Lojong Slogan #21: Maintain Only a Joyful Mind

We know that life isn’t perfect,   that every day brings challenges we must face and obstacles to overcome. In many ways things are decidedly not ok. The planet is dying, and our  future as a species is threatened along with it. We have been granted precious human lives in order to improve the situation for all sentient beings, but we waste large parts of that life asleep and unaware of our true nature.
When we practice, whether that takes the form of meditation, asana, prayer, singing, chanting, or another form of self-expression, we should be able to abandon ourselves in joy. We should smile, because we are on  a spiritual path and we are practicing regularly and sincerely.
We should surrender ourselves to feeling the sense of being that lies beneath our physical and mental existence. The more we are able to connect with this sense, whether we want to call it God, Goddess, Spirit, being, OM, or a specific deity, the more joy we will feel.
Everything need not be so serious. We should be able to smile and to laugh. We can feel the universe’s love for us, and this can lift our hearts unbelievably. There is a great deal of suffering in life, but we don’t have to survive it with gritted teeth. We don’t need to practice as a duty. We should find the joy in what we do. We don’t always need more discipline. Sometimes we need greater devotion instead.
This week, I will set myself a little reminder, in the form of random alarms on my phone, to smile as I  go about my day, remembering to maintain a joyful mind.