"Learning to feel joy for others can help transform our own suffering and self-centeredness into joy." - Joan Halifax Roshi
A moment of truth: I've been really cranky since I wrote about joy yesterday. I've really wanted to be cheerful, and I'm not giving up, but I'm refocusing my attention a bit. Instead of trying to will myself into a joyful state of mind, I am, instead, looking to rejoice in the happiness of others.
This practice, known as sympathetic joy, is another Buddhist teaching that sits alongside compassion, loving kindness and equanimity, (these are called the Four Perfect Virtues). Sympathetic joy allows us to celebrate the basic goodness and fundamental well being of other beings. It allows us to feel happiness for others' fortune and success instead of jealous or envious. And in turn, it allows us to feel greater joy toward ourselves and our own capabilities for happiness.
You can help me out! Please tell me what is bringing you joy in your life right now. What successes or good fortunes are you rejoicing in? I would really love to be happy for you.