Often the goal of buddhist practise is stated in terms of the cessation of suffering but you could also put it in its positive aspect i.e. the attainment of happiness. Not the momentary happiness that one derives from obtaining a fleeting desire but a state of constant well being not dependent upon any external cause or circumstance. We are told, that the Buddha himself said, that there is more than enough joy in this ‘Body’ than you would ever need.
Genuine happiness doesn’t need an excuse to be. It just is… R Peng (qigong secrets for vitality,love and wisdom)
Happiness as defined above is not the happiness that is derived from a new car, girl/boy friend, a new job or even winning the lottery. All mundane joys are impermanent, temporary and ultimately unreliable. Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong in these examples they are not the ‘Joy’, the ‘Happiness’ of an enlightened being.
The ‘Joy’ of the genuinely happy, whether promoted or fired, maintains a steady, inexhaustible flow of peace, joy and contentment.
If you are resisting your present experience, however slight, you are at least to some degree suffering. Similarly, to the extent you can be with your present experience, just as it is, without any need to change it, you experience genuine happiness.
It seems that the human condition is one of grasping and aversion. All the time we experience the push and pull of our desires we will suffer. It also seems a condition of being human to not let go of what we have unless here is something better to move towards and, for most, it seems genuine joy doesn’t exist. It seems, that for most, they cannot imagine what it is to feel joy that is not derived from satisfaction of desires.
Not only does genuine happiness exist the chances are you have already experienced it but you just haven’t clocked the significance of such experiences. You haven’t realised that each moment could be imbued with the same sense of peace, joy and happiness. Simply put, the world becomes a much more enjoyable place when you let go of your likes and dislikes.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have goals just that you are happy whether you get them or not, that you are not better or happier for having them nor any less or sadder by not having them.
Another way the subject of Joy might be illuminated is by a threefold definition of greater levels of joy. There are mundane joy’s, spiritual joy’s and transcendental Joy. Straight a way we can see the definitions vary by the use of the plural denoting there impermanence rather than permanent Joy as a noun. We have already covered mundane joy well enough above so now lets look at spiritual joy.
Spiritual joy could be seen as joy derived from spiritual practises such as meditation, puja and so forth. Activities that lead to rarified states of consciousness or ‘powers’. But ultimately altered states of consciousness and seemingly supernatural powers are dim accomplishments, momentary flashes, compared to the attainment of genuine happiness.
The third level of joy, that defined here as transcendental joy, differs from both the previous levels of joy, regardless how refined, as whilst mundane joys remain subject to achieving desires, require an investment of time and energy to obtain, are egoic in nature and impermanent, genuine happiness… Just is!
Genuine happiness doesn’t require investment in time or energy, it is not based on personal likes or dislikes, nothing is being changed or modified, its all just perfect as it is.
For most of us, it is too much of a leap to go from desire based joy to transcendental joy in one step but rather that we refine our desires and joys until we can let them go altogether. When we stop all the pushing and pulling, pushing and pulling that is energetically draining and mentally wearing, we become invigorated, alive, free!
Genuine happiness, genuine joy is when…
Its all the same to me