Yesterday was World Laughter Day.  People gathered in celebration. Yesterday Osama bin Laden was killed. People gathered in celebration.

In the first case, people gathered in a spirit of joy and friendship to promote “world peace through laughter.” It may seem an unusual slogan at first, but as Alan Alda said, “when people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other” and he suggested that we keep laughing and get other people to join us in laugher. There is a purity of heart and deep connection that arises in shared laughter. When I’m with groups of people laughing together, I feel a sense of deep happiness and contentment.

As I watched the crowds gathered in front of the White House last night, I saw a sense of elation, yet I was ambivalent at best. I totally understand the sense of vindication and retributive justice in seeing one who has caused death and suffering taken out. I also sense that the celebration does not come from the best part of us. I wonder what counter-retribution may be sought.

How do we make sense of the contrasting thoughts, feelings, and sensations?

This past week, my colleague, Michel Neray, said to me, “The world is so [expletive deleted] contradictory and we have to juggle polar opposites in our head all the time.”

How do we do that juggling and maintain a primary state of exhilaration, of cheerful aliveness?

If we go back to the last line of the poem below (April 18), we see that we all have both shadow and radiance and we travel  “the way of all beings; towards darkness, towards light.” I notice my disposition to embrace the light and to push away or to avoid the dark. It’s another lesson that resistance causes persistence and that lack of acceptance is at the root of all suffering.

As I am finding my way to be Psyched for Monday, I am juggling a deep desire for peace with my not knowing how to embrace or accept intolerance and vengeance. In the moments where I have enough awareness to take a step back, get out of my head, and into the world of sensation and feeling, I know to go back to my practices – to take good breaths and center myself.

I move from the global contradictions to my own fortunate life and I step into gratitude and appreciation for my life, my gifts, my family, and my community. In that place I find my abiding peace and I feel a smile burgeoning on my face and I think about how privileged I am to serve and to pursue my passions.

I won the family bet that the snow would not be entirely gone from the lawn by the start of May, but the sun is shining and it is going to be a great day. I’m Psyched for Monday and I hope you are, too.

I’d love to hear your comments. Be exhilarated!

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