From Encyclopedia of Buddhism
Jump to navigation Jump to search

muditā (T. dga' ba དགའ་བ་; C. xi; J. ki) is translated a "joy," "empathic joy," "appreciative joy," etc. Mudita has "the characteristic of gladness at the success of others. Its function is being unenvious at others’ success."[1]

The 14th Dalai Lama states:

Joy delights at the happiness and good fortune of others and opposes jealousy (irshya). Meditating on joy enables us to see the goodness in the world. Joy “is characterized by bringing joy.… Its proximate cause is seeing beings’ success. When it succeeds, it reduces jealousy and boredom. When it fails, it produces overexcitement” (Vism 9:95).[2]

Contemporary teacher Sharon Salzberg describes mudita as the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people's well-being.[3]

Mudita is identified as one of the four immeasurables (apramāṇa ).

Meditation on joy

The Library of Wisdom and Compassion (Vol 5.) presents the following meditation on empathic joy (muditā):

Empathic joy is feeling joy at others’ success, merit, good qualities, and happiness. Here the first person to cultivate empathic joy toward is a dear person who is good-natured and happy and whose happiness and success is worthy of rejoicing over. Sincerely rejoicing at others’ good fortune fills our mind with delight and is an excellent antidote to dispel jealousy and envy. Empathic joy is extended not only for the person’s present good fortune but also for their past successes and future virtuous actions. Having generated empathic joy toward this dear person, proceed to cultivate empathic joy for the success and happiness of a neutral person and then a hostile one. Proceed to subdue anger for the hostile person, break down the barriers, and cultivate and repeatedly practice the counterpart sign to increase the absorption up to the third dhyāna in accord with the explanation [given for maitrī and karuna].[4]

Near and far enemies

The Library of Wisdom and Compassion (Vol 5.) states:

The near enemy of empathic joy is joy based on worldly life — that is, delight at receiving sense pleasures in the past or present. Here our mind becomes giddy with excitement; we become too involved and attached to someone else’s happiness. Empathic joy’s far enemies are jealousy (irshya) and boredom, which interfere with our experiencing empathic joy at others’ successes and happiness. Jealousy resents the other person’s successes and happiness, and boredom doesn’t care about them.[5]


  1. Bhikkhu Bodhi 2000, s.v. Chapter IX. Meditation Subjects.
  2. Dalai Lama & Thubten Chodron 2014, s.v. Chapter 11.
  3. Salzberg 1995, p. 119.
  4. Dalai Lama & Thubten Chodron 2020, s.v. Chapter 1: The Four Immeasurables.
  5. Dalai Lama & Thubten Chodron 2020, s.v. Chapter 1:The Four Immeasurables.


External links

This article includes content from Muditā on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikipedia logo