Sympathetic Joy, Mudita in Pali, is the quality of consciousness that happily celebrates the success and happiness of others, regardless of any material or status benefit for oneself. The cultivation of mudita involves integrating lovingkindness with the in-born capacity we all have for empathy. This talk reviews the classical understanding of mudita and how contemporary psychological research supports how this awareness is formed in the brain through the practice of mindfulness, investigation of mental phenomena and Right Effort.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: Working With Mudita
Next week’s talk will be provided by Lezlie Laws, one of the teachers who is being mentored by Peter. The topic she reviews will focus on how the core teaching of Buddhism about impermanence affects our contemporary issues of time management.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 59:15 — 54.2MB)
This talk reviews the concepts and practices associated with cultivating Mudita, translated as Sympathetic Joy, one of the four Divine Abidings. Mudita is the empathetic cognitive and emotional response shaped by lovingkindness which celebrates the success and happiness of others in an unselfish way. The description also clarifies the characteristics of the far enemy and near enemy of sympathetic joy, along with suggestions for reflecting on the value of gratitude and generosity in the cultivation of Mudita. There is a recorded meditation posted in the archives of this website entitled “Guided Contemplation Of Sympathetic Joy”, which is intended to supplement the concepts and practices reviewed in this recording.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: CELEBRATING HAPPINESS FOR OTHERS
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 59:30 — 54.5MB)
This guided meditation focuses attention the cultivation of empathetic joy, which supports and celebrates the success and happiness of another sentient being. This experience is most often related to the joy of another human, but can also be experienced regarding pets or other animals we encounter. During the contemplation you are invited to recall the feelings experienced while being the recipient of another person’s generosity or good will as the memory resource, which is then accessed while celebrating the happiness of others. Comments during the meditation are provided to support recognizing and disregarding what are called the far enemy or the near enemy of sympathetic joy, through applying mindfulness, investigation of mental phenomena and Right Effort.
This meditation is intended to accompany the Dharma talk entitled “Celebrating the Happiness of Others” recorded and posted the same day, February 9, 2022.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 44:55 — 41.1MB)
This talk reviews mudita, typically translated as sympathetic joy, and represents the ability to emotionally resonate with the happiness of other beings. Sympathetic joy is a manifestation of lovingkindness and is similar to compassion, as both are ways that the mind can respond skillfully and beneficially to the innate emotional resonance all humans share. Compassion resonates to the distress and confusion of others, while sympathetic joy resonates to the success and happiness of others. Peter reviews what are called the “far enemy” and “near enemy” of mudita, emphasizing the importance of persistent cultivation of mindfulness to monitor and balance the empathic attunement process that is manifested. The review is followed by discussion of the application of mudita among the participants. This discussion is intended to be accompanied by “Guided Enjoying the Happiness of Others Meditation”, recorded the same night.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: Enjoying the Happiness of Others
Next week’s talk will focus on the mind conditioning factor of Wisdom, that is, a correct understanding of how the wholesome mind conditioning factors cooperate and integrate into daily life experience.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 41:23 — 75.8MB)
This meditation combines mindfulness of breathing meditation with focused attention on the area around the heart for contemplating the joyful feelings that can be realized in witnessing the happiness of others. Breath awareness stabilizes attention and sets aside the hindrances, while focused attention on the heart invites emotional awareness in the context of celebrating the joy and happiness of others. During the meditation you can recall experiences when you benefited from the generosity of others and then use that as a model for realizing the benefits of empathically resonating with the success and happiness of people or other beings such as pets. This meditation is intended to complement the talk entitled “Enjoying the Happiness of Others” recorded on November 11, 2020.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 44:59 — 82.4MB)