Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Spiritual Bliss


A Heart of Cheer

Mar 12, 2023

The In-Between Time

Androscoggin River

Brunswick/Topsham, Maine

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She was always gloomy and often told the Sage of some problem. On one such occasion, he asked, "Dear one, be silent and ask yourself, 'What is present when there's no problem?' See that, and go there. When you forget that, return as soon as you remember. It's always there, even amid sadness and grief."

The more we go to no problem, the more habituated we become to the experience of joyfulness. We see how the thought of a problem is a thought. We can step outside our melodramas, get out of our skin and genuinely love.

*Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."

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The merry heart
enjoys a continual feast.

*Proverbs 15.15

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The spiritual Master was almost always in an expansive mood. So, his disciples sought to learn the stages their spiritual Teacher had passed through to get to such joyfulness.

The Master spoke, "The One first led me to the Land of Action, and I lived there for several years. Then, the One led me to the Land of Sorrows, and I lived there until my heart was cleansed from every inordinate affection. At that point, I found myself in the Land of Love. There the burning flames of Love consumed whatever was left of self. This loving burning led me to the Land of Silence. I learned deep mysteries about life, death, and beyond death."

"Was that the final stage?" asked the devotees. "One day," said the Master, "the One said, 'Today, I shall take you to the Temple's innermost sanctuary, the inmost of my own heart.'" That place, I discovered, is the Land of Laughter."

*Adapted from Anthony de Mello, Taking Flight.

* * *

We have an amazing capacity
to cheer ourselves up -
please do it - for the sake
of us all!

Have you considered how
spreading good cheer
can be a way you
spread love?

* * *

A young monk lived in the desert, and he was earnest about living the teachings of Christ. He encountered something he did not understand and went to his spiritual Father. When the Father heard the question, he began laughing. Still laughing, he stood up and walked away.

The Father's behavior upset the monk. At the end of three days, in which he stayed upset and confused, he returned and told the Father how he had felt. The Father said, "Monk, do you know what your problem is? Your problem is that you are worse than a clown!" The monk questioned, "How can you say such a thing?! How can I be worse than a clown?" The Father answered, "A clown enjoys seeing people laugh. You? You feel disturbed because another person laughed. Tell me, are you not worse than a clown?"

When the monk heard this, he began laughing. In that laughter, he was freed to enjoy Life.

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Possibly, the most prevalent blunder among those on spiritual paths is taking the path too seriously. Taking the path too seriously is you taking yourself too seriously. This gravity is another way ego seeks to cast a shadow over our lives.

We can decide on intentional ways to cultivate light-heartedness. We can become aware of when we are taking ourselves and our practice too seriously and say to ourselves, even out loud, if we wish, "Lighten up!" And laughing to laugh is an excellent way to lighten up - it is healthy for the body and mind, as is smiling.

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*©Brian K. Wilcox, 2023.

*Use of photography is allowed accompanied by credit given to Brian K. Wilcox and title and place of photograph.

*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse.


Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Spiritual Bliss

©Brian Wilcox 2023