1. Truth: You know you love someone when their happiness makes you happy. In Buddhism, there’s something known as mudita, which translates to sympathetic or empathetic joy. It is one of the four immeasurables, qualities that if cultivated are said to lead to contentment. Mudita is the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people’s well-being, and is the opposite of envy. I felt it today when my friend was telling me about a moment between her boyfriend and her father, experienced it when I felt so happy for her, for them, that I started to tear up.
2. Truth: To ease suffering is one of the quickest ways to feel better. It can be the suffering of another or my own that is eased, and it doesn’t have to be the big bad kind of suffering — no matter what it always does the trick to help. I was noticing it this morning with the dogs, all the times I helped — checking feet for stickers, removing a piece of stick that was caught under a harness, helping get a chunk of cookie that got stuck in one’s teeth, cleaning out eye buggers, filling the water bowl, opening a door, retrieving a toy from under the couch. Such tiny things, so mundane and constant, but such a huge part of my own well-being to try, comfort, assist, aid, serve.
3. Truth: Sometimes I’m the one who needs the most help. I’ve been working so hard lately, and my body has been in so much pain, that when I get home, all I want to do is crawl onto the couch and stay there watching TV or cuddling a dog or letting Eric tell me stories or staring at the wall until it gets dark and I can go to bed. So you know what? That’s exactly what I’ve been doing, because that’s exactly what I need.
One wish: May we all care and be cared for, comfort and be comforted, have a soft place to land and delight in each other’s well-being.
Yes, we easing suffering certainly make me feel better, even if it is spending time grooming my dog. Although he isn’t suffering from not being groomed he does enjoy it a great deal. It is soothing and eases something inside. The same could be said for gently scratching my husband’s back!