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What softens your heart and brings joy?

Trapped in samsara it’s easy to focus on the bad. But sometimes it takes something so little to spark the good feels in the heart-mind (citta) and turn to a place of happiness, joy, and well-being.

What softens your heart? What gets your Metta going? What are you grateful for?

This is not a discussion post but a place to share and find inspiration, so bring your :heartbeat: and share one or more tidbits.

I’ll start!

  • Seeing people care for others and treat them with kindness
  • When my cat snuggles up on my lap and starts purring
  • The immense generosity and wisdom of my teachers
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For me, it is the practice of recollecting the Sangha.

When I feel too dry and in need of inspiration, I read Great Disciples of the Buddha, edited by Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi. It never fails to soften my heart and often brings tears to my eyes.

One of my favourite passages is drawn from the Cunda sutta together with its commentary. It tells of the Ven Sāriputta’s final days when, sensing he is near to death, and moved by immense compassion for his mum Rūpasārī, he determines to return to his natal home in Magadha. There, he gives her a Dhamma talk on the virtues of the Buddha (iti pi so bhagavā…), at the conclusion of which she attains Stream-Entry. :pray:t4:

Shortly after, Sāriputta passes away.

Although the episode is filled with supernatural events, gods etc, there’s something incredibly profound and relatable in the Ven Ananda’s response when he hears of his dear friend’s death:

Since I heard this, my body feels like it’s drugged. I’m disorientated, and the teachings don’t spring to mind.

That intensely raw, visceral feeling Ananda describes somehow really brings the story to life for me, and inspires me to push on to the furthest shore, just as Sāriputta, Ananda and countless others have done.

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Having a good laugh (or cry!) with my fellow spiritual companions :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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One of my friends has been in hospital with haemorrhagic gastroenteritis. But the old boy is back home now and everyone is much relieved

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@stu Please give him lots of pets and scritches from me :slight_smile:

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Seeing this thread and all the contributions to it :heart_eyes: :revolving_hearts: :dharmawheel: :sunflower:

To me it just pulses with kindness and compassion and outright metta. And seeing this softens my heart and brings joy - Thank You :pray: :sparkling_heart:

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I feel such immense gratitude to be so fortunate in so many ways…
remembering the deep love my grandmother shared with me for the first 25 years of my life…
being here on this forum with others who are so wise, respectful and sharing this beautiful journey together…
The Dhamma which is so accessible to me in print, through the spoken word and as demonstrated by those teachers who practice so well…and the precious love of my dear friends.
Thank you so much for asking. :yellow_heart:

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Rain! Rain is the most beautiful thing in the world.
Have you ever seen the rain?

And humans, above all!
Especially the nasty ones - they make me more compassionate.

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Yes… rain is so precious… and it’s raining now in Perth, Western Australia :blush: Yah!

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Remembering all my good spiritual friends over in New York! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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My parents. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

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Great topic, thank you for sharing.

I’d add the results of my own good deeds. That’s something that hasn’t been mentioned yet. Seeing other beings benefit from my actions is gladdening. Self concern leaves the building when you do something good for someone else.

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Tan Ajahn Anan

image

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Thank you for starting such a lovely thread. :heart:

Grass and trees and air and space

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It varies from day to day. This morning it was watching turnstones foraging on the beach.

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A mockingbird, equipped with avian snowshoes, to be worn while it’s deformed feet were being reset.

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  1. Seeing great ideas like this that generates positivity and togetherness :pray:t4::star::+1:t3:

  2. Kindness

  3. Kids gently helping earthworms to safety on rainy days

  4. Silence, and being able to stay silent in the face of negativity and anger

  5. Kindness

  6. Not being feared by anyone

  7. Open, empty spaces

  8. Kindness

  9. This photo and the end of suffering

“Joy at last to know there is no happiness in the world”

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These recent happenings softened my heart:

• One of the noisy neighbourhood kids who like to use bad words helped the delivery guy in finding my address

• Being given sutta references and other helpful information in my recent post

• Seeing people try to help a Venerable get a lodging in another thread

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Since I’m new here, I’ve been reading through lots of old threads, so it has been bringing me joy to explore this wonderful Dhamma community with so much wisdom to share.

Yesterday I followed a link someone posted to a Dhamma talk by Bhante @sujato, A Simple Recipe for Meditation:

As it happens I’ve been having a small difficulty in my meditation lately and had been feeling kind of closed down and discouraged about not being able to get past it. After 40 minutes of learning, laughing, and sometimes crying during this wonderful Dhamma talk, I felt quite inspired and opened up to meditation again… because it really is as simple as just letting go. So my heart is definitely full of warmth and gratitude right now. :pray:

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