SuttaCentral

We are not searching for joy or happiness

Joy is a feeling, an uncontrollable feeling.

Happiness is a feeling, also an uncontrollable feeling, too.

Equanimity is the ability to control the mind. It is not trapped in feeling any longer.

Equanimity is seeing that everything is out of control, therefore, there’s no need to fret over anything. No need to do anything, just enjoy the ride, by knowing what happens.

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Or ride it without the need to enjoy it :smiley:

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Joy is one of the 7 factors of awakening. It’s possible to enjoy meditation without craving. By enjoy I don’t mean have craving.

It’s essential to find happiness and joy in meditation or else one might not last long in the training, and fall back to sensual desires again.

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That’s interesting Bhante,
since we were discussing equanimity, I thought that joy in this case is might not be part of the experience since joy, as beneficial as it can be, cannot be equanimous, or maybe it can be?

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I think we need to be more precise in the terminology being used. Are we equating joy and happiness with piti and sukha? Or worldly (non-Dhammic) joy and happiness? If we’re talking about piti and sukha, then those precede equanimity in the jhanas. They are in fact required to get to equanimity, but eventually fade away, and then equanimity takes over. Or are we talking about the equanimity of the Brahma Viharas? Although I don’t have a quote on hand, the Buddha sometimes discussed (without explicitly mentioning the jhanas) how joy gives rise to piti, which gives rise to sukha, which then gives rise to samadhi. Piti and sukha are mentioned all over the suttas.

There’s a sutta where a layman went to the Buddha complaining about how he still had craving for worldly pleasures, but didn’t know why. The Buddha told him it was because he wasn’t yet enjoying the pleasures of the holy life (things like piti, sukkha). So without yet gaining the pleasures of the holy life, and not indulging in worldly pleasures, the layman was left with craving for worldly pleasures. I can’t find where that sutta is right now, but it’s definitely in the first half of the MN, since I’ve been reading through that the last few weeks. The layman was a Sakyan, I think, or was related to one of the Buddha’s prominent disciples. The second half of that sutta is totally unrelated to the first half, and feels tacked on, actually. It’s a bit of a weird sutta.

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Yes, different levels of equanimity. I am using it in a more everyday mode.

Indeed, in 4th Jhana, the equanimity there has no joy and happiness.

Outside of the 4th Jhana, even arahants can experience joy and happiness, and have the attitude of equanimity towards them.

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Removing feelings is gradual, therefore one first removes unwholesome painful feelings before removing wholesome pleasant feelings.

Also, painful and pleasant is relative. Something is pleasant when compared to a painful backdrop, but compared with the backdrop of Nibanna, even pleasant states are seen as painful.

So pain and pleasure is not a static object that exists, it’s a perception which changes based on interpretation.

Hence, to overcome an addiction to a pleasure, you have to see it as painful, which is the instructions in MN 64 and several suttas where you’re supposed to see a jhana factor as painful in order to let it go and progress to the next jhana.

In the end, all activity is seen as painful compared to non-activity.

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Happily we live, we who have no impediments,
Feeders on joy shall we be like the gods of the Radiant Realm
- Dhammapada

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May I know the number, please? Thank you.

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Yes I agree that maybe sometimes it is better to use Pali indeed otherwise it is difficult to understand the concept. I was thinking about the stages of meditation as you mentioned. :anjal:

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15, on Happiness :pray: :slightly_smiling_face:

I experience that equanimity leads to happiness, sympathetic joy, kindness and compassion, - and of course, it can be experienced by consciousness-here and now. So it’s easy to control if there is no controller.
Happiness doesn’t arise in a still mind - still mind is happiness.