I was talking with a friend recently about our ever-changing relationship with Facebook and how sometimes this vehicle for connecting with others can leave us feeling like we’re the only people out there who aren’t having the time of our lives.
Feelings of envy, limitation, and disconnection can arise when we see evidence of the happiness of others. These feelings are painful, and there are ways to work with them.
When these feelings arise, mindfulness offers us a choice-point, an opportunity to deal with these feelings skillfully instead of stewing in them or feeling guilty about them. One way to deal with these painful feelings skillfully is through the practice of mudita (sympathetic joy).
Different teachers use different mudita phrases. Here are some common ones:
May your happiness and joy increase.
May the joy in your life continue and grow.
May you be successful and met with appreciation.
Here is a link to a Yoga Journal article on mudita. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have a chance to read it.
If you’d like help practicing mudita, dharmaseed.org has free talks and guided meditations that will give more context to this practice and help keep you focused and encouraged. Here is a link to some mudita talks on that site. I enjoyed the two Greg Scharf ones from May. I’d love to hear what you think if you try them.