Thursday, December 23, 2010


I am reading a lovely little book by Dzigar Kongtrul, called "Light Comes Through". Seemed an appropriate title for Solstice, don't you think? I also thought it was seasonally appropriate as he talks about the practice of rejoicing. Rejoicing he says is the antidote to jealousy. He suggests jealousy is the grossest of emotions, so easy to see, so it is the easiest to work with. "The jealous mind", he says, "wants what others have, be it physical attributes, wealth, intelligence, someone else's spouse, their job, status, spiritual accomplishments, and so on. Because it focuses on what it doesn't have, it feels impoverished and discontented all the time."

Personally I like the idea of an antidote. Take some poison, how about an antidote? We used to talk about this in the Zen tradition I sat with. They did not actively work with the mind in this way. There were a number of us who asked, well if you have unwholesome habits of mind, don't you need to retrain the mind? Dzigar Kongtrul responds to this by saying, "jealousy is habitual, which means that even though we have investigated the harm it can do and the merits of overcoming it -- even if we are completely convinced -- it will still rise up again out of habit.... Rejoicing is simply feeling happy when something fortunate or beneficial happens to someone other than ourselves...We can find so many ways to rejoice and so many things to rejoice in.... we simply share in the joy of others' virtue... When someone becomes a vegetarian (yay) or donates money to a charitable organization we can rejoice... We can also rejoice in the beauty of the world... We need to ask ourselves, "Why does it always have to be my joy? Why is it so hard to delight in the joy of others? The positivity of rejoicing practice releases within us the qualities of intelligence, selflessness, generosity, patience, strength, and good-heartedness... We use this practice to deliberately shape the mind to work for us."

At this time of year in many ways there is a turning toward this generosity of spirit so it seems the perfect time (but isn't anytime?) to engage in the practice of rejoicing. And if we turn our mind in this direction, it becomes apparent how much there is on the horizon or right in front of our pointy little noses (speaking to the pointy nosed little self) to rejoice in. I often notice how my mood is altered when I make a slightly disparaging comment about someone or something. Energetically I can feel how life force is depleted instead of life enhanced. So here is an opportunity to approach things from the other side of the proverbial pasture and rejoice, to support the life force by rejoicing. What will you rejoice in today?


  1. your blog (in response to your question).

  2. ditto to Kennedy Ink and your gentle presence in our lives! So much to rejoice in nature as well: watching the birds pick away at the sack of apples and bread we hung up, seeing the glow of morning light slide over the corn field, smelling the tea brewing... a glorious morning!

  3. Thank you for reminding me about the "grossest of emotions", jealousy. It is such a "habit" that often, for me, goes unnoticed and the effects it has me. I will try to remind myself to look for the joy in all things.Peace, health and joy to you in the coming New Year.

  4. KI - ah shucks!

    108ZB - yes rejoicing in the simple things that we can turn our awareness to when we pause.

    Eva - yes, habit is so ingrained mostly we don't notice. I am rewarded when I make the effort to notice. wishes flying back in your direction!

  5. Thank You! I need to Joy! More.
    Then I need to Joy just a little more; Re-Joy!
    It's a component of faith in that
    I know that it works, yet I forget
    Sometimes, and then, I remember, and rejoice!
    Best wishes for the New Year! Rekindle!

  6. ahhh, i love this painting, carole... and thank you for the words/thoughts. i *do*love helmut's comment!! xoxo

  7. Helmut - So nice to see you here again. Love the playfulness of your comment. I can feel the joy in it! And I love this reminder that joy is a component of faith. And may this new year bring you much joy!

    lynne - Thanks! I am always so inspired by your work and exploration of the world and ditto about Helmut's comment!