Eckhart Tolle, who is listed by the Watkins Review as the most spiritually influential person in the world talks about "naturally arising moments of pure pleasure." Using that idea as our prompt, my Sunday morning writing friend and I recollected what my daughter and I like to call 'happy moments,' those times that come upon you and lift you from the mundane world of thought to the astonishing world of no thought. Here's my take.
I sit and watch the finches at the feeder thinking first that I am glad I thought to replenish the seed, then noticing the sheer beauty of the birds themselves, the soft blush of red on their breasts, the way their feathers make black and brown patterns on their backs, the small perfectness of them, and as I watch, the noticing falls away and I am left with something so much larger that a wee feathered finch, a recognition of what Eckhart Tolle calls “naturally arising moments of pure pleasure.”
The sun backlights the yellow leaves on a maple. I can get lost in that light, let it shower down over my shoulders, fill my eyes, wash me with color until I am the yellow leaf and the sunbeam and the very air I breathe.
I can nestle my hands deep in the fur of a dog, gaze into its eyes until I fall in, lose all my senses except how my fingers feel, and my palms, until I am the dog and the hands and the otherness and sameness at once.
If I lie on your back in a meadow and stare at the sky I can fly, rising up from myself and floating down to myself simultaneously. I become sky and earth until the sheer weighted weightlessness feels like home.
Naturally arising moments of pure pleasure can be sought, but I like them best when they descend without warning, when my hands are covered in hot sudsy dishwater and my mind has wandered away from itself into a place where soap bubbles are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen or when I’m holding a sleeping child and the weight makes my arms tremble but my mind stills itself like the sleeping babe and we breathe in tandem, sharing waking and sleeping dreams.