I recently discovered Byron Katie. Is anyone out there familiar with her? Her premise is that suffering is caused when we believe the stressful thoughts we have about ourselves, others, the world, etc. If we choose not to believe them, our suffering ends.
Easy peasy, right? Well, for those of us who can't simply ignore all the thoughts that bump around in our monkey minds, Katie has a process called "The Work" to teach us how we can do it.
Anyway, I learned about Katie when I received her book A Thousand Names for Joy as a gift. I'm not very far along, but already there is a passage from chapter 3 that particularly speaks to me. To set the scene, she is in the process of chopping vegetables for a salad and is thoroughly enjoying the process:
Her absolute acceptance of what "is" at any given moment makes me smile (and sometimes laugh out loud!) no matter how many times I read the passage. This reaction has helped me to learn what it feels like to smile from the heart and inspires me to look at everything that happens as an opportunity for joy.
Qigong shares roots with taoist philosophy. This particular book of Katie's is her interpretation of one of the taoist classics, Tao Te Ching, (though she had never even heard of it before writing the book, so it is much more accessible than many interpretations).