In this last edition for 2017, I thought that we needed to discuss the concept of Mudita – The Buddha’s Teaching on Unselfish Joy.
The idea behind it is that you do not envy another person’s success, but find joy in it. This also means to let go of emotions like envy and jealousy. Is this idea completely new to you? What do you think would change in your everyday interactions with others if you embraced this concept? Being happy for the other – instead of jealous. Would that change Your Life?
The Buddhist virtue of mudita is finding joy in the happiness and success of others.
It is the exact opposite feeling to what we call in German Schadenfreude i.e. feeling the satisfaction or pleasure in hearing of other’s misfortune.
The feeling of schadenfreude implies that you feel in a constant need to compete with others, and if someone else achieves or accomplishes something, you feel envious, jealous… basically everything opposite to Zen.
Mudita is taking joy in the good fortune of the other person. It recognises that life is not a zero-sum game, but that joy is limitless (from “The Book of Happiness”).
As John Lennon once said – Imagine all the people living life in peace.
A Christmas fairy tale?
Mudita implies a life lived from a place of compassion.
Compassion can be achieved.
Yogi Bhajan says about love (“How Much You Love Kriya”):
Love confronts. Love has no fear. Love is the ultimate power. It knows no defeat. It doesn’t know impossible. It’s a strength, it’s not a weakness. There is a tremendous amount of pain in love. Do lovers feel it? No. There’s a joy.
It’s actually a complex matter, and I can see why you would prefer schadenfreude. I really do.
Love is passion. Passion is pain. The word originates in Latin, pati meaning to ‘suffer’. Why on earth then would you dare to choose love i.e. pain and suffering, or compassion and mudita? Yes, why?
The answer lies in the first sutra* of the Aquarian age: Recognise that the other person is you. Humee Hum, Tumee Tum, Wahe Guru; I am Thine, in Mine, Myself, Wahe Guru.
*A sutra is a statement that weaves together two realms—the finite and the Infinite—into the consciousness that supports the Self.
Throwing you out another foreign word there 🙂
Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. It also means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are.
It recognises the fact that we are all connected. Somehow. Somewhere and somewhat. We are all one.
It’s not just that all your parts are intertwined, and in symbiosis (hence the need to approach your healing in a holistic way) – but none of us are isolated from each other.
When two atoms that come into contact with each other, they experience a sort of “unconditional bond” with one another. That spans an infinite amount of space, as far as we are capable of observing. Even the man himself, Albert Einstein, found this bizarre.
American Author and Research Psychologist Luis R. Valadez concludes therefore that:
When you touch someone’s heart, emotionally becoming attached to someone, something occurs. Your atoms, the building blocks of your presence in the universe become entangled.
How to in 5 basic steps
We are all connected.
We recognise that the other person is us.
So, how do we mudita?
First of all, recognise the concept. If you so far in Your Life lived from a place of jealousy and envy, then this will be absolutely new to you, and you may require a couple of hours or days to digest. Go ahead, we can wait.
Getting rid of faulty grids like jealousy, or envy is maybe not as easy as you think. Achievable, but don’t expect the magic to happen. It does require some growth and work on your behalf.
Now joy is limitless – the question is simply whether or not you have your antennas ready to pick up the frequency modulation. Where do you stand at the moment on your level of joy, on a scale from 1 to 10, whereby 1 is like the worst condition ever? Well, then you now what to do in 2018.
Don’t hold back! Spread some of your immensely talented, beautiful personality with others. What drives you crazy about a project that is stuck? Where do you see the need to improve the neighbourhood? Where can you suggest changes and to what end? Can you offer some volunteer work? Honestly, your creativity and your imagination know no boundaries.
There is no other solution. None that I have found so far. If you don’t want to be that person who is the embodiment of schadenfreude any more – neither in 2018 nor ever again – then work on yourself. You cannot expect to sit on the sofa in your comfort zone, and wait for stuff to happen to you. They don’t. No. Just don’t. Get up! Find whoever can help you, with whatever means we can help you, but you have to set the intention and commit yourself.
When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.
William Arthur Ward
Light & Love