Mudita is being happy for someone else’s good fortune. Participating in the joys of another. Being grateful for their material blessings, good relationships, good health, chances they have to fulfill their life goals or their spiritual attainments. Today we will be looking for other’s happy moments. Today we will be looking for other’s good fortune. We will intentionally, deliberately and actively wish well to our benefactors, our dear ones, neutral ones, difficult ones and even enemies if we have any. Today is about making gratitude truly infinite. Truly limitless. It’s about breaking the conceptual boundaries of ourselves and others. It’s about being happy for someone else’s joy as if it was our own.
Breaking Free From Jealousy
Unfortunately, there’s a human tendency to be jealous and unsupportive at other’s success and good fortune. It might be OK to want to be as successful, as beautiful or as rich as someone else. However, most people don’t settle for that. Usually, people would rather that the other person simply won’t have or won’t enjoy whatever he/she has. A friend tells us he broke up with their partner and we feel relief that his relationship too aren’t so great. A sibling secured a good job and our first thought is our inability to secure a good job or the fact that we hadn’t had a salary raise in over five years.
Some actually find joy or some kind of relief knowing that the other failed or suffered. Some even find it amusing to see a person slipping on a banana leaf in the middle of the street or losing their balance when the tube suddenly breaks. A few even became very rich producing TV shows designated to these kinds of misfortunes, building on that human tendency.
The practice of mudita bare the complete opposite attitude. It is a deliberate intention to rejoice for someone else. An intention to be wholeheartedly happy for them.
So today if you see someone really good looking be happy for their gift of beauty. If you see someone smiling to themselves, dancing to the sounds of music in their earphones just wish them that they would be as happy for the rest of their lives and that they will enjoy countless happy moments. If you see someone wearing a beautiful dress be happy for them. For their ability to pay for the dress and for their good taste in fashion. If you see a couple in romantic moment rejoice for them. Wish that their love will never die and that they will always be as affectionate to one another. If you see a happy child with his compassionate mother rejoice for the child for being blessed with a wonderful carer. And so on and so on.
There Are No Others
Initially practicing Mudita can make you exhilarated. Basically we extend the gratitude practice to include everyone else’s gratefulness. That’s multiplying gratitude by infinite. That is unbelievably powerful. However, true mudita comes from a deep understanding that there isn’t “me” and “the other”. That we are all interconnected, supporting each other, carrying each other. It comes from an understanding that human beings, tress, flowers, animals, stars and mountains we all literally breathe the same air. It comes from realizing that every physical manifestation is nothing but the four great elements – earth, water, fire and air and about 99,9% space in between. It comes from understanding that when a butterfly flaps it’s wings over Tokyo the result is a tidal wave at the other end of the world.
True appreciative joy comes from an understanding that we are all one. Thus, being happy from someone else is exactly the same as being happy for “myself”.
Excerpts from my meditation diary
25/9/2010 – practicing Mudita 3rd day
“….I’m flying on the energy of joy. It’s more. Just more. The light coming from the mind is gold!!! and the heart is overwhelmed with recollections of beauty, kindness and gratitude. I didn’t think it’s possible to feel more than I already did these past ten months. Sometimes it’s almost too much. It’s not just joy, it’s a whole new dimension of love. It’s the love that allows me to remain kind in the face of hostility, love in the face of anger, grateful in the face of belittlement, generous in the face of stinginess, peaceful amidst the storm…..I didn’t know it’s possible to feel this way. I didn’t know I could be so happy…”
“….Mudita for all living beings : May all beings live and relive their most beautiful moments and forever maintain the sense of abandonment and affluence they knew. May all hungry beings remember only the moments of satisfaction. May all animals have enough food and water,shelter, sex and affection. May they reincarnate to a better existence very very soon. May all beings enjoy and know the happiness of their senses. May all humans know mundane and super mundane blessings. May all humans enjoy material blessing, relationships, affection, care, protection, may they be able to share their joys and sorrows, may they remember their beautiful qualities, may they dwell in their own kindness, their good hearts, their moments of selflessness, may all beings remain forever in their happiest hour …”
This song was constantly on my mind for about six months of my retreat but mainly during the mudita practice. My favorite practice….. The Art of Happiness …. So, if your’e happy and you know it tell someone you love them today.