Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/31/2015

Appreciative Joy

This morning, as I moved from metta to karuna in my formal meditation session, i was again at a loss to find suitable subjects towards won to direct the feeling of compassion. Dwelling on the perception of the suffering of the world was effective but i was simply unable to identify any actual individuals in my life that inspired an upswelling of compassion. All things considered, this is an excellent state of affairs despite how inconvenient or may seem for my practice. And yet, the apparent lack of subjects with won to share karuna provided the perfect opening for me to dwell on perceptions which would help give rise to mudita.

For years i tried to live by the advice to meet every situation, or rather, person with one of the brahmaviharas: all people with metta, the suffering worth compassion,  the fortunate with mudita and the incorrigible with upekkha. Perhaps due to lack of effort,  however,  i was never very successful with the last two but things have begun to change somewhat lately.

Sitting in meditation, i realized that many of my colleagues have abundant good fortune on both material and spiritual terms. So, rather than breathing in their suffering i began to breathe in their good fortune, appreciating their blessings and on the exhalation wishing that it not end and be put to good use. Remembering the generosity and wealth of Anathapindika was incredibly helpful here to dispel any ideas that my colleagues were somehow less virtuous or deserving of admiration; an inclination that seems to me to be a vestige of my unexamined, Judeo-Christian conditioning. Truly,  the Dhamma is the highest good and i am ecstatic that i have finally broken through to a practical understanding of how one can apply one’s meditation towards the development of appreciative joy.

May we rejoice in the good fortune of others! May they use it for benefit of themselves and others and may their blessings never decrease!


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