This past year or two I've been thinking a lot about religion and spirituality. Matter of fact, lately I've been dreaming of listening in on a theoretic "end of the world" forum-of-world-thought. Well, I kind of just made that name up. But you get the idea. I want to sit down and listen to everyone who has a vision of all this massive change taking place worldwide and simply hear dialogue. It's the English major in me. I want all the colorful characters, the momentous stories. I want to line them all up, analyzing the similarities, looking for divergences. There's just been so many tidbits reaching me lately in such a harried fashion. So that's my dream-conference for the moment. Cultural-religious-spiritual-historical anthropology.

And on this subject, I arrive at a place I come to a few times each month. How is my happiness going? How am I feeling? What can I be doing better? What kind of growth am I aiming for now? (More thoughts on happiness.)

It's always changing, and sometimes my thoughts clutter any thoughts of "happiness." Yes, I get wrapped up in crap. Dishes. Picking up. Keeping up. But one place I find happiness in consistently is in gratitude. When I think about all that I give thanks for, it connects me to my own spiritual place. It brings me closer to everyone and everything around me. It makes it all relevant, important, and within reach.

This year for the holiday I got myself a present. It reminded me very much of the daily proverb books I doted on as a child. It's called Offerings: Buddhist Wisdom for Every Day. A beautiful collection of photography, a daily thought to ruminate, and a reminder of humanity's resourcefulness, hope and strengths.

Now, as with all "daily" books I've ever attempted to keep up with...I found myself a few weeks behind. Perhaps I needed one of these messages now instead? And here it was:

<strong><em>Happiness is the result of inner maturity. It depends on us alone, and requires patient work, carried out from day to day. Happiness must be built, and this requires time adn effort. In the long term, happiness and unhappiness are therefore a way of being, or a life skill. - Matthieu Ricard</em></strong>

May this bring you a moment of reflection today.

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