“J” is for Joy
Currently, my take on joy is that it’s easier to experience, feel and intuit than to be able to define clearly.
Joy is often talked about in relation to working with anger. Here are some words from viewonbuddhism.org, quoting the Dalai Lama on these topics:
…there are various factors that contribute to attaining that level of joy and happiness which we conventionally also recognize as sources of happiness, such as good physical health, …the wealth that we accumulate, …and a circle of friends we trust and with whom we can relate emotionally.
Now all of these are, in reality, sources of happiness, but in order for one to be able to fully utilize them with the goal of enjoying a happy and fulfilled life, one’s state of mind is crucial. If one harbors hateful thoughts within, or strong or intense anger somewhere deep down, then it ruins one’s health, so it destroys one of the factors. Even if one has wonderful possessions, when one is in an intense moment of anger or hatred, one feels like throwing them—breaking them or throwing them away. So there is no guarantee that wealth alone can give one the joy or fulfillment that one seeks. Similarly, when one is in an intense state of anger or hatred, even a very close friend appears somehow “frosty,” cold and distant, or quite annoying.
What this indicates is that our state of mind is crucial in determining whether or not we gain joy and happiness. So leaving aside the perspective of Dharma practice, even in worldly terms, in terms of our enjoying a happy day-to-day existence, the greater the level of calmness of our mind, the greater our peace of mind, and the greater our ability to enjoy a happy and joyful life.
Joy is something I’ve explored some….While not fully able to define it, the end of this talk shares some thoughts on “inconceivable” and “conceivable” joy:
Photo: “J” created by Netsui. Thank you! Go to “Netsui Arts” for her great works! https://www.flickr.com/photos/netsui/