This video shows us how to find joy and happiness in these words of wisdom.
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh says, “There is a little difference between joy and happiness. In joy there is still some excitement. But in happiness you are calmer.”
He tells a story which illustrates the difference between joy and happiness. Suppose that you are traveling in a desert and have run out of water. You are feeling tired, hungry, and very thirsty. Up ahead, you see an oasis with beautiful palm trees with lots dates and a lovely pond.
At this moment, you cannot help but feeling a lot of joy in anticipation of relieving your hunger and thirst and having a chance to relax.
After about another ten minute or so, you reach the oasis. You drink the water. This is happiness! You eat the dates. This, too is happiness! You lie down to rest feeling satisfied, relaxed and happy!
The Buddha taught 16 exercises for mindfulness meditation. The first four deal with mindfulness of breathing and the body. The second four deal with feelings.
Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that the fifth exercise in this series is for the cultivation of joy. A good practitioner learns how to do this as a natural progression from mindfulness of the body. We can train ourselves to make use of mindfulness, concentration, and insight to bring about a feeling of joy and a feeling of happiness. We can learn to recognize that we have everything we need to be happy in the present moment.
The seventh and eighth exercises deal with recognizing and dealing with painful feelings. The rest of the exercises deal with aspects of the mind and the objects in the mind. You will learn more about these exercises in future posts.
Which of the quotes gave you the most joy? Which of the quotes gave you the most happiness? Please share!