Mudita : )
The cultivation of the special capacity to revel in another’s joy and current happiness, followed by the wish that the happiness continues, that it increases and even that it never wanes!
This is one of the most joyous wishes there is. Through becoming aware of our feelings, intentions, and thoughts, and actively cultivating expressions of loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy (mudita) and equanimity, we can direct our minds to states of happiness, expansive openness and even liberation. The tactical difficulties in the practice come in letting go of some typical reactions. Upon seeing someone else’s joy, we may experience natural Mudita and happiness, but we may also experience aversion, feelings of jealousy, judgement, envy, etc.
The sense of Mudita is honoring another’s good fortune and well being, being open to it, to see it grow and increase and even to increase and never wane!
It may seem that this asserts that something (joy) dependent upon something else (conditions) could somehow become permanent, but Buddha says, “All things are Impermanent”, so we have a problem here. But consider this: a joy that is based on letting go of it’s object thereby becomes dependent upon nothing. What if this wish for joy in others itself brings a joy to the practitioner that depends upon the practice itself–it isn’t so dependent on fickle, unreliable, impermanent conditions. The joy of wishing well for others–and connecting to their present, natural joy– brings a sweetness to the heart, it opens the heart, which opens the clenched fist of the mind; it is very much a practice of letting go. And based, as it is, on letting go– it can be infinite!
May boundless joy arise and never wane for all sentient beings!
Metta, Karuna, Mudita, Upekka – A beautiful path to freedom.