J is for… Joy

A blog I really enjoy reading is Reb Jeff‘s. He writes about joyful Jewish living.

One of the things which attracts me to paganism is the joy in living and practice which it displays. I say ‘displays’ quite deliberately, and as a compliment; I think Quakers do enjoy their religion, but it’s not obvious; and although some Buddhist groups – the Community of Interbeing comes to mind – emphasise enjoyment of the practice, it can be hard to tell when everyone is sitting or walking in silent meditation! When a group of pagans are giggling over a campfire, or a pagan author is writing lyrically about the beauties of Goddess and God revealed through non-human nature, it’s often very obvious how much fun they’re having.

Joy is the counterpart to suffering. We need each in order to fully understand an appreciate the other. In my life, I notice that I never have to go looking for suffering, while joy can be hard to find. I do enjoy mindfulness practice, and unprogrammed Quaker worship, but I find a deep expression of true joy in paganism’s way of reveling in the richness of nature – even the darker parts of it.


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