Can you explain something about joy?
For example it's mentioned in AN 11.1:
“But what’s the purpose and benefit of having no regrets?”
“Avippaṭisāro pana, bhante, kimatthiyo kimānisaṃso”?
“Joy is the purpose and benefit of having no regrets.”
“Avippaṭisāro kho, ānanda, pāmojjattho pāmojjānisaṃso”.
I can imagine several specific question, please answer any or none of these (from scripture or experience, any tradition of Buddhism).
I'm especially interested in the context of everyday lay life, rather than specifically/only during formal meditation.
- Can you explain the joy/rapture/tranquillity/bliss/immersion sequence? What's the difference between these, what's the connection? Is some of this specifically meditative? I'm guessing that at least the start of the sequence, "skilful ethics" isn't only meditative. If this is too long to explain in an answer is there a text/reference you recommend instead?
- Does some condition or thing cause joy, apart from a lack of remorse? Is it a matter of choice, at all? When dukkha arises would you say "that's dukkha, I'd better wait for it to cease", or would you say, "that's dukkha, I'd better 'choose joy' instead?"
- Is it "primarily ethical", if that makes sense as a question, e.g. if ethics is doing the right thing then is joy (or choosing joy, or intending joy) also "the right thing" in that way?
- Would I be right to assume that these maybe happen in stages, like one before the other -- with earlier ones having each next one as their eventual purpose? Is it something of a gradual training, does it make sense to focus on sometimes improving or cultivating one stage (e.g. joy)? How do you "cultivate" joy (is it only by cultivating skilful ethics and non-remorse or...)?
I'm a bit conscious of this answer:
People need Buddhism when their current raft has sunk. If there is food on the table, a comfortable place to sleep, and they have no complaints about their daily routine, then our jobs as Buddhists is to rejoice in their success (mudita).
Anyhow, I don't claim to have a good solution for the problem-- how do we stay optimistic and positive or happy once we realize the muddle we are in, but at least the Mahayana version, provides a path towards how to find happiness-- by taking action to solve everyone's problems.
Do you agree with that and is that all there is to say on that subject?
Does it happen that Buddhism provides a new raft, or tells a person how to swim, but they still tend to be "depressed" e.g. unhappy and ineffective, as well as troubled or restless?
There's an illustration of "household joy" and "renunciation joy" at the end of this question. Assuming I can imagine a bit what "household joy" might be, would it be worth explaining that illustration of "renunciation joy"?
"Joy" seems to me to appear quite late in the "Ten Bulls" sequence -- relatively late compared to its being quite early in the Kimatthiyasutta -- i.e. it's the last, Return to society, which says, "I am ever blissful" etc. Is that significant? Or maybe it's earlier, like at the 5th of 6th stage.