A spiritual person is a happy person

“I often remember the words from a meditation teacher in Ubud. He looked at a whole room of serious-looking people in meditation poses with mudras, and asked: “What is a spiritual person?” People turned to each other, looking more serious….He laughed: “A spiritual person is a happy person! Don’t be so serious 

I thought of his words again just now as I enjoyed a bowl of beautifully cooked Massaman curry. The colorful yam, tofu and broccoli stacked on top of each other like a half rainbow, resting peacefully above the sea of sweet coconut milk. I gently walked through the rainbow bridge with my gaze, wondering how come I never realized “somewhere over the rainbow” is so close!

The young lady who prepared the food for me emanates pure joy that quietly lights up the whole space. At four o’clock every day, she would put her hat on and walk into the yard with a broomstick. Yesterday she was sweeping the yard as a bunch of people arrived for a shamanic cacao ceremony. Few people seemed to have noticed her. I stopped and greeted her, asking how she was doing. She was surprised, but quickly replied with a wai (Thai gesture for showing respect, palms together) and a heartwarming smile. Ah…

The more I explore, the more spiritual people I encounter on the path. Interestingly, it’s often the people that I came into brief and soft contact with that remind me the most of pure joy — the waitress humming a chirpy song while wiping the tables in a secluded restaurant in Big Sur, the maid at a homestay in Chiang Rai whose joy is contagious, and this young lady cooking at a cafe nested in the jungles of Koh Pha Ngan. Beautiful human beings blessing the world like a gentle breeze….