So it seems to me that while we meditate and practice and we strive to gain insight into the true nature of mind, the goal-oriented nature of mind leads one into a quietude, a seriousness that you see in many Buddhist monks and practitioners. It’s rare to come across someone like Ajahn Brahm who displays a measure of irreverence and humour.
But it strikes me that as we know we have Buddha nature, we should approach these things with joy and celebration when not meditating. Art, poetry, dance, music, singing, all these ways we have of expressing ourselves and of bringing beauty into the world, it strikes me that it is natural that we should want to do these things alongside meditating.
Natural; but not necessary. You can manifest all those emotions in the way you interact with others; internally. Outward manifestation is clinging to the sense of having to be something, having to do something.
If you are in a situation where art, poetry, dance, music, singing are present, by all means join in. But you yourself can be a walking witness to such ephemeral qualities, in everything you think, say and do. Who needs ~whatever~ when one is already ~whatever~....?
Beauty is a manifestation of truth, once we delve deeply, even the ugly wrathful demons become manifestations of Truth. Strange but true ...
Ego expression beyond a very necessary requirement which varies according to person, age and circumstance is needed less and less ...
The Buddha did not advocate distractions, he went to the core of our awakening requirements ...
I feel @federica made a similar point.
I'm reminded of what a friend's Dharma teacher once told her study group....
"Beware of the unhappy Buddhist-They are not really practising...Just being intellectual"
I think it is a case of the more one lets go, the more joy that will flow...which in my book is cause for celebration
I was fortunate enough to attend a Dharma talk on Sunday given by His Eminence Khenchen Rinpoche (who was visiting NZ ) and when it comes to Dharma practice, he like most Dharma teachers I've come across have always said "Dharma practice should be a time of enjoyment/celebration " (This precious 'human birth/life' )...and from a personal perspective I have found that the deeper I delve into Dharma practice (both cushion and non cushion time) the more free the mind becomes...
Dharma practice can be liken to Greasing the mental cogs so that the mind flows more freely ...well something like that
Buddhadhamma SHOULD help us approach life with joy and celebration.
Especially those of us who choose to be laypeople.
Some people seem to think that "being spiritual" is synonym of putting up a grave and gloomy countenance, or that humour and gaiety are not serious enough to be part of a spiritual path.
In this case, we are dealing with a human factor issue and an individual misinterpretation of what spirituality should be, not with a snag in Buddhadhamma itself.
I definitely think that joy has its place in Buddhism. The suttas are full of references to various forms of bliss, joy, pleasure, rapture, etc., especially in relation to various states of meditative absorption.
In AN 5.28, for example, the pleasure and rapture experienced in first jhana is said to be "born from withdrawal [from the hindrances], accompanied by directed thought and evaluation." In the second jhana, a more refined form of pleasure and rapture is said to be "born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation."
Then there's the "pleasant abiding" of the third jhana where one "permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture, so that there is nothing of his entire body unpervaded with pleasure divested of rapture," and the fourth where one sits "permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness, so that there is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by pure, bright awareness."
Additionally, in AN 4.62, there's mention of "four kinds of bliss" that can be attained by a householder "partaking of sensuality" (i.e., indulging in a non-contemplative lifestyle): the bliss of having, the bliss of wealth, the bliss of debtlessness, and the bliss of blamelessness.
And of course, there's nibbana, "the highest bliss" (Dhp 204).
In terms of the practice, I think the joy that comes from a clear and unburdened mind can be reflected in our daily lives, expressing itself in a variety of ways, such as art, poetry, dance, music, singing, or the joy arising from quiet reflection and mindfulness.
Far from being a joyless path, Buddhism embraces joy, pleasure, and happiness. But the type of pleasure the Buddha advocates is one that doesn't come at the expense of, or place any burdens upon, others.
Sounds like something to sing and dance about to me ...
Nibbana ... not banana ... Buddhas don't have Banana Nature ... wait
... take it away guys ...
Man, cracked me up. I've seen them before, what are they, and is that Japanese or just gibberish.
Minions have their own language ...
I did catch some gutural proliferation in Spanish, Italian and French in the film.
But it is mainly meant to be gibberish...
For me, joy and thus deeper pleasure comes from contentment and in giving up making comparisons. I enjoy happiness, but to me it is different from joy. Happiness is apart from everything else. I am happy sitting in the spring sunshine, for example. But happiness falls apart because it inevitably is compared to the other outcomes, rain, high winds, storms, snow, cold. Therefore, sunshine = happy and everything else = not happy. I can't say I am happy when I walk outside in -40 windchills and my eyes start to freeze shut. But I can find joy in that moment because I can allow, and I can lean into it and I can find joy and contentment in all of it. I was able to find joy in the passing of my grandma. I am able to find joy in arguments with my mother. Not happiness. But joy.
As an aside note, and since I have been away from the forum for several months, I would like to thank you, @Jason, for posting more often as you are now doing.
Your posts are a real asset and food for thought to the discussions
I find it interesting that people’s comments are focussing on the joy aspect of the original post, and not touching much on celebration. I can understand that as joy is talked about in the Buddhist lore, but celebration is the sharing of joy in a festive setting, and perhaps just as important.
Agreed, and quoted-for-emphasis.
Buddhist people do celebrate a lot, @Kerome.
Visit any Buddhist Asian country, especially for Chinese New Year, and you will have no doubt left.
Their calendar of festivities puts our Western mores to shame.
Thank you. I appreciate that. It's nice to be able to be a little more active here than I have been over the last year or two. A lot has changed in my life and it's been difficult to find the time and motivation to contribute. Also, sometimes I just don't have much to say. But it's nice to know that some people like it when I do.
Mind is inherently joyful, and yes even celebratory, when experiencing the pleasure of being itself. It's a quiet celebration, a state of celebration, not someone celebrating something.
All of us who meditate have experienced mind as anything but joyful and celebratory, when distressing thoughts and emotions arise in it. Fortunately, they too are part of mind in their emptiness,and when seen as such, also provide joy, like seeing through a wave to the vastness, peace and beauty of the ocean below.
At some point with effort, persistence, and yes good luck, (call it karma if you like) it is possible for us to find joy and celebration that doesn't end after the fireworks, but arises quietly as we sit in meditation.
Quite the reverse I would say ...
Emptiness does not have qualities, good or bad or nameable in my experience ...
... and now back to the joy and celebration, noisy or not ...
@ lobster said:
Emptiness is not nothingness (well it is that too.) It is nothingness that possesses among other things or non things, awareness, to mention but one nameable quality. Further more emptiness is not your experience or it's not emptiness. Emptiness is an experience without an experiencer as i have written a number of times. Any sense of ownership, immediately excludes us from emptiness as well as egolessness of self a much earlier insight that leads to emptiness. Be careful of traps down there lobster, like dualism.
I enjoy the "Heart Sutra" it is a time for celebration
A Poem from Olav H Hauge, (translated from Norwegian to English)
IT’S THE DREAM
It’s that dream that we carry with us
that something wonderful will happen,
that it has to happen,
that time will open,
that the heart will open,
that doors will open,
that the mountains will open,
that wells will leap up,
that the dream will open,
that one morning we’ll slip in
to a harbor that we’ve never known.