What is bringing ME joy right now?
My cat sleeping in a box next to me, using brightly coloured pinks and making drawings, the sunshine and beginnings of spring, ticking "write intention blog post" off of my to do list :)
Awakening joy teacher training:
I recently signed up to an Awakening joy teacher training with James Baraz, i'll be studying and practising alongside my Frome Dharma Collective comrade, Matt. We will be starting up an AJ group together in Frome in March. Awakening joy has ten steps, starting with Intention/Inclining the mind toward joy (Where else would you start?). I was inspired to take part in the training after reading the Awakening Joy book, and seeing the incredibly clear framework and practices for all the things I have been learning about creating a joyful life in the past ten years.
Inclining the mind towards joy. <3
MY intentions for The AJ training
First call With James and other aj trainers:
There has been a lot of practical things and orienting to the course. I have been taking some time to re-read the book and listen to the awakening joy module on Intention.
What brings me joy?
Actions from the first step:
Actions for inclining the mind towards joy: 1. Sit quietly for 5 minutes (or more) everyday 2. Nourish yourself a few times a week (What does nourishment look like to you? A walk? A bath? Time with friends?) 3. Do something creative everyday: sing; dance; draw; write; listen to music I love how much James emphasises this: "FOCUS ON DOING WHAT YOU CAN DO: You cannot fail this course." Pressure does not = Joy. QUESTION: Where does happiness live???? We CAN cultivate joy. We CAN deepen our access to joy.
NOTICing JOY IN THE BODY
NOTICE when we feel joy! Let's be on the look out. When we find or experience joy, let us linger there. How does joy feel in the body? How many times a day do we feel joy? How long can we feel it for when we notice it?
SAYING: "I want to be happy!"
I tried saying it a few times: This is how I felt: First time, it felt embarrassing, and i had a sense of not quite believing that it was possible, even a sadness that came with that. But the more i say it, the more empowering it feels.
Second call: Small group with Maureen
I found the small group meeting very helpful, there were 7 of us, and Maureen was facilitating. Some things i picked up from Maureen and on the call... NUMBER ONE: Embodying the teachings The feeling of what's being studied can be embodied in meetings - eg studying intentions? Set intentions for the AJ journey at the start of a meeting! Weave the module in. MAKE IT REAL and tangiable and accessible. NUMBER TWO: Creating a safe Container ME: How do I show up: how do I model AJ? How so i help others to feel comfotable? E.g being playful, making a fool of my self, embody and openly speak gratitude. Let go of idea of being a teacher: think of myself as Kaliyanamita (spiritual friend)/facilitator, "As high as your mind builds you up to be a teacher - is as far as you will fall!" Being willing to learn: about myself, people I work with etc.
Keep a set structure, this helps people feel safe and held, but what is within the structure changes.
SIT TOGETHER : 10 mins
CHECK IN: 20 mins include: how your feeling, what is brining you joy, what are you learning on the course?) ,
AN EXERCISE: 20 mins
PLAY A GAME/MOVE/DANCE: 20 mins
AN EXERCISE: 20 mins
GRATITUDE PRACTICE: 10 mins
ANYTHING LEFT UNSAID: 5 mins
Think about a joyful memory from childhood.
Noticing the immediacy of the moment when joy arises
Practise spontaneous sharing and exressing joy! :)
"Trust in the wisdom you bring, how dharma and joy comes through you." :)
Maureen is available for one to ones! <3
I would love to meet with her at some point.
I definitely felt the power of sharing joy at the end of this call :)