Boundless joyfulness really comes down to a practice of seeing the goodness in others. We see this in the practice of lovingkindness and compassion, but with joyfulness, this takes a more active approach, where, in the present moment, or through remembering a past event, we deliberately try to generate joy in another person’s happiness. We might reflect on a moment where someone we love was experiencing happiness or experiencing joy themselves. Maybe they heard a really good joke and they’re having a really good laugh. Or they’re just smiling because they saw a beautiful flower or a beautiful image. Or maybe you showed up in the room, and they smiled. What we do is we actively take joy in their joy. We actively take joy in their happiness. In other words, we rejoice in the happiness of what’s around us.
It’s kind of infectious.
For me, this has been a really transformative practice, because my disposition is not necessarily to seek that out throughout the day. I’m not necessarily noticing those small moments of joy that others are experiencing around me. It’s kind of infectious, as maybe you’ll find with this practice too. When we do it, we just start to notice those moments more. That’s why the practice of joyfulness is really a great antidote to cynicism.
Bad news is so prevalent, because good news doesn’t make money, unfortunately, and this can create a lot of cynicism for us, where it’s harder to see the goodness all around us. It’s harder to take in the joy and happiness that’s happening around us because we’re being fed, or we’re focusing on, bad news. So I find joyfulness to be one of the greatest antidotes to cynicism, which is a really common problem that a lot of us struggle with these days.
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