- "The four Brahma Viharas work together. Ajahn Buddhadasa talked in
terms of upekkha overseeing the other three. In skilful and beautiful
situations mudita is the mature motivation of the heart. If it is
possible to alleviate a situation where there is pain or distress
compassion maybe invoked. An unpleasant or ugly situation invokes
metta. Acceptance, an aspect of metta, finds its echo in the
acceptance of limitation implied in upekkha, which is why metta is
such an important beginning.
"For most of us and even in animals it is metta, as found in the
acceptance of the mother of the child, that is the first emotion that
allows us, and others, to grow and begin to mature. If there is no
metta expressed to an offspring, particularly a human child, it will
either die quickly or grow to be a very warped and immature
individual. It is the primary motivation that allows the very young
to mature. The young express it in the way they reach out and learn
about the place in which they find themselves. Young children can
pick up things without discrimination and, to the horror of the
adults, place them in the mouth. There is in this action of the child
a very crude level of acceptance and lack of discrimination operating
as the child begins to reach out beyond itself.
"Compassion allows us to recognise the changes and developments that
are a part of the natural changes from baby, to child, to young
person, to adult, to old person - and the pain of separation from the
known, which is part of this process - and bear the changes
"Mudita allows us to enjoy life. The beauty and the wonder of this
strange experience of being a sensitive separate life somehow
mysteriously connected with it all. And when all the fear of the
unknown has been allowed to fall away, the wonder of the unknowable
can be appreciated and enjoyed.
"What moves us through life, through the uncertainties and changes is
what can bring some freedom for people. Our intentions move us
through life, our intentions are the area of our greatest freedom. To
use and train this freedom wisely is the challenge."
~ Venerable Ajahn Vajiro - "Mature Emotions " from the Forest Sangha
May this be of benefit.