Mudita – Sympathetic Joy

Mudita – Delight and joy at the success and achievements of others. Not a manufactured joy. Just that which comes in response. And that’s certainly been my response these past weeks knowing a Jade reader has achieved a success recently. O happy heart.

I remember being told about mudita by the late Rev. Master Daizui when, while a novice monk, I’d fallen into a bit of a hole. That conversation changed my whole sense of what was possible. Envy and jealousy, resentments and disappointments come and go, we are better beings for not nurturing such feelings. We can change our ways.

Quite sympathy nurtures a simple joy, which is mudita. Nothing flashy, nothing OTT. More a flowing river than an a now-and-then waterfall.

Sympathetic joy gives to equanimity the mild serenity that softens its stern appearance. It is the divine smile on the face of the Enlightened One. Ven. Nyanaponika

Part of a quote at the end of Unselfish Joy: A Neglected Virtue by Natasha Jackson.

The above quoted article is one of several to be found on the very excellent Access To Insight: “Mudita: The Buddha’s Teaching on Unselfish Joy”, four essays by Nyanaponika Thera, Natasha Jackson, C.F. Knight, and L.R. Oates, 8 June 2010. Retrieved on 30 October 2011.

Just to make it clear, in Zen the closest we come to cultivating virtues (mudita being one of them) is seamless sitting. That’s meditation in daily living, with compassion and Precepts.

Inspiring Confidence

Confidence in the landscape – Norfolk.

Freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities.

A state of confident hopefulness that events will be favourable.
You bet!

A trustful relationship.
Like that word trustful.

My thought this evening is, What is it that inspires confidence? I’m thinking that it’s confidence itself which inspires confidence. What a gift that is, and we all have the capacity to give it.

An after thought as midnight approaches…confidence that inspires seems to have a quality of steady humility. Yep, that describes the mechanic I had dealings with the other day! And you know, I told him so, told him, You inspire me with confidence. Thank you.

Little Snoring – Round Church Towers

From my time in Norfolk:

Little Snoring: St Andrew, Norfolk

Late afternoon on a sunny autumn day. Sitting peaceably in this lovely old church with its detached round tower. So light and bright with the sun coming through the clear glass windows. Almost fairytale. The church and surrounding yard set apart from the village of Little Snoring. Ah, tis good to sit in these old churches. They don’t worry about religious denomination. The walls are thick, the roof solid, the pews hard!

I became quite fascinated by the very many round tower churches in Norfolk. So many of them there is even a Round Tower Churches Society.

Teamwork – Translation of the Heart Sutra Into Chinese

Like the author of the blog No-Sword I had only a vague notion of how the scriptures/sutras were translated into Chinese. Images of an ancient monk going steadily blind beavering away alone in a dimly lit cell. Far from it. There was for the Heart Sutra (Scripture of Great Wisdom) at least a whole team involved. At the very end of the process is the Text-Juicing Official! Here is the description of what that person did:

??? (“Text-Juicing Official”): Determined whether the translation was appropriate as Chinese text, and added rhetorical flourish as necessary. For example, the “character” (“he crossed beyond all suffering and difficulty”) of “character” (“he illuminated the five skandhas and saw that they were all empty, and he crossed beyond all suffering and difficulty”) was not in the original; it was added at this stage. The previous eight steps were performed by monks, but this step was performed by a lay official.

See Teamwork for the full description of the team.

Thanks to Walter for passing on the information and link. Keep those links coming please.

Each Day Is Your Last

You might want to take a look at this video of Steve Jobs giving his 2005 commencement address at Stanford University. Here is the much quoted quote from that speech:

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

But what exactly does that mean, in practice? It’s a fair question.

For your interest, or not, in a CNN article there’s information about Jobs and his interest and practice of Zen Buddhism.

That’s it, let’s let the chap RIP now.