Excursion Four: Growing Joy
The Month for Joyful Acceptance and Acknowledgment
May 1 – June 9, 2022
we are saying thank you faster and faster,
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
thank you we are saying, and waving
dark though it is.
W. S. Merwin
For our excursion this month we go from being more aware of joy to learning once again the potency of growing joy by imbibing it, bathing in it, relishing it, until we reach the poet’s place – the unquenchable desire to say thank you thank you thank you, and then beginning to wave – no matter what else is happening. Notice joy’s presence, drink it in, and say thank you and wave.
Sometimes if we’re lucky, the source of our joyful acceptance and acknowledgment will notice our thanks, drink it in, and smile back, maybe even wave, to acknowledge its gratitude for our gratitude.
That’s how Joy grows. We then have the pleasure of accepting that acknowledgment, drinking it in, and saying “I got it! I take it in, and I wave my thanks for your thanks.”
Babies of all kinds have this process down pat; who hasn’t participated in a joy fest with a young one, taking it in, feeding it back, spiraling the joy upward and outward until the whole world feels happier.
For this forty-day excursion, we travel from our River of Joyful Awareness, the sacred Ganges, across oceans to arrive in northeastern Brazil where the world’s largest river, the Amazon, enters the Atlantic Ocean.
They call it the largest because of the enormous flow of its waters from its sources almost all the way across the continent of South America.
A series of other rivers is considered its origin places, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru.
The Amazon has 1,100 tributaries. This river with its thousand arms, its 2,100,000 square miles of rainforest, and its 2,400,000 square miles of rich basin are vital to life on earth.
Our joyful activity this month is to acknowledge, with gratitude and in every other possible way, the gifts unstintingly offered to us from this giant interwoven system of dynamic aliveness — its oxygen, its wild variety of species, its carbon absorption, its medicines, its indigenous wisdom keepers, to name a few of those gifts. We travel along saying thank you and waving.
Walter Helm and his wife Margaux, friends from Sacramento, ventured with other friends, including his brother Roger (“with the photographer’s eye”), into the worlds of the Amazon this April. They sent photos of some of their encounters from that breathtaking realm.
So much of this wild world is on the endangered list. While one part of our hearts is saying WOW! THANK YOU! and waving, another part is adding to the possible joy in the world by donating energy to the alliances whose work is dedicated to maintaining the aliveness and vitality of this sacred water, its lands, its people. One of those is Lynne Twist’s Pachamama Alliance, working in partnership with the Achuar People of Ecuador. Lynne reminds us:
“Money is like water. It can be a conduit for commitment, a currency of love. Money moving in the direction of our highest commitments nourishes our world and ourselves.”
Here’s the practice:
Spend enough time with each photo to take it in through your imaginal senses, feeling that you’re actually there in the forest or on the water.
Imagine you can suffuse yourself with the reality of the beauty of what you’re seeing and sensing, or its mystery, or its aliveness, or its reality. That’s joy. Drink that joy.
Allow that reality to grow until you feel yourself, your brain chemistry, somehow changed. Welcome and acknowledge that change.
Say thank you and wave. Pour yourself into it as fully as possible, appreciating this delicious sample of a living being in a different world; send your gratitude to the whole family. To all beings everywhere. And wave again.
Joy in the World
And in me.
Praise. Praise. Praise
JOIN THE FREE JOY RIDE
ON THE AMAZON RIVER
MONDAY, MAY 1 / 1:00 PM PACIFIC TIME
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