Glossary: Non-energetic joy

The kind of joy that exists without a proximate cause.  Joy experienced just by being in the world without anything specific happening.  Often achieved during meditation.  Like the sun that is always shining above the clouds, this kind of joy is always there to be accessed.  A benefit of meditation is recognizing that this kind of thing exists and can be tapped into at any time.  This is the only kind of sustainable joy.  Happiness over the long term is only possible through this kind of joy.

This is my own wording of non-energetic joy as described in Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within by the Jolly good fellow from Google.  The original Pali word is Sukha which the most Buddhists translate somewhat differently.  And should never by confused with Suka, the Slavic insult that means “shut up bitch”.

Some quotes from Tan re: the two kinds of joy:  “Our lack of joy is certainly not for lack of ways to gratify our egos and senses.  However, the joy that comes from these sources is inherently problematic since it depends on external factors out of our control.”  “By contrast, joy that comes from within – from a peaceful mind as a result of taking a few breaths, joy from being kind toward others (which involves other people but does not depend on them), joy from our own generosity, joy from doing the right thing – all this joy is ours to have, independent of circumstances.”  Yea I want more of that one please.

The opposite is energetic joy which in Pali is Piti.  Joy that requires a cause.  Like someone saying they love you. Or receiving an award. Or buying something you have wanted for a long time.  In my experience you can’t string together a happiness with alot of instances of Piti.  Although I have certainly tried mightily.

I find both these concepts very useful.  You can’t really find joy or happiness without understand the different forms.  The effortless forms, the forms that are achieved by letting go and waking up are the sustainable, always available forms.  All others are short lived and dead ends.


Also published on Medium.

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