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Getting “Close” to Geri Larkin

In her new book, Close to the Ground, the S&H columnist and Zen practitioner explores Buddhism’s seven factors of enlightenment: mindfulness, investigation, effort, ease, joy, concentration, and equanimity.Which of the seven factors do you think is the most misunderstood?Joy. I don’t know what it is about joy that is so confusing. My experience is that most people equate pleasure with joy. Although there may be joy within some pleasures, it is so much more. Quieter. Lighter. Braver.There is a Buddhist saying, “Ten thousand joys, ten thousand sorrows. “ We’ve got the sorrows down. I want people to remember the joy part and how important it is to spiritual maturity. Happily, when we give ourselves permission to feel it, just about everything we experience can trigger it, starting with seeing a baby bird hopping around on its first official worm hunt just outside our window.Mindfulness is a real buzzword right now. Do you think that’s a good thing?I’m happy mindfulness is a buzzword. It means we are at least thinking about it and how it matters in our lives. Having said this, let me add that genuine mi …

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