Some of you may have noticed the subtitle for this blog, “We can find the joy – together.”
Coincidentally, I came across a great article from Tricycle magazine which then led to my latest version of The Dhammapada – A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic (c) 2005 by Egil Fronsdal (https://www.amazon.com/Dhammapada-Translation-Buddhist-Classic-Annotations/dp/1590303806.)
First, the Tricycle article, Where to Find Joy and How to Cultivate It, (August 27, 2021) is co-authored by Christina Feldman and Jaya Rudgard, both mindfulness teachers in the Insight Meditation community. One of their main points is: the best way to find joy is to create it. Their 1,500 wordcount article can be found in its entirety here: https://tricycle.org/article/cultivating-joyfulness/
Second, the authors make a reference to The Dhammapada; specifically, verses 197 – 198 on Happiness. My copy of this book, see translation mentioned above, says:
“Ah, so happily we live, without hate among those with hate. Among people who hate we live without hate.
Ah, so happily we live, without misery among those in misery. Among people in misery we live without misery.” p.53
The point of the article, the quote and this post is that we are very unlikely to find ourselves in a perfect place, with perfect people all enjoying perfect joy. More likely we will need to work with ourselves and with a small group of kindred spirits to cultivate joy for one another.
I welcome your thoughts and your translations on how you find joy …. individually and together with others.
With gratitude for you, dear reader.
Good afternoon Patrick 🙏🕉 Your post is very apt for me, as you know I am revisiting The Dhammapada and taking my time with each chapter to do my best to understand and internalise it. Writing about it on my blog helps me to do that. Regarding your post, joy is certainly to me found within ourselves, not by constantly seeking it externally via the latest gadgets, a bigger car, on Facebook etc. I found joy this morning walking around the wheat fields recently harvested, through the village and meeting fellow locals, buying the runner beans my wife likes so much. Getting home and chatting with her in the garden for 30min, I can’t even remember the topic but our joy is in just being together and reflecting on our 50 years of marriage through thick and thin. Now I’m sitting in the garden with a glass of Aligote, remembering the first time we visited Burgundy with our young children and discovered it. All states of being are determined by mind …… my interpretation of Dhammapada Verse 1+. Joy is already within us.
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What a beautiful description of a lovely, contented, and happy day, Dr B. Your words reminded me of Verse 204, “Health is the foremost possession. Contentment, the foremost wealth. Trust, the foremost kinship and Nirvana, the foremost happiness.”