The Meaning of Joy, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I have given myself a wonderful Holiday gift.  During the challenges of the last year, both emotional and physical, I realize I have truly “Taken the One Seat”.   This one seat is a place inside myself committed to a centered, sustainable connection to me.

I have had many practices and teachers over my lifetime.  They taught me one powerful lesson.  That is that I must settle on one practice, one me.  It became necessary, even vital, that I not let my experiences of restlessness, dissatisfaction, discouragement, and fear crash into myself. These experiences send me frantically scurrying to seek ways to “feel better”.

I am learning the spiritual discipline of returning myself, time after time, to this one seat.  Here inside myself, seated within myself, I learn to surf.  Entering into the transformative fields of chaos, I am joyous to learn that I am held.

I enter into the present.  I am fully aware and connected with my body, feeling my own existence in its vital, vibrant pulsating life that includes death as an eventual possibility. To me, this is the meaning of this Christmas, Hanukkah, rebirth season in which we all try to understand what “joy to the world” really means.


Susan Austin-Crumpton

Founder & Executive Director, The Estuary