Lojong #21

I am really supposed to build on these slogans from the beginning, one by one, so that they add up and build on each other. I delight in drawing them randomly at first, and then maybe later I can do them in order. It reminds me of the C.S. Lewis book title Surprised by Joy which speaks of this random delight to me, each card a surprise all on its own.

Lojong #21
Always maintain a joyful mind.


I have Purple Coneflowers in my own garden so this photograph really sent me rocketing to the moon. Admittedly it doesn’t take much where cards and art are concerned.

Many days I am cheery and can find such joy in small things. Other times this card comes in handy. Norman Fischer calls this “Maintain joy (and don’t lose your sense of humor)” or simply “Maintain joy and humor.”

Okay, so if you don’t feel this way there is no need to beat yourself up over it, or pretend that you don’t feel a lack of joy. The idea is that you can allow yourself to feel a lack of joy, and then perhaps remember that you have a choice in how you feel too. Don’t cover up the feelings of bitterness or try to fake joyous feelings, but pay attention to how you feel, that lack of lightness, and inject some humour in your life. Stay interested and curious and shift your attention to appreciating something better or something humorous.

The other thing Bev says in her notes is that we can get trapped by our particular ideas about what joy should be, thus shutting out other kinds of joy. That way you appreciate things that you might ordinarily dismiss, but that might give you joy. It’s another way of shifting attention from habitual thought to maintain joy.

Those coneflowers do look very joyous.




4 thoughts on “Lojong #21

  1. I took this photo in an alley, where I found dozens of these coneflowers in bloom outside a fence. They weren’t tended or given any care where they were, but the soil and other conditions must have been perfect for them to thrive there. I truly felt joyful when I saw all their lovely heads bobbing in the breeze. 🙂

    • They look like they are in a bountiful and beautifully kept garden. Isn’t that neat that your joy seems to have translated to the image?

      It’s a bit like what you said about being trapped thinking of joy as what you think it should be instead of allowing it to pop up! Wonderful bit of extra info.

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