Oh, such a JOYOUS word
means joy; especially sympathetic or vicarious joy,
having or finding joy in the good fortune of others.
In describing Mudita~we understand it when we look at its opposite:
As humans, we experience jealousy, envy, selfishness, malice, resentment, etc. These are all attributes we can guiltily feel towards another person’s success and when go unchecked they affect our well-being. These feelings create a downward spiral of negativity and confusion. If we pay attention to these emotions we understand that our feeling of jealousy does not diminish the happiness of the one you are jealous of, but rather, these feelings perpetuate a condition of isolation and deficiency in our own being. Further more, when we compare ourselves to others we find we create more obstacles to our happiness because, again, frustration, confusion and suffering is the result. These emotions can feel very painful.
Is it a psychological quirk?
Do we rejoice in another’s downfall because we think we will feel better about our self?
Is our self-worth diminished by the success of your friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers, etc.?
Well, we can rejoice…
Mudita is the antidote to feelings of poor self-worth and unhappiness.
- Mudita is realizing that everyone is a unique being.
- Mudita is the simple phrase spoken to another~ “I am SO happy for you.”
- Mudita is rejoicing in the good fortune of others.
- Mudita is feeling happy with ourselves.
- Mudita is taking into account all the good in the world and celebrating it.
- Mudita is more a small creek that, ever so slowly, flows continually downstream until it widens into vast river rushing and moving with constant vigor and non-stop drive.
“A deeper definition of the word mudita is a joy that is
filled with peace and contentment. We rejoice when we
see others happy, but we rejoice in our own well being as
well. How can we feel joy for another person when we do
not feel joy for ourselves?”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Practicing Mudita might not be easy at first, you might seem like a hypocrite perhaps. With practice and cultivation one will find as Patanjali instructs in the Yoga Sutra 1.33 that,
“taking delight in the virtue of others will develop and maintain calmness of mind.“
The irony of mudita is that when you declare your happiness for others, or compliment another’s achievement, you might feel that you are giving your power away. On the contrary, if you can be happy when good things happen to others, your opportunities for delight are increased far greater than imagined.
The happiness of others is your happiness
This word has changed the way I go about my daily business. We are social creatures and studies have shown that we need social interaction for good mental health. I now look for opportunities to have mudita when I am among others and I have found that it turns daily business to “Daily Blissness” because I am contributing to that vast river of humanity.