Obviously much of life is toil. There's little escape from that: even the most privileged make their own toil. One essential part of transcendence must be communing with others, on one level or another. The discordant joy of those in the impoverished regions of the globe has always struck me. How can they smile. More importantly, why do if feel a deep connection with these people? How do they access my heart so readily? How do they change lives? How can they so readily look you in the eye without demanding anything or revealing shame? How do they disarm one so well protected?
One answer is not by having a larger house, iPod or car because they don't. I love gadgets, convenience and comfort so I will never really give them up. It is not the items themselves, rather the false expectations these items bring. Sure they bring happiness, pride and wonder. What they are, however, is a symptom (and vehicle) of a culture of isolation and disconnection. As I stand waiting for the bus or riding my bike on many a morning the smell of pollution sickens me. Yet, as I am passed by so many cars I wonder if the drivers know. I cannot believe how sick I feel after cycling on a rural road when a car that has just been started goes by me. Now I know there are naysayers on global warming and the responsibility of humans, but get out of the car and breathe. That red glow on the horizon really is pollution!
What are we plugged into? Community? Anything that centres us? Now life is often presented as a battle from which me must unplug ourselves to once more enter the fray. Live 1 week (a three week vacation yields one week without toning down or ramping up) out of 52? Yet, many I have met swim with the current. The nourishers, what is it about them? Those with a community, those who fit in their own skin, you know them. Moreover, what about children and the child-like natures of those who suffer most. What really nourishes the soul?
Other humans: I am sure that every individual (even those I hate) has shown at least one act of kindness, which nourishes others.
Self: navel gazing aside, a deep realization of the wonder you are. Check out these guys: one suffering and one a comic.
Nature: as a model, but more of where we belong.
The mysterious wonder that governs (or created) serendipity: enough said.