Thursday, 21 October 2010

Buddha on Joy

Sayings of Buddha on "Joy".
Rendered in haiku form.

This is fifteenth in the series.

The image is "Glad Day" by William Blake.

We live happily.
Even among those who hate,
We live without hate.

We live happily.
Even among the troubled,
We live in good health.

We live happily.
Even among the embroiled,
We find inner peace.

We live happily,
Never worried of starving,
For joy is our food.

Conquest breeds rivals,

And suffering in the conquered.
So renounce conflict.

There’s no fire or pain
Like passion, anger and loss,
And no joy like peace.

The greatest trouble
Is hunger, the greatest goal
To free the body.

Health, comfort and trust
Are man’s best friends, but freedom
Is the greatest bliss.

Stillness and freedom
Must be tasted through practice
Before insight comes.

Drink in joy the Truth
That expels all fear and pain.
The Truth sets you free.

Keep good company.
Life with noble ones is bliss,
Better than with fools.

He who walks with fools
Sighs as with foes, but in joy,
The wise are like kin.

Follow the nobles,
Resolute, intelligent,
Dutiful and kind.

Follow the wise ones
As the moon follows its path
Among the night’s stars.


  1. I just love all of these. They way they are presented in haiku....the pictures etc.
    Thank you, Okei!

  2. This has to be the hardest to understand when people are suffering...but there is no way to avoid the task! It is an imperative...

    Thanks for these Okei!

  3. Follow the wise ones
    As the moon follows its path Among the night’s stars.

    It certainly firmly established it's ways and so needed for life itself

    Beautiful and thoughtworthy words.

  4. Sure, Nancy, but compassion is not to take on or suffer another's suffering, but to understand and know another's suffering, right?

    "The greatest trouble
    Is hunger, the greatest goal
    To free the body."

    This post was timely for me because I'd just experimented doing a water-and-tea only fast for the first time having been considering doing something like this for ages as a "detox". One day was fine, hunger wasn't a problem at all, but I woke up on the second morning feeling really faint, low sugar I thought, in retrospect it might have also been not drinking enough water (apparently the idea is that toxins get released and by drinking water your body clears them out). I continued for a bit, sat in the sun a while (amazing we had some!), and began to feel what it really must be like for those don't know when they'll get their next meal. It wasn't hunger so much as feeling depleted and the body unable to "just relax", very different from the feeling of hunger that we normally experience. And eye-opening to experience that knowledge that hunger isn't the reason for eating, it's survival. I was reminded of Simone Weil. I was reminded of those who for days can "live on air". I was reminded of those who can take refuge in "Truth". But, ultimately it was very hard to function whilst feeling blurry, so I went back home, took a one-hour nap, and when I woke I felt fine again, but I didn't want to go back "there", so I decided to break the then 43-hour fast (slowly... I'd been warned to ease the stomach back in, and I know from my own experience to avoid mouth cramps) with some dates and a tangerine, and then more later in the day, so I could get on with life without worrying about collapsing or something and then I had a couple of dinners that evening, lol, because losing weight was definitely not something I was planning for. I was just trying to "reset" some bad habits, give my digestion a break, and maybe get into the habit of eating vegetables other than tomatoes or avocado. :^)

    Lol, Had. Indeed, it knows its way by now.

    And Truth has no religion, but religion has a heck of a lot of Truth!

    And what timing to come by just now, eh! :) You were discussing the medicinal effects of food just before I went on holiday. I've learnt some stuff since then, about the cleansing effects of dandelion tea, and the healing of cinnamon and honey, and also of elderflower and elderberry teas for bacterial and viral infections respectively, but I've not tried these and hope not to have to.

  5. On your fast

    I was in a small village once where they had one meal a day. and meat (usually fish) on Friday, It took awhile for me (my body) to adjust to that.
    (and there was no cheating-no fast food place down the road)
    My body felt that lack the first day. Water didn't make me feel better but worst in a way to where I didn't want to drink it. "And eye-opening to experience " ( yes)

    My hunger for food is little compared to many on this earth. Yet somehow I selfishly feel it just skipping a meal. A good thing to remember.

    Fasting can be a good thing but one must watch that too as good building cells get lost. And maybe well needed. One must know their health issues.

    I think of the Holocaust (and others where meals are or were often withheld for one reason or another like P.O.W., homeless, etc)
    * The Donner (sp?) family stranded on their trip west here in the U, S. hit a blizzard-where after time some begin to eat others even family, (they didn't think rescue would come in time-(for some it did)) --how they must have felt/feel to be so hungry. Yet some had this joy still and hope and a belief in values that they never let down -that got them through it all. The very worst of that time. And their conscience was free of letting those values not go while some felt guilty all their lives- others felt free.

    As above post we need to remember the good ways, and listen to the wise it will carry us through the days that will test us.

    Enjoyed your post. I hope to remember it when I need too. Thank you.