Are you ready? Tonight, I had a profound experience of listening to a talk by Chade-Meng Tan, author of Joy on Demand, The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within.
I was ready to receive the profound ideas that Meng was sharing.
Meng shared the definition of happiness from Matthieu Ricard (known as “the happiest man in the world” based on some specific, scientific measurements). “Happiness is a deep sense of flourishing that arises from an exceptionally healthy mind … not a mere pleasurable feeling, a fleeting emotion, or a mood, but an optimal state of being,” said Ricard (who is also a Buddhist monk and master of meditation).
Meng said, “Joy is the moment to moment pleasant feeling. Joy is the building block of happiness.”
During his talk, Meng led us in 5-second exercises. One of the first exercises related to this example:
The audience members decided to attend Meng’s speech in Mountain View, California. They got in their cars. They arrived. Did they stop for five seconds and tell themselves “I’m so happy”?
One point, I’ll always remember is: “I wanted to be here. Now, I’m here. I’m so happy.”
Meng, in a light tone, invited the audience to use this practice as “homework.”
Here goes: “I wanted to write this blog article. I’m writing it now. I’m so happy!”
I’m now smiling. How fun is that?!
Meng shared, “Joy is the default state of the mind. It’s already there. You just allow it.”
I’ve read this before. But tonight, I was ready to take it in.
Meng had us focus on just one breath: breathe in … breathe out.
In that moment, I felt good.
Meng emphasized that in that one moment, one was free of regret of the past and worries of the future. That is where joy is.
In his book, Joy On Demand (on page 41), Meng writes: “One aspect of confidence arising from resilience is the ability to recover: knowing that when things fail, I can always eventually recover. I know my practice is sufficiently strong that if somebody says something to me where I feel embarrassed, offended or triggered, I know that even if I lose my cool, I can recover it in five to ten seconds under most circumstances. That gives me confidence walking into a room.”
This is just a bit of the various benefits for bringing a practice of connecting to joy into our lives. Certainly, some form of meditation is helpful.
Even if meditation is not for you (yet), you can note the little moments of joy that are available to us all. Meng calls these moments: “Thin Slices of Joy.” Meng mentioned the first bite of a great meal or simply taking a drink of water. He invites us to pay attention. “Attending to joy is how you are familiarizing the mind to joy … bring attention to the Thin Slices of Joy.”
Meng said, “Joy is in life all the time. Just notice that [the Thin Slices] exist.”
There’s much more to say. Fortunately, Meng said it in his book Joy On Demand.
I strongly recommend you start with Meng’s book. It’s time for me to return to those pages.
P.S. Meng said, “I’m on a mission for world peace in my lifetime.” He noted that world peace arises from inner peace, inner joy and compassion. I replied, “I’ll help. I’ll write a blog article on your book tonight.” Yes! I did something to be helpful.
* See my new book Year of Awesome! How You Can Use 12 Success Principles including 10 Seconds to Wealth (CLICK HERE to look inside the book)
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