There’s a possibility that mindfulness could increase the amount of delight you daily experience. If you’re interested in seeing if this may be true for you, I perhaps have an exercise for you to try.
If you’re willing, please go ahead and think of a delightful memory. As you sense into this recollection, notice if your delightful sensation feels stronger than what you would describe as “satisfaction” or “simple pleasure”.
And if this is true, ask yourself, “What was I pleasantly surprised by during this experience?”
If you’re like me, you may discover that this delight and many of your other delights are amplified by positive surprise.
Delight, which means “great pleasure”, arises more freely when we’re not expecting more. Or expecting something else. Those two preconceived mindsets often produce disappointment or dissatisfaction.
How mindful awareness is different is that it increases our capacity to openly receive what naturally arises. And as we notice how much of what actually occurs is unexpected, we may become primed to become curious. We may become ready to be surprised.
As for me last week, I wasn’t expecting to step into a concrete koi pond in the middle of a San Francisco sidewalk. The sunlight, reflecting off an adjacent hubcap, tricked me into seeing waves.
Instinctively, I stuttered my feet to avoid stepping on the fish. But then I paused and smiled. How delightful was their enlivened appearance!
And the thought arose that this encounter might be the closest I get to wildlife. An ironic, ticklish sensation arose, although still amusingly delightful.
Pleasant surprises can be delightful. And unpleasant surprises, well…. Perhaps the practice is to receive those with compassion. A worthy discussion for another day.
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