Cultivating Mudita: Sympathetic Joy

We have all felt it. Envy. Even jealousy. Someone we know is experiencing good fortune, a lucky break, an exotic vacation, an inheritance, the leading role in a play, a photo in a magazine. We smile, congratulate them, but it is with mixed emotions. Deep down there is that question ofWhy couldn’t it have been me?” 

Sometimes that feeling festers and grows, resentment builds, and with it comes anger, hostility, and sometimes a desire to see that person’s good fortune crumble. Sitting with the emotions of anger and jealousy is very painful. So is being on the receiving end. Those toxic feelings, are a form of energy, that seeps out as we go about our daily lives. Infecting those around us and causing more negative thinking.   It is a nasty cycle.

Well fear not! There is a solution!  We can transform those awful feelings by cultivating ‘Mudita.’

Mudita is a state of sympathetic joy in the happiness and success of others. It is one of the four sublime states in Buddhism. Sympathetic joy is an unselfish positive mental attitude which is beneficial for all.  


We cultivate Mudita during yoga. Yoga, the union of the body, mind, and spirit. When one really experiences a state of Yoga, a higher wisdom, a higher consciousness emerges.  A deep understanding that all things connect. The illusion of separation dissolves and we find Joy in the oneness.


When one experiences Mudita, it really is amazing and joy-full.

Take some time to tune in, quiet the “monkey mind” and cultivate Mudita. It can be a walk in the forest, an Asana practice (I think of my yoga practice as my soul shower, washing off the muck), a meditation, a swim, surfing,  dancing, or even a long  hug.

More compassion. More love.

More REAL Joy.  ~Yogini Tiff



5 thoughts on “Cultivating Mudita: Sympathetic Joy

    1. “Yoga” as in union, not as in yoga class. Anytime a person is able to let go of the mind chatter and be present with a higher consciousness they are in a state of yoga. Deep nostril breathing helps. Yoga can occur during washing dishes, paddleboarding, dancing, stretching, cooking, etc.. I think the great masters can stay in a state of mudita, but most of us (myself included) have to work a little to get there. 🙂 Thank you for reading. ~Tiff

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