Today we ask you to connect with the feeling of joy.

All of you know this feeling.  It is rooted in the heart.  It is a wonderful feeling, a feeling of rightness and well-being.  It is accompanied by smiles, and laughter.  It is a very warm, vibrant feeling.

Even if you feel very far from joy in this moment, it is still possible to connect with joy.  If you have an animal in your life, being with that animal will connect with you joy.  Young children are also very connected with joy, although sometimes parents feel so much stress that they have difficulty connecting with this.  Even so, if you calm your mind, it is often easy to find joy in the presence of a young child.  

Experiencing beauty can connect you with joy.  The beauty of the natural world resonates joy.  Art and music often resonates joy.   Certain films or TV shows resonate joy.  The act of singing, or dancing, can easily connect you with joy.  

Sometimes joy can be found in very simple, earthy experiences — like gardening, or cooking, or baking.  Sometimes there is great joy to be found in the smell of freshly baked bread.

Whatever gives you joy — connect with that.

Please know that there is no greater virtue than experiencing joy, and sharing it with others.

Many of you believe that it is virtuous to suffer; that it is only through suffering that you can demonstrate your worth.  You believe that if you care about something, you must suffer for it.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Do you want to do good in the world, for yourself and others?  Then cultivate joy.  Cultivate joy in your heart the same way you cultivate a garden.  Water it, and nourish it.

When you are joyful, you will naturally be moved to share your joy with others.  And there is no greater gift you can give anyone than the experience of joy.  

That is true virtue.  Not suffering, and martyrdom.  There is nothing more virtuous than sharing joy.

Joyful people are gentle people.  Joyful people feel a natural sense of compassion, and connection.  Joyful people do not abuse themselves, and so do not abuse others.  Joyful people are easy on themselves, and so easy on others.

If you wish to help the world, there is nothing better you can do than cultivate joy in your heart.  Then you will be a blessing to everyone you touch.

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