Self joy

joyMudita is a Pali word that means “sympathetic joy” or “happiness at another’s success in life.”
This was the topic of a recent dhamma talk by Bhikkhu Dhammagawesi when he visited the Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple in Woodstock, IL.
This got me thinking about several things actually.
Just as there is no light without the Sun, there is no darkness without the Suns disappearance. The “I” or “self” is our darkness and suffering, and only by letting go of the self, do we truly eliminate suffering and allow the Sun to shine.
To me this is the real meaning of Mudita, or self joy. It is not to make the self happy, but instead to rejoice in the happiness of others.
This is my practice, to attain this awakened state of loving kindness and compassion that celebrates happiness of all other beings, and forgets the self.
I allow this pure mental state to arise during meditation, but often the upadana (Upādāna is the Pali word for “clinging,” “attachment” or “grasping”, although the literal meaning is “fuel.”) returns me to an ego driven state.
Often I feel as though the harder I try, the more that I fail.
But I realize today, that the whole idea of practice is failures. Through each failure, we gain wisdom and a genuine opportunity for compassion and growth.
All things begin with the “I”, and end with the “I”. I am born, I have a life, I will die.
Think about how that entire landscape of this existence changes when you remove the “I”.

In closing, self joy is not a dirty word, and it is not about you or me.
Blessings to each of you for walking this path, and thank you to Bhikkhu Dhammagawesi for his beautiful teaching.

May you be well, happy and peaceful.