"Joy and mind. Those are not words that you would normally put together, but they inspired the eleventh-century Richard of St. Victor, a Scottish canon teaching in Paris, and became the themes of his two books on the contemplative mind, Benjamin Major and Benjamin Minor. The titles are taken from one obscure passage from Psalm 68:27, where 'Benjamin' is described as leading a procession into the temple in mentis excessu, which was translated as 'with a joyful mind' or 'with an ecstatic mind.' This made me ask:

What might a joyful mind be?

"When your mind does not need to be right.

"When you no longer need to compare yourself with others.

"When you no longer need to compete — not even in your own head.

"When your mind can be creative, but without needing anyone to know.

"When you can live in contentment with whatever the moment offers.

"When you do not need to analyze or judge things in or out, positive or negative.

"When your mind does not need to be in charge, but can serve the moment with gracious and affirming information.

"When your mind follows the intelligent lead of your heart.

"When your mind is curious and interested, not suspicious and interrogating.

"When your mind does not 'brood over injuries.'

"When you do not need to humiliate, critique, or defeat those who have hurt you — not even in your mind.

"When your mind does not need to create self-justifying story lines.

"When your mind does not need the future to be better than today.

"When your mind can let go of obsessive or negative thoughts.

"When your mind can think well of itself, but without needing to.

"When your mind can accept yourself as you are, warts and all.

"When your mind can surrender to what is.

"When your mind does not divide and always condemn one side or group.

"When your mind can find truth on both sides.

"When your mind fills in the gaps with 'the benefit of the doubt' for both friend and enemy.

"When your mind can critique and also detach from the critique.

"When your mind can wait, listen, and learn.

"When your mind can live satisfied without resolution or closure.

"When your mind can forgive and actually 'forget.'

"When your mind can admit it was wrong and change.

"When your mind can stop judging and critiquing itself.

"When you don't need to complain or worry to get motivated.

"When you can observe your mind contracting into self-preservation or self-validation, and then laugh or weep over it.

"When you can actually love with your mind.

"When your mind can find God in all things."