The Edge of Joy

Spring, 2017

Why speak of 'the edge of joy'?   Joy arises on the cusp of our capacity to be touched freshly by life - to be surprised. We cannot command 'joy', but we can develop our ability to live in such a way that joy arises more frequently, and registers more fully in us, altering our sense of goodness, abundance and vitality.

Fra Giovanni's line: 'the gloom of the world is but a shadow...behind it, yet within reach, is joy...' captures how joy may often be found 'just behind' or 'inside' an experience that we may be interpreting as difficult or painful.  Her assertion that joy is 'within reach' even in the midst of apparent gloom, asks us to look more closely, to see 'what else' is happening, which may be evading our notice. 

Counterintuitively, joy is also often found when we slow down. This is because - while the mind can experience excitement - joy is often more sensual and subtle.  We may be transported by presence, by a quality of calm, by a moment of perception of beauty or love, by an unanticipated look of happiness in a child or stranger.

The core question when it comes to joy is one of freshness and repetition: Are we available to be touched in the present, by life’s unfoldment before us, within us, or are we mentally preoccupied in a way that obscures our contact with Being?

In this workshop, we explore our relationship with joy: identifying the history of joy within us, becoming more conscious of what obscures joy for us, and clarifying the personal flavour of joy that feels most precious and authentic to us. The day is designed to support and refine our capacity for joy.