Author Topic: Why do many hard core full time monks not look happy?  (Read 499 times)

ItsBetterThanTV

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Why do many hard core full time monks not look happy?
« on: January 18, 2020, 02:52:37 AM »
Like I know you cant always read very well how a person feels but looking at pictures on google images I can see way more blank faces and even more miserable looking faces than I can see smiling happy light laughing faces.

You would expect more happiness more fun more laughter and more smiles, especially since they meditate full time like excessively, loads,  the same is to be said of many meditation guru's they are often peaceful and absent of stress better off seeming than the monks,  but not overly outwardly happy seeming at the same time

Why is that?

Whats going on?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 02:54:21 AM by ItsBetterThanTV »

stillpointdancer

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Re: Why do many hard core full time monks not look happy?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2020, 11:34:47 AM »
I'm guessing you only see the public image where they are supposed to be serious. Buddhists were originally known as 'happy people' as I'm sure those are in private.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Matthew

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Re: Why do many hard core full time monks not look happy?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2020, 06:30:04 PM »
I enjoyed lunch and an afternoon with Tulku Ringu Rinpoche a few years back. He was full of laughter and took nothing seriously (from the outside - in reality he takes everything both seriously, yet without attachment) - and he is a highly acclaimed and very respected teacher of the Dharma.
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Goofaholix

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Re: Why do many hard core full time monks not look happy?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2020, 11:29:23 PM »
I'm guessing you might be looking at old photos of Thai forest monks, or the Burmese equivalent.

From what I've noticed in Asian cultures, or at least for the older generations, having your photo taken is often a solemn moment.  You are expected to show seriousness, or gravitas.  Much like having your passport photo taken nowadays I suppose.

SpaceofAwareness

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Re: Why do many hard core full time monks not look happy?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2020, 10:39:57 AM »
From what I have heard, meditation is actually not so common, even among monks, the west has really latched onto it as it is such a direct path to benefits.

dharma bum

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Re: Why do many hard core full time monks not look happy?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2020, 04:00:47 PM »
I'm not sure meditation makes everybody 'outwardly' happy. If someone is outwardly happy, it has to do with their personality or culture. Tibetans are more outwardly happy people than, say, South Indians.

But these days meditation is associated with happiness as a marketing thing, so many people who have public images appear to cultivate an outwardly happy, serene demeanour.

I associate meditators with peace and serenity rather than happiness.
Mostly ignorant

Matthew

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Re: Why do many hard core full time monks not look happy?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2020, 04:33:10 PM »
From what I have heard, meditation is actually not so common, even among monks, the west has really latched onto it as it is such a direct path to benefits.

This is certainly true of some schools within Therevada traditions. Many monks from Sri Lanka, for example, know every sutta by rote, yet have very little experience with meditation.
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Katia

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Re: Why do many hard core full time monks not look happy?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2020, 09:22:27 PM »
Not everyone who isn't smiling, isn't happy.  I'm not sure where this American idea comes from that a person has to be constantly smiling to show happiness, and if they're not, it is to be assumed they're in the depths of despair.  Grinning constantly would kind of cheapen it, wouldn't it?

Also, there's the phenomenon of RBF.  Can't tell you how many times, especially when I was younger, I would have people say to me concernedly, "are you okay?"  I'd reply with a very-confused, "Um, yes?  I'm fine."  Apparently my face when neutral just looks miserable or something?  Can't help that.

 

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