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Eileen Siriwardhana on mudita - sympathetic joy

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  • sharon werner
    Genuine joy in the prosperity of others is indeed a rare quality. The virtue of mudita may be best noticed at work in the joy of parents over the success of
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 25, 2013
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      "Genuine joy in the prosperity of others is indeed a rare quality.
      The virtue of mudita may be best noticed at work in the joy of
      parents over the success of their offspring, and in the genuine
      ecstasy of teachers over the success of their pupils, particularly in
      the latter situation when the threat of the younger eclipsing the
      older is always imminent. While it is easy to practice mudita within
      the narrow circle of one's family and friends, to identify oneself
      with the joys and triumphs of outsiders requires deliberate effort.
      Yet the capacity for doing so is rooted in man's nature. Smiling
      faces of adults make children respond readily with their own smiles.
      This potential in the child should be nurtured and activated by
      parents and educationists. For the seed of mudita planted early in a
      child will grow and blossom and bear fruit in his adolescence and in
      his adult life. To some extent, man is a product of his environment --
      with this in mind, adults, parents, teachers and wardens who handle
      children should be of a cheerful disposition and an appreciative
      nature. . .

      "Diligent practice of mudita will make a person more amenable,
      flexible, and understanding. He [or she] will learn to live outside
      himself. He will [or she] experience a new kind of happiness, the joy
      of sharing. This virtue will elevate him[/her] to eradicate the
      cankers of jealousy and egoistic craving; "We" and "ours" will be
      substituted for "me and "mine." Wholesome camaraderie will build up,
      and he [or she] will gradually embrace the whole world with loving-
      kindness -- sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitatta. The ego will gradually
      disintegrate, and he [or she] will gain insight into anatta, the
      Buddha's central doctrine. The fetters of attachment to self will
      break first, and with it all other fetters of attachment, which will
      lead him[/her] gradually toward renunciation."

      From: "The Heart Awakened - Three Essays",
      by Eileen Siriwardhana.
      Bodhi Leaves No. 93. Buddhist Publication Society.
      Kandy, Sri Lanka]
      "Genuine joy in the prosperity of others is indeed a rare quality.
      The virtue of mudita may be best noticed at work in the joy of
      parents over the success of their offspring, and in the genuine
      ecstasy of teachers over the success of their pupils, particularly in
      the latter situation when the threat of the younger eclipsing the
      older is always imminent. While it is easy to practice mudita within
      the narrow circle of one's family and friends, to identify oneself
      with the joys and triumphs of outsiders requires deliberate effort.
      Yet the capacity for doing so is rooted in man's nature. Smiling
      faces of adults make children respond readily with their own smiles.
      This potential in the child should be nurtured and activated by
      parents and educationists. For the seed of mudita planted early in a
      child will grow and blossom and bear fruit in his adolescence and in
      his adult life. To some extent, man is a product of his environment --
      with this in mind, adults, parents, teachers and wardens who handle
      children should be of a cheerful disposition and an appreciative
      nature. . .

      "Diligent practice of mudita will make a person more amenable,
      flexible, and understanding. He [or she] will learn to live outside
      himself. He will [or she] experience a new kind of happiness, the joy
      of sharing. This virtue will elevate him[/her] to eradicate the
      cankers of jealousy and egoistic craving; "We" and "ours" will be
      substituted for "me and "mine." Wholesome camaraderie will build up,
      and he [or she] will gradually embrace the whole world with loving-
      kindness -- sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitatta. The ego will gradually
      disintegrate, and he [or she] will gain insight into anatta, the
      Buddha's central doctrine. The fetters of attachment to self will
      break first, and with it all other fetters of attachment, which will
      lead him[/her] gradually toward renunciation."

      From: "The Heart Awakened - Three Essays",
      by Eileen Siriwardhana.
      Bodhi Leaves No. 93. Buddhist Publication Society.
      Kandy, Sri Lanka]
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