wings, and fairy tales…….love your spirit Bobbie…..

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