Paving the Road to Bounty
Last week we touched on mindful consumption, specifically, that mindfulness can help us bring awareness to our consumption patterns. Continuing along the consumption thread, this week we will practice Empathetic Joy - delighting in the good fortune of others. One of the benefits of this practice is that we can take delight in the bounty of others without investing a lot of energy in wanting what others have for ourselves, or feeling somehow deprived because we don’t have it. We can admire without wanting.
There are times when we see something - maybe it’s a house, or a car, or a coat, or even a relationship, a grade or a job - that someone has, and we notice that we want that for ourselves; what started as Appreciation has slid into Craving. Then that, in turn, can slide into feeling as though what we have is less worthy and maybe not even meeting our needs fully, and so Craving has dragged us down into a sense of Lacking.
Route 1: Appreciation —> Craving —> Lacking
But there is another path that Appreciation can take that has the absolute opposite effect. We notice the house or car or relationship or job of someone else and we Appreciate it. We can then feel Joy for the other person, while holding on to the appreciation of what they have. Now, we are more likely to have a sense of our needs being met, a shared sense of Bounty.
Route 2: Appreciation —> Joy —> Bounty
But this takes training and practice. We can’t tell the mind to feel this way, and we can’t simply tell the mind not to feel envy or attachment. But with time spent practicing sharing the joy of others by bringing to mind the good fortune of others and resting in a sense of joy for their joy, we begin to pave the mental roadways that will take us to Bounty rather than Lacking. Shall we pave the road to Bounty together this week?
Community Sits This Week:
Monday 6:30 PM Ridgefield Library, 472 Main Street, Ridgefield
Monday 7:30 PM Sama Yoga 45 Grove Street New Canaan
Tuesday 1:00 PM Ferguson Library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford*
Wednesday 12:00 PM New Canaan Library, 151 Main Street, New Canaan
* Made possible by a grant from Bankwell
May all beings everywhere, without exception, find their road to Bounty,
Your friends at CMP
(Our thanks to the Deasy family for lending us the Matchbox car for the photo!)