Lesson 4 - Love and Joy
Wishing good health, happiness and peace to all beings is part of this practice. And feeling happy for someone who has met good fortune is the greatest source of untapped joy in the world.
The Buddha discovered how to end suffering. Two skillful means leading to this end are the practice of metta (goodwill) and mudita (happiness....instead of envy, for the good fortune of others).
Love and joy arise naturally when our mind is no longer obscured with the causes of suffering. So there is no need to strive to achieve these beautiful states. In fact, letting be, instead of doing, on a foundation of generosity, an ethical life and mindfulness of the present moment is what allows us to discover these beautiful states. The place for gentle effort is putting in the causes for generosity and ethical behaviour and getting us to our meditation cushion. After that, contentment with the present moment (or if the present moment is unpleasant, contentment with our skillful attitude to the present moment) is what allows love and joy and stillness and peace and then wisdom to be experienced.
Letting be may feel too vague to us at first. So we can start by making a little effort (doing rather than being) to get the ball rolling. We can wish happiness for everyone we meet.....even our enemies. Just think....if our enemies were truly happy they likely wouldn't act in ways that hurt us or others, so it's in our interest to wish them well.
When we hear of the good fortune of others, feel their joy.....now it is magically our joy.....we are experiencing it! This is the greatest source of untapped joy in the world. There is always someone, somewhere who is happy about some good fortune that has just fallen on them. So, by rejoicing in their good fortune we have acess anytime to happiness.
Love (Goodwill, metta) - by Ajahn Sona: you tube
Joy (Mudita) - by Ajahn Sona: you tube
Download the PDF of the entire Lesson Four
More resources for Lesson Four:
Metta Meditation course - by Bhante Sujato in 10 parts:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10
Loving Kindness - The Revolutionary Art of Happiness - by Sharon Salzberg: view book at Amazon
Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization - by Bhikkhu Analyo
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness - by Bhante Gunaratana; PDF
The Four Right Efforts - by Ajahn Brahm
Right Effort - by Ajahn Sona: playlist for 5 videos
Ingenious Emotions - by Ajahn Sona: playlist for 5 videos