A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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ccharles,ccharles wrote:Would generating feelings of joy for others when they receive joy from sensual pleasures still count as mudita?
I am not sure myself, but I have begun seriously working on developing Mudita lately and so I would like to provide a response for both of our sakes.
I think that, at least from my limited knowledge and experience, that Mudita is best applied to the admirable mental qualities that a person exhibits at a time. Somewhat like a "There's some good to everyone" sort of thing. Of course, there is more "good," or more accurately, "skillfullness" to the actions of some rather than others.
Yes, I do think that it is possible to be happy for someone else's happiness, say, if they're happily asleep or eating delicious food. But it seems that such sympathetic joy would be quite limited in comparison to the feelings of gladness that one would experience by contemplating, for example, how someone worked hard to achieve a goal or developed qualities that made himself or herself a better person. I suppose that an practical example would be being happy for someone being wealthy versus being happy for someone having worked diligently to acquire the wealth he or she possesses. I believe that the latter is stronger, and leads to development of the former as well.
Hope this helps!
Pleasurable feelings are good fortune IMO. So yes, I would say it is Mudita. But I would keep in mind the greatest blessing is final Nibbana.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
I tend to approach "the brahmaviharas" in this way:
Mudita is absent from this formulation, which avoids the problems attendant on being tasked with mudita with respect to beings undergoing sensual pleasures or other unwholesome actions.“And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience (khantiyā), harmlessness, lovingkindness, and sympathy (anudayatāya). It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.
"And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]