33 happy moments

“All human happiness is sensuous happiness” , states Lin Yutang in The Importance of Living. “Being made of this mortal flesh, the partition separating our flesh from our spirit is extremely thin, and the world of the spirit, with its finest emotions and greatest appreciations of spiritual beauty, cannot be reached except with our senses” Yutang continues and is right about his assertion. Some people view happiness as a final state of being, in the spiritual sense happiness is an end to the mortal form for them and the segue away from the body and fully inhabiting the gossamer form of the spirit. However, we would have to die and forgo living if we were to experience this happiness. The weight of living has made the body a burden rather than the carrier of life, and the medium to which we can experience life with all our capable senses. Spirituality has made some people believe the body is nothing compared to the spirit, or the soul, and try to mold the body, try to change the body, and in the end when the goal in the spiritual journey has not been reached, ignore the body and label it a burden to be left behind.

“It is sufficient that I live- and am probably going to live for another few decades- and that human life exists. Viewed that way, the problem becomes amazingly simple and admits of no two answers. What can be the end of human life except the enjoyment of it?” In other words, what’s the point of living if you can’t enjoy living? I’m not going to be ignorant of the current events, living in these times can be quite difficult to enjoy living, and even to enjoy simple pleasures without sacrificing a few things, however we cannot let it consume us out of our sanity. Being cynical is easy, and trying to find the good in the ever consuming bad can be hard, and reading a passage by Yutang where he describes the simple pleasures of living can sting a little if living hasn’t been going so well, so far. Yet, as I continued reading and finally coming to a part where he gives us an example of happy moments as described by Chin Shengt’an, a 17th century Chinese playwright, which he counted together with a friend when they were sheltering in a temple for 10 days away from the rainy weather, I began to examine my own happy moments, and challenged myself to write down 33 happy moments myself. These happy moments are true moments of human life which the spirit is tied up with the senses, allowing a union of sorts to take place giving way to truly feeling ourselves in the present moment.

When I was writing them down, I was not looking for particular moments where I was visibly ‘happy’ but adhering to the definition of sensuous happiness; deep down what was causing true joy, no judgement, just instinctively within the parameters of my body and senses.

33 Happy Moments:

  1. the warmth of the radiator on a windy day
  2. the quiet hum of the room as i write
  3. the end of my yoga routine, where i can feel the power of my breath flowing through me
  4. the first bite of a warm meal and the last bite after finishing, feeling satiated
  5. the rustle of writing of the fountain pen on the page
  6. blending the colors on a palette and witnessing a new color come alive
  7. when the clouds move across the sky opposite each other, almost as of they’re dancing in a circle across the globe holding hands
  8. feeling the steam rising from the tea cup and the warmth of the cup on my palms as I hold it
  9. the refreshing feeling after washing my hair
  10. the feeling of freshly blow dried hair
  11. freshly brushed teeth
  12. drinking cool water after a hot shower
  13. finishing an inspiring passage in a book
  14. highlighting a phrase that caused a stir in my heart and soul
  15. eating a piece of chocolate and letting it melt in my mouth slowly
  16. the crunch of a carrot and tasting its unexpected sweetness
  17. the crescendo and diminuendo of a piece of music, and following the journey of the melody
  18. closing my tired eyes and drifting into sleep
  19. the way my body curls into a fetal position before sleep, after a long day
  20. the end of a good cry
  21. the freshness a newly cleaned space
  22. washing my favorite blanket and after it is dry, snuggling in the newly cleaned fluffiness of it
  23. making my own meal; the process of putting it together and then finally sitting down to enjoy it
  24. feeding the birds and witnessing how i slowly gain their trust
  25. witnessing heavy grey clouds finally let go of all the water, and watching the city get drenched and cleaned
  26. gargling minty mouthwash without choking
  27. washing and rinsing the roots of my pothos plant and filling it with cool water
  28. the scent of lavender
  29. smoothing on lotion when my skin is dry
  30. filling up a page in my hobonichi planner with doodles
  31. the scent of the wind; sometimes it smells like the ocean in the summer, a fading greenness in the autumn, the iciness of the upcoming winter, and the warming blossoming of the spring
  32. following the journey of the moonrise; her glow transforming from red to orange to yellow, and finally to her final silvery form
  33. waking up naturally to witness the sunrise in the morning coming through my bedroom window

So, can you reader write down 33 happy moments? And if it’s such a difficult task to reach 33, at least writing down one should be enough. After all, we’re all on different paths, some lost, some tired but keep in mind that we are all under the same sky, and that if we look up once in awhile, it can show us a beauty we can appreciate if we can just take the time to look, no judgements, no thoughts of data and such, just gaze and witness.