Author Topic: Is mudita always a good thing?  (Read 893 times)

Offline OctopusMaximus

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Is mudita always a good thing?
« on: August 28, 2015, 05:15:52 pm »
One of the "divine abodes" is mudita, rejoicing in others' good fortune.  I think this is quite a beautiful teaching, but something has been troubling me: Are others' successes always something to be happy about?  That is, it's difficult for me to square mudita with the fact that "success" is often bound up with dukkha.

Say I work with someone who is very lonely and insecure and desperately wants to be in a relationship.  She finally finds a mate, and they fall in love - they're deliriously happy!  On the one hand, I would like to rejoice for my coworker (mudita).  On the other, her "success" is a temporary satisfaction of a craving and so ultimately a manifestation of dukkha.  I'm on a path to eliminate such craving, so isn't a bit strange to rejoice in the results of another's craving? 

More difficult still, I would say that the majority of "successes" are in this vein, to a greater or lesser extent. 

Does anyone have any advice on the matter?

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Is mudita always a good thing?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2015, 08:13:14 pm »
Mudita strengthens the capacity to experience joy and happiness. It is likened to a flower at full bloom. It is the ability to appreciate something as it is blooming and releasing the fragrance of its happiness, without falling over the edge into a skeptical sardonic reaction such as "What is the point? It will only last for a moment." The practice of mudita lifts the heart out of its preoccupation with insufficiency. As a result, the buoyant energies of gratitude and generosity begin to restore the human spirit.

The near enemy of mudita is exuberance. Exuberance is an overly excited, even manic state. It is the sense of deprivation grasping at moments of joy.

The far enemy of mudita is resentment. Mudita is the medicine for the poisons of jealousy, envy and derision. Mudita heals the cruel urge to suppress happiness. With the cultivation of mudita we tap a reservoir of joy by sharing times of happiness and good fortune.

Mudita is exemplified in the mother-child connection when the child begins to express its own creative nature. Mudita is the ability to join and support this expanding spirit. The Buddha taught that one of our challenges is to cultivate mudita even in a world full of misery.

Offline ཨོཾRaZor༄

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Re: Is mudita always a good thing?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2015, 03:38:44 pm »
Yeah. It's an inner practice to tame your own mind. It's training you to be impartial in your compassion and open. To pick apart the things that make someone happy to the point of not being happy for them is a fairly dark attitude.  Our perceptions of of such things are illusory too. It's better to just rejoice until you have attained wisdom. 

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