Joy is a Sacred Pursuit

This Week in Peace chronicles the exciting adventures of San Jose's own Dancer of Peace, Khalilah Ramirez. Written under divine inspiration, this column contains true stories of peace encounters in your neighborhood. This week's column encourages us to pursue the spirit of joy, to recognize its fundamental purpose in our lives and how it's an inner, deep and pure well we can always draw from.

Akoma Arts members at Fischer Middle School in east San Jose.

Greetings to all and thanks for reading! This Week in Peace strives to focus steadily on the constantly unfolding beauty of life. As we draw closer to the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese calendar, may we each grow into more expressive versions of ourselves. Today, we turn our attention to the energy of joy and its countless benefits.

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines joy as “ a feeling of happiness that comes from success, good fortune or a sense of well-being.” Let's challenge that definition and delve into a deeper meaning. Far from being a mere passing mood, true joy originates within. It is like a well, deep and pure, that we can draw from whenever we wish. Joy functions independently of our belief about higher powers, life in general or the world at large.

What makes the spirit of joy worth pursuing? Does joy seem frivolous, or even silly? Let's address these doubts by listing some related facts:

-Joy is the birthright of all Earthlings. This is evident in the way that nature enfolds us and the way that the Earth is unceasingly supportive of us.

-Joy is healthful yet rarely prioritized.

-Practicing joy gives us access to higher realms of thought, from which we can create deeper levels of engagement in life.

-Joy is effortlessly strengthening to the body, mind and spirit.

Before writing it off as an intangible luxury, let's take this opportunity to experiment! Human beings are naturally curious and joy is a wonderful, constructive thing to be curious about. A short exercise:

Stand with your feet firmly planted and arms extended high above the head. Outdoors is optimum. Breathing fully, see the sky as if for the first time. Stay this way for a minute or two. This is a pose of power, which opens the heart. From here, we can connect with the earth, the inner spirit and the cosmos at once. We can experience a boost in energy and the thrill of being even more alive! Dwell on the knowledge that feeling joy is a part of our purpose in life. It is sacred. YES, you deserve it!

The Dance of Peace had the golden opportunity this week to share the virtue of joy at Clyde Fischer Middle School in San Jose. Working hand in hand with Akoma Arts, the goal is to engage each person on the level of joy. Using this power, we helped to transform about 200 restless and tired school children into eager drummers, singer and dancers. Joy is a natural bridge into peace. When asked, “What IS peace?” the children shouted various answers: “No war!” “Working together!” “Getting along!” “Feeling happy inside!”

All of these answers are considered correct and it is a victory to get our youth on the path of thinking and speaking about peace. After interacting for over an hour, we enjoyed laughing, dancing and showcasing what we learned from each other. The spirit of joy was with us and may it be with you! Thanks and see you out there!

***New Hours/Location for the weekly Dance of Peace Performances:
Sundays 11am, Campbell Farmer's Market 
Tuesdays 12 noon, San Carlos and Meridian, San Jose

Related Media:
The Allies of the Dance of Peace
There's a Magic to Peace

The Energy of Peace is Transformative

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This article is part of the tags: Akoma Arts  / Dancer of Peace  / Drumming  / Joy  / Khalilah Ramirez  / Peace  / Peace Dancer  / This Week in Peace 


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