Saturday, August 30, 2008

Joy for others

If you haven't discovered the wonderful website, I really recommend that you explore it. I found the following from a series of essays there on the Four Sublime States of compassion, lovingkindness, sympathetic joy and equanimity:

Sympathetic joy is joy in the basic goodness of all beings, and joy in the fundamental well being of ourselves and others. Sympathetic joy is essentially unconditional...

Regarding conditional joy, it is usually easier for us to experience joy for ourselves than it is to experience it for others. One of the hardest things for many of us to do is to feel happy when something good happens to another person. Judgment and envy, the tendency to compare and demean, and greed and prejudice narrow our world and make sympathetic joy nearly impossible to experience. But learning to feel joy for others can help transform our own suffering and self-centeredness into joy.

-- Joan Halifax

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