April 22, 2012: On Joy, Part II: Timelessness

Time is an issue when it comes to joy. “To experience joy,” says Tara Brach, clinical psychologist and meditation teacher, “we have to enter into timelessness…we need to expand out and occupy the moment.” When we are constantly thinking there’s not enough time, we’re exerting a pressure that interferes with joy.

I used to teach at a college with a man named Don who also taught Tai Chi. If you had a conversation with him while walking down the hall, you walked at his pace: very, very slowly. When I would tell him how much his pace reminded me that I was constantly in a hurry, he would respond, “There is always plenty of time, Suzanne.” It’s years later, and I’ve moved on from teaching, but when I’m feeling too hurried, I still call up Don’s mantra: “There is always plenty of time.”

Of course he knew that we don’t always have plenty of time. He was teaching me that if it was going to be my habit to think there wasn’t enough time, then I would always be hurrying down that hallway. He was teaching me how to enter into timelessness – helping me prepare the way for joy.

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