I noticed aside from gross sensory pleasures such as eating, or sometimes writing, I don't feel much pleasure or joy. It is as though the emotional spectrum of joy and pride, and other such positive emotions, is limited in myself.

This considered, is there any likelihood of success to any meditations or practices given I am doing things without happiness and joy?

I feel like I'm trying to move forwards while something is inherently lacking.

Thank you.

QUESTION: Also, what are the wholesome pleasures and joys usually implied in the Buddhist path?

EDIT: I would like to say that it feels as though such positive emotions are unFELT, but not unSOUGHT. Basically, I am drawn to positive situations and joys, e.g. listening to music, but the FEELING seems absent. Anyone have any idea what is going on?

  • 1
    my 5c: I'd say that you may be suffering from a kind of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anhedonia - it's a medical/psychiatric condition that can have multitude of underlying reasons, many of them strictly somatic (e.g. serious hormonal imbalances due to gland disfunctions/tumours) - I'd be more focused on getting you to properly feel positive emotions again, than to focus on Buddhist path ATM. I'm not saying it's always the best choice, but sometimes it's best to heal the body before healing the spirit.
    – user824
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 21:38

3 Answers 3


Sounds like you are looking for positive emotions from entertainment (e.g. music). That is one way to get positive emotions... not necessarily invalid but rather superficial and not lasting.

Another way to get joy is through setting challenging goals and achieving them. When you can overcome your weakness / limits, you will feel rewarded, and worthy of self-respect.

In Buddhism the challenging goal we set is Right Bodily Behavior, Right Verbal Behavior and Right Mental Behavior. When we overcome our bad habits and achieve certain level of perfection, we can truly congratulate ourselves and that gives the special type of joy. (And then the joy of Completion, which is the highest.)

But even on mundane level, you can set challenging goals, like sport, raise yourself to challenge despite pain and weakness - and then congratulate yourself. Try it, it really does work ;)


The proper themes of meditation for beginning and to provide joy: What should one meditate upon as a beginner?

To have joy in something, it requires devotional practice: Respect, Confidence and Patient

And yes, without joy no headaway, going forth.

One needs a "star" or to see good attributs of real stars in one self.

[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma and not meant for commercial purpose or other gains in the world]


You are stiffled. You think that you are not allowed to enjoy life, enjoy women and pleasure in life because of clinging and craving and dukka and death and the danger in sensual pleasures.

But you are not a monk. You don't meditate as much as a monk would do, who would enter jhana and be content with robe, bowl, medicine.

You don't have to stop following the red thread, enthuziasm, that will make your life worth living and enjoyable.

Do the things that make you enthuziast. If you don't know them find them. Let yourself express the life in you. Take dance classes. I do and it helps.

Get involved in social circles. Expand them and meet new people constantly. It is the joy of life.

You can have a break with meditation until you will be enthuziastic at the thought of sitting. I do so and it helps my meditation.

Don't rush things, be patient. Be outcome independent, don't do things having expectations, do them because you enjoy being yourself doing them. Results are bound to come.

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