Reply To: Mudita Bhavana


Below is a description of muditā from the book: Buddhist Meditation – The Path Leading to Nibbāna (2015) by Venerable Ridiyagama Ānanda:

Muditā means sympathetic joy or gladness, is the quality of rejoicing and being pleased with others’ success, happiness and prosperity. Some people do not wish to see prosperity, happiness and success in others. Muditā eliminates this nature of “envy and jealousy” (issā.) Sympathetic Joy is the medicine for the poisons of jealousy, envy and discontent over the success of others.

To practice sympathetic joy as a meditation subject, one embraces all prosperous beings; wishing them sincerely that all their gains and prosperity remain with them for a long time. This practice should not start with the dear person and the rest as mentioned in meditation on loving-kindness. Nevertheless, a very dear companion can be the proximate cause for it. So, he should be the first to be pervaded with gladness.

Seeing or hearing about a dear person being happy, cheerful and glad, sympathetic joy can be arising thus: “This being is indeed glad, how happy he is, how good it is, how excellent!” But if this dear person was happy in the past but is now unlucky and unfortunate, then sympathetic joy can still be aroused by remembering his past happiness and apprehending the good aspect in this way: “In the past, he had great wealth, a great following and he was always glad.” Or sympathetic joy can be aroused by apprehending the future and happy aspect in him in this way: “In the future, he will again enjoy similar success and will go about happily with a great following.”

In this way, a meditator may develop sympathetic joy successively towards a neutral person and after that towards an enemy.

With mettā, Seng Kiat

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