September 28, 2023


Mudita – Sympathetic Joy | Ajahn Brahm

Mudita – Sympathetic Joy | Ajahn Brahm
Ajahn Brahm Podcast
Mudita – Sympathetic Joy | Ajahn Brahm

Sep 28 2023 | 00:50:27


Show Notes

Answering to a request for a talk from Canada on the topic of mudita – sympathetic joy. This divine emotion forms a pair with compassion. Whereas compassion feels the suffering of others and involves having our heart go out to others to sympathize with their pain, mudita involves having our heart go out to others to feel and sympathize with their happiness and joy. Ajahn Brahm explains why and how we can develop this divine emotion of sympathetic joy.

This dhamma talk was originally recorded using a low quality MP3 to save on file size (because internet connections were slow back then – remember dialup?) on 3rd October 2003. It has now been remastered and published by the Everyday Dhamma Network, and will be of interest to his many fans.

These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia under the Creative Commons licence. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.

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Episode Transcript

Mudita – Sympathetic Joy | Ajahn Brahm [ This is a robot generated transcription – expect errors! ] The subjects of Buddhism meditation. The mind is so vast, there's an endless amount of things one can talk about. And because I've given many talks here in the past and many of those talks have been put on tapes and CDs, I'm very glad to actually hear suggestions for talks. And I was handed a email just a few moments before coming in here where somebody suggested I talk on the Buddhist idea of Mudita, actually a person that's I looked at the email properly from Canada. So this is a this evening of requests from a long way away. On the subject of Mudita, the Buddhist who is subject to which is emphasised in Buddhism, which is basically focusing on the happiness aspects of people's lives, especially others. It forms a pair with compassion. And it's fascinating that when we look upon compassionate actions, compassionate speech and compassionate thought in the world. But it's good to realize that there's another half which should really go with compassion, which is a signified by this word meditate. Just as compassion looks upon the suffering in the world and feels for that suffering, and from that feeling of the pain in the world, we're motivated to try and help and serve and lessen the suffering and other beings in the world or wherever we see it. But in the same way that we also develop this other half is partner, this invisible partner of compassion called Murrieta, which instead of looking at the suffering in the world, actually looks at the happiness in the world and the success of others, the freedom of others, the joy of others. And also that those things inside of oneself. Because as you all know, that people in serving, helping professions to practice compassion sometimes get so worn out and sometimes even grumpy and angry. And why is that? Because we keep focusing on the life's faults, on the pain and the suffering. And sometimes it gets too much for us. Why it gets too much for us is because we are unbalanced in the way we look at the world. And this is why the Buddha, in brilliant teaching of saying balance your view of the world, not just by looking at the pain and suffering, but also looking at the happiness which you see in other people in life, because sometimes it's so easy just to get really fed up and down. The government's awful life is awful, this global warming. There's wars in the country, these pestilences, all these diseases. And if diseases don't get you, then cancer will. And if cancer doesn't get you, then Alzheimer's. Will we all end up if we live long enough, getting dementia, whatever it is we think, Oh, isn't it terrible sort of what's in front of us? It's very easy to look at life like that and see it's pain, see, it's negativity and great. We want to help and serve to make sure we lessen those problems as much as we want. But if that's all we see, we become unbalanced. And it's the one of the problems which people have serving and helping. Sometimes they get so depressed. In fact, there was one of the members of the early days in this Buddhist society in the days we were in Magnolia Street over 20 years ago. And very kind lady who was one of these listeners know people who are person who would always find time to listen to other people's problems. And I remember her husband ringing me up one day at my monastery in Serpentine asking if she was there. I said, I haven't seen her for a year or two. I found her a few days later. She had actually jumped off the bridge, suicided, was found in the Swan River, and the reason was that she had heard all the suffering of her friends. And because of just hearing that it was unbalanced and got so upset and depressed that she actually killed herself. Very, very sad. But it's also avoidable because especially those people in such professions, which see people in pain, people in hurt, if one doesn't balance by seeing the people in happiness, then one two might get an unbalanced view of the world. So the Buddha actually emphasized to also spend time cultivating the perceptions of the happiness in life, the happiness in other people. And a lot of the time we have to do this on purpose. We have to do this deliberately, actually to look for