With the weight of the world on our shoulders, getting off the ground becomes problematic. Our minds have trouble soaring aloft because they are heavy laden with cares, anxieties, and deadlines of one sort or another. These things have a psychological weight that smothers our capacity to imagine and to play. Burdened so, we forget to lighten up and go lightly through the days and nights. We forget about our wings so our wings forget about us.
However, we can easily arouse the miraculous, the awe inside. One of our finest capacities as human beings is to wonder at ourselves and the world; to bring curiosity, vitality, and bounce to our lives.
Here is an exercise for your “awe muscle”, which is the muscle that makes your jaw drop open in amazement. Often a little reflection on something like the simple fact of your beating heart – a muscle that automatically flexes a few billion times in an average human lifespan and pumps blood through a circulatory system that if laid end to end would stretch all the way around the earth – can completely change your mood.
Being willing to bounce means being willing to be stretched, to expand and take in the enormity of it all – ourselves, the world, the mystery. We belong to the stars in the night sky and to the silence of the wilderness in the darkness. We are made to express ourselves in singing, dancing, studying, learning, working, and playing. We belong to all of this and much more. This is our awe. And it is awesome.
Several years ago, The Dalai Lama was scheduled to speak in Madison Square Garden. After the crowd of thousands was seated, the Dalai Lama entered, walked down the carpet and climbed the steps to take a seat at the top of the throne. To make the seat comfortable, the organizers had placed mattresses at the top, covered by carpet and silk. When the Dalai Lama sat down on the throne, it bounced. A smile lit his face. He bounced again and smiled some more. Then, in front of thousands of students, he bounced up and down as happily as a child.
He had remembered to bounce.