Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Faces of Love: Mudita

Practicing the Immeasurable Mind of Joy extinguishes sadness and joylessness in the hearts of living beings.
-Mahaprajnaparamita Shastra

When people visualize the word love, the imagination will often conjure images of happiness, carelessness and fun. This is the easiest way to describe Mudita, or Joy. But is goes a little deeper than that. Unlike lust, this type of feeling is not fleeting or subject to change without notice. It is a glass of sweet iced tea during a muggy Southern afternoon, or a hearty glass of hot chocolate on a bone-chilling January night for our Northern friends.

If you have the intention to bring joy to everyone, including those you dislike, you may be patting yourself on the back, thinking you've got it. But you don't. You have to not only want to make others happy, but you also have to have the ability.

It is only through mindfulness that you can learn to bring joy to the lives of yourself and those around you. The intention is the seed, and mindfulness is the water and the sunlight to turn your saplings into an old, wise forest.

Tall order? No one ever masters it. But spirituality is about the journey, not the destination.

No comments: