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EverythingSpecial_LargeCoverEverything Special, Living Joy is about how we look at life: the glass half empty or half full. The name was inspired by Charlotte Joko Beck’s book Nothing Special, Living Zen. I had been reading her enlightening book in 1995 prior to experiencing my first eight-day silent meditation retreat, at which I was not supposed to read, write, or gaze at the faces of the other participants.

Early on in the retreat, I began to experience pangs of sadness in not being able to smile or look into the faces around me. Suddenly and surprisingly, in a meditation sitting, startling thoughts of joy and specialness popped into my head and could not be contained in such a small space. I felt an overwhelming push to write down these loving thoughts. Even the name of the book came to me in a later meditation sitting.

I believe it was the gift of silence, the time to just be, and a “room of one’s own” that allowed this book to happen. It was written in four of the eight days, in between meditation sittings and walking. I did not conform to the requirements of a “good” meditation student, but my meditation experience was profoundly wondrous!

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Everything Special, Living Joy