The American “Declaration of Independence” is based on, “the pursuit of happiness.” The harder we chase happiness the less we get, don’t we? “Happiness” comes from what happens. We can’t control what happens, so we can’t catch happiness any more than we can catch or loose the wind. If it happens, it happens. Then it’s gone. We might have a breeze, or we might get the doldrums.
Real joy, even ecstasy, is an inside job. It’s not an easy task, is it, or everybody would have it. The good news is that we are made for perfect joy. It’s the very reason we’re alive. The first step to the “pursuit of happiness” is to stop chasing it! Over the ages wise teachers have learned ways to grow in joy. There is a Path. They traveled it and left us their maps to follow. The ones who kept walking it are the ones we listen to. Those who claim to have reached perfection, those we avoid. Nirvana, Enlightenment, Deification, it’s forever a work in progress. We are all “works in progress,” aren’t we?
So who am I? Just another work in progress. I haven’t “attained.” I can’t even say I’ve walked that far. I have walked some, though, seen the maps, and written a small book to help us all along that Way. The Tao of Prayer is just that. It’s a guidebook. Any of us who’s alive is on the Path, at some point, and I guess that covers most of us.The challenge is about which way to go, what to pack, and how to keep going.
Please take your time here. I’ve brought together a few reflections from some good and wise writers. Some of them are ancient and some modern, and some in between. All of them are really helpful. I hope this blog will encourage you in your own journey, though the book handles some things a blog just can’t.