Monday, December 19, 2011

Tidings of Joy

Source: Mostra dell Artigianato, Florence, Italy

Ten Laws on the Art of Joyful Living, by Kazuaki Tanahashi 
(side comments are mine by way of continual successful and not so successful attempts at practicing these teachings)
1. Your happiness is more important than anything else (or your relationship with the god of your understanding is more important than anything else - same thing).
2. The happier you are, the more you can help others.
3. Smiling makes you happy (even if you don't "feel" happy; smile anyways, it works in various increments).
4. The more relaxed you are, the happier you are (is it really necessary to chase around after more "stuff" this Christmas; is it possible to shop with ease rather than desperation? Or make some gifts instead? May we learn to Slow down). 
5. A moment of meditation can help you refresh yourself (sit everyday for at least 20 minutes, watching your breath come and go; if you find yourself agitated, great. That's what it's meant to your agitation. Sit still anyways without getting up to make chocolate chip cookies or go out for a beer).

6. The lower your expectations are, the happier you are (goals are great, but sometimes you have to "adjust" your goals and dreams if the outcome is not what you expected; sometimes pushing harder just creates more misery; drop the outcome and be happy instead.
7. Happiness attracts happiness.
8. The ultimate healing is to live joyfully at each moment (a lifetime breath, one moment, one experience at a time).
9. The more fully you face your own death, the more joyous you become (can't run away from this one; well, you can, but...)
10. You can always improve your art of joyful living (by being grateful for every experience thrown your way, whether good or bad, if you're receptive  to what it can teach you).

 Oh, and #11: Buy, make, and/or enjoy art: it will sustain you.


  1. Great thoughts to go with great art! Thanks for posting the reminders for all to slow down and enjoy the holiday with loved ones and frieds...instead of getting sucked into the stress! :)

  2. Hi Bethany. Things gear up every year, but I find much more contentment when I stay aware of stepping out of the whirlwind during the holidays. I love this time of year, we have fresh snow this morning...time to go skiing!

  3. Hey Monica! I love the photos. Amazing art some people make... Thanks for following my blog, and I think it would be great to work out a critique group with you:) Is your email on here somewhere...? I was thinking to email a few people who have responded, and get it going by january.
    Let's talk more!!

  4. yes, I'd love to stay in touch. My email is: and I'm also on Facebook.

  5. Coolio! I got 3 responses of interest for the group. Actually more than that. But I want to start small... email coming your way soon:)

  6. Excellent advice! Happiness attracts happiness - so very true.

  7. Some people are born with a happiness gene; the rest of us have to work at it a bit.