When I was a young child, I was given an extraordinary gift, a subscription to a book club. Each month a book containing a collection of stories and poems arrived in the mailbox. The books open doors to worlds I had not experienced on my own.

As an adult I still treasure the gift of a book. This year I received a copy of “The Joy of Living – Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness” by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, a Buddhist monk. Yongey Mingyur presents the parallels between meditation and neuroscience with humor and simplicity.

My experience with meditation began at the age of fourteen. As an artist, there are times when I am painting without “creating”. Those sessions leave me feeling frustrated and empty. When I am “creating” I am usually in the same state of consciousness that I am when I meditate. When I have been asked about this, I have found it difficult to explain. Yongey Mingyur explains my experience. He demystifies meditation and explains how one can be practicing meditation throughout the day during normal activities (such as painting). I am hopeful that this book will awaken readers to their own creativity and the joy that comes along with the creative experience. In my mind, observing one’s environment with open eyes and an open heart is new and unique each and every time. Allowing that experience to be expressed and acknowledged even silently within one’s own thoughts is creative and joyful whether the feeling is happy or sad.

Image: Music and Art in the Big Bad City by Chris Carter
Mixed Media Collage – Paper and Acrylic on Masonite
Size: 10″ x 10″