Sometimes, when nothing seems to be going right, we seem to be surrounded — inside and outside — by a pervasive greyness. It hangs over everything like morning mist. It won’t go away and seems to be part of us, because when we are unhappy we have the unfortunate habit of hanging on to those very things that are disturbing us, believing that they are all powerful. Then, from one moment to the next they are gone, often inexplicably and without being pushed. Perhaps the sun came out; perhaps someone we loved dropped in; or perhaps we laughed. Then the heart opens. (more…)
Here, O, Monks, a disciple lets his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of unselfish joy, and so the second, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, everywhere and equally, he continues to pervade with a heart of unselfish joy, abundant, grown great, measureless, without hostility or ill-will.The Buddha
The virtue of mudita, (Usually rendered by unselfish, sympathetic, or altruistic joy.) i.e., finding joy in the happiness and success of others, has not received sufficient attention either in expositions of Buddhist ethics, or in the meditative development of the four sublime states (brahma-vihara),of which mudita is one. (more…)
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Encyclopedia, Metta, Theravada | Tagged: brahma-vihara, Buddhaghosa, buddhist ethics, Compassion, Marcelle Hanselaar, mudita, Nyanaponika Thera, sympathetic joy | 1 Comment »
Everything we do is directed outward. We spend most of our time doing things and reacting to things in a quite automatic way. A major part of our lives consists of just this acting and reacting, ‘Don’t just sit there, do something,’ we are told.
Just to sit there is ‘passive, lazy, and antisocial’. Though there are different kinds of ‘just sitting there’—aware and not aware, or perhaps we can say ‘awake (Buddho) and asleep’.
Most of the time we are pushed into courses of action without even noticing what has happened or what caused it, though the Buddha said that to look for causes is largely a waste of time. He told the story of the man who was hit by the poisoned arrow and before he would let anyone remove it, demanded to know who fired that arrow and why. By the time his desire for information was satisfied, he was beyond earthly help. Looking for causes and culprits is usually a waste of time; we have to deal with what is happening not what happened in the past.
The Buddha spent some time explaining how the mind goes astray and this process of confusion in order to help us clear our minds and see things as they are rather than as we assume them to be. (more…)
Filed under: Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, John Aske | Tagged: Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Buddho, Compassion, equanimity, loving kindness, Marcelle Hanselaar, Satipatthana, sympathetic joy | 3 Comments »