For anyone who thinks that Buddhism is a dry, stoic path, it’s good to read (with a discriminating and open heart) the voluminous Discourses of the Buddha to find that bliss, joy and ecstasy were at the very root of his teachings.
An example would be Verse 372 from the Dhammapada, here translated by my meditation teacher, Jeffrey S. Brooks:
There is no ecstasy without wisdom,
There is no wisdom without ecstasy.
Whoever is close to enlightenment
truly has both wisdom and ecstasy.
There’s lots more where this came from, if you’ve got the time and commitment to delve into it.
As controversial as this sounds, I’ll say in anyway: If your meditations and waking life are not saturated in bliss, joy and ecstasy, you need a new teacher… before you waste another minute on the cushion.
The transformative power of meditative absorption (which produces perpetual bliss, joy and ecstasy) leads to wisdom, as the Buddha shows over and over and over again.
It may take a lifetime or two, but really, is there something more worth our time and energy than the acquisition of ecstasy and wisdom?