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(3) Brahmavihara by Kamalashila

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  • Antony Woods
    OK, what about our relation to very happy, very fortunate people? When we see someone we know whose life is going very well indeed, who often seems quite
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 6, 2005
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      OK, what about our relation to very happy, very fortunate people?
      When we see someone we know whose life is going very well indeed, who
      often seems quite happy. Or someone, perhaps a friend or
      acquaintance, who is on a good run of happiness? Perhaps we are
      overjoyed, delighted at their good fortune. It gives us a boost just
      to see them around, a buzz just to remember them from time to time.
      I'd say that was the ideal response. That's what we call sympathetic
      gladness, when we are filled with joy at the joy of others.
      Unfortunately, our response isn't usually quite so positive.
      Sometimes we even feel resentful. Their happiness and good fortune
      just makes us feel inadequate. What right have they to be so bright
      and smiling? We might even say to ourselves that their happiness is
      only superficial, that soon they'll be smiling on the other side of
      their face. I think that this is sometimes a bit of a Buddhist vice,
      this - or a psuedo-spiritual one - we see that someone is happy
      because their job is going well, or something like that - they have a
      new boyfriend or girlfriend, let's say - and we smile wisely to
      ourselves and say 'its just superficial. It won't last. So why should
      I be pleased?' But this is a very ungenerous attitude, and is itself
      rather superficial. Certainly there are higher, more worthy forms of
      happiness, even kinds of happiness that aren't subject to decay, that
      do last - such as the joy of nirvana for example - but we are
      ourselves some way away from nirvana at the moment and it would do us
      more good, and those others too, if we could be more generous, more
      friendly towards them in their good fortune - as well as in their bad
      fortune. This is the emotion that the mudita-bhavana practice
      develops, and it does so in the way that I've outlined - we develop
      friendliness and appreciation of the happiness and good fortune of
      others. As in the metta-bhavana, we think of our good friend, neutral
      person, enemy and so on, but in this meditation we particularly call
      to mind their good fortune. We then notice our response to that - our
      actual response that is, not what we would like to feel, or what we
      feel we ought to feel - and within that response we look for an
      increased appreciation, increased kindness and friendliness. If we
      are honest in the practice we will find some of the negative
      attitudes that I've been talking about. But we have an opportunity to
      work with them, to transform them.
      From: "Meditation and Other People" by Kamalashila
      http://www.kamalashila.co.uk/talks_page.htm
      Posted with the kind permission of Kamalashila

      To be continued tomorrowÂ…
    • Antony Woods
      OK, what about our relation to very happy, very fortunate people? When we see someone we know whose life is going very well indeed, who often seems quite
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 21, 2006
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        "OK, what about our relation to very happy, very fortunate people?
        When we see someone we know whose life is going very well indeed, who
        often seems quite happy. Or someone, perhaps a friend or
        acquaintance, who is on a good run of happiness? Perhaps we are
        overjoyed, delighted at their good fortune. It gives us a boost just
        to see them around, a buzz just to remember them from time to time.
        I'd say that was the ideal response. That's what we call sympathetic
        gladness, when we are filled with joy at the joy of others.
        Unfortunately, our response isn't usually quite so positive.
        Sometimes we even feel resentful. Their happiness and good fortune
        just makes us feel inadequate. What right have they to be so bright
        and smiling? We might even say to ourselves that their happiness is
        only superficial, that soon they'll be smiling on the other side of
        their face. I think that this is sometimes a bit of a Buddhist vice,
        this - or a pseudo-spiritual one - we see that someone is happy
        because their job is going well, or something like that - they have a
        new boyfriend or girlfriend, let's say - and we smile wisely to
        ourselves and say 'its just superficial. It won't last. So why should
        I be pleased?' But this is a very ungenerous attitude, and is itself
        rather superficial. Certainly there are higher, more worthy forms of
        happiness, even kinds of happiness that aren't subject to decay, that
        do last - such as the joy of nirvana for example - but we are
        ourselves some way away from nirvana at the moment and it would do us
        more good, and those others too, if we could be more generous, more
        friendly towards them in their good fortune - as well as in their bad
        fortune. This is the emotion that the mudita-bhavana practice
        develops, and it does so in the way that I've outlined - we develop
        friendliness and appreciation of the happiness and good fortune of
        others. As in the metta-bhavana, we think of our good friend, neutral
        person, enemy and so on, but in this meditation we particularly call
        to mind their good fortune. We then notice our response to that - our
        actual response that is, not what we would like to feel, or what we
        feel we ought to feel - and within that response we look for an
        increased appreciation, increased kindness and friendliness. If we
        are honest in the practice we will find some of the negative
        attitudes that I've been talking about. But we have an opportunity to
        work with them, to transform them."
        From: "Meditation and Other People" by Kamalashila
        http://www.kamalashila.co.uk/talks_page.htm
        Posted with the kind permission of Kamalashila

        To be continued tomorrow...
      • Antony Woods
        OK, what about our relation to very happy, very fortunate people? When we see someone we know whose life is going very well indeed, who often seems quite
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 7 4:20 PM
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          "OK, what about our relation to very happy, very fortunate people?
          When we see someone we know whose life is going very well indeed, who
          often seems quite happy. Or someone, perhaps a friend or acquaintance,
          who is on a good run of happiness? Perhaps we are overjoyed, delighted
          at their good fortune. It gives us a boost just to see them around, a
          buzz just to remember them from time to time. I'd say that was the
          ideal response. That's what we call sympathetic gladness, when we are
          filled with joy at the joy of others. Unfortunately, our response
          isn't usually quite so positive. Sometimes we even feel resentful.
          Their happiness and good fortune just makes us feel inadequate. What
          right have they to be so bright and smiling? We might even say to
          ourselves that their happiness is only superficial, that soon they'll
          be smiling on the other side of their face. I think that this is
          sometimes a bit of a Buddhist vice, this - or a pseudo-spiritual one -
          we see that someone is happy because their job is going well, or
          something like that - they have a new boyfriend or girlfriend, let's
          say - and we smile wisely to ourselves and say 'its just superficial.
          It won't last. So why should I be pleased?' But this is a very
          ungenerous attitude, and is itself rather superficial. Certainly there
          are higher, more worthy forms of happiness, even kinds of happiness
          that aren't subject to decay, that do last - such as the joy of
          nirvana for example - but we are ourselves some way away from nirvana
          at the moment and it would do us more good, and those others too, if
          we could be more generous, more friendly towards them in their good
          fortune - as well as in their bad fortune. This is the emotion that
          the mudita-bhavana practice develops, and it does so in the way that
          I've outlined - we develop friendliness and appreciation of the
          happiness and good fortune of others. As in the metta-bhavana, we
          think of our good friend, neutral person, enemy and so on, but in this
          meditation we particularly call to mind their good fortune. We then
          notice our response to that - our actual response that is, not what we
          would like to feel, or what we feel we ought to feel - and within that
          response we look for an increased appreciation, increased kindness and
          friendliness. If we are honest in the practice we will find some of
          the negative attitudes that I've been talking about. But we have an
          opportunity to work with them, to transform them."
          http://kamalashila.co.uk/talks_page.htm
          From: "Meditation and Other People" by Kamalashila
          Posted with the kind permission of Kamalashila

          to be continued tomorrow...
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