happiness, to look for success, for look for joy, the good things which are happening in the world, which there are many good things happening in the world. If you don't think there's lots of good things happening in the world, come to our monastery. Lots of good things happening. We have a great time down there. They serve and look after people. And sometimes it works and people get sort of happy with what you do for them and how you help them and care for them and serve them. So what we're doing here is actually focusing on another part of life, on the happiness. Part of life. And by focusing on that, focusing on the success, we get this sense of inspiration, the sense of joy, the sense of that life isn't all bad. We can rejoice in the goodness of the world. We can rejoice in the goodness of life. And we could also rejoice in the goodness of others. When we learn how to do this, not only does the life look not so bad, but also other people don't look so bad, for example, that when we look at our people, we live with other people we know. It's just too easy just to see their faults. Loving kindness is looking the other direction, seeing what's good about them and rejoicing in their goodness. There's a concept in Buddhism, which is from Mahayana Buddhism rather than Terada, but it's a beautiful concept of like Buddha nature that everyone has a seed of goodness inside of them, and it's a powerful teaching. This early this week, I was giving some talks in the hospital in Saint Anne's and Mercy Hospital. It's called now. And I was mentioning this because the person who was invited me to give the talk says she's got a fascination with serial killers. I don't know why I teased about that, but why is it sort of that reason to focus on some of these really, really bad people? And why is it that when we look upon those bad people, we look upon them as like being evil? And she asks the question, is there such a thing as evil in Buddhism? I said, No, it's not evil in Buddhism, the stupidity. That's why at the before the Iraq war, when I gave a speech to a demonstration and I mentioned that there's no such thing as an axis of evil, it's an axis of stupidity. And that's centered in Washington. That's it. I really got into trouble for that one, but never mind. And indeed, there's no evil in any human being. This stupidity sometimes. And you see that why people do stupid things because it is stupid to hurt other people or to get angry at other people. One of the teachings, the stories which I give, I hopefully I've been away for so long. You've forgotten most of my stories, but one of the stories which I taught in the hospital was one of my favorites. That story about that, that man who had the afternoon off work and his wife asked him to go to the market to get some eggs. And as soon as he went into this market to get some eggs, this young man came up and started calling him names, started abusing him, shouting at him and saying horrible things about him. And the husband had just gone into the market to help his wife to get some eggs was taken aback. I don't even know the guy. Why is he calling me these terrible names? And this mad young man wouldn't stop. Said some awful rude things to this husband, and he got so upset he couldn't take any more. He turned around and went home. And as soon as he got back home, his wife said, Oh, darling, you're back early. You've got the egg. Said, No, I never want to go to that market again. People are just so uncouth and so rude. Oh, I don't want to go back there again. And those of you who are wives, you know how to deal with husbands, but in the light that you calm them down, it's all right there. And then when he was reasonably calmed down, she said, What did that bloke look like? And she just he described the young man to her and the wife said, Oh, it's him. He does that to everybody. Because what happened when he was young, he had an accident and he hit his head and he's been crazy ever since. No, he can't finish his education. He can't get a job. He just hangs out in the market every every day. And that's what he just does. He just shouts at people. Call some names, but don't worry about him. He's absolutely crazy. He's out of his mind, poor fellow. As soon as the husband realised that man was crazy, all those terrible words which were said to him, all that abuse or that unfair criticism didn't mean anything anymore because it came from a crazy person. And when he when his wife realized it wasn't upset anymore. She said, Now, look, darling, I really do need those eggs and I'm very busy. Can you go back to that market and get those eggs from me? He said, Oh, sure, I can get those eggs. He wasn't upset anymore. Soon as it got into the market, the young man came up to him, called in terrible names, donkey face, whatever. And there's only a small number of rude things among can say. So Donkey face is what you might say cute to you, but I've got my rules and I have to keep the. And it's very cold in all sorts of other names as well. But this time it didn't matter anymore because the guy was crazy, poor thing. And the husband went up to the the egg store. This young man followed him and swore at him and in front of everybody. But the lady behind the door said, Don't worry about him. He's crazy. Yeah, I've just been told, poor thing. And they sort of talked about him with compassion because he, you know, couldn't really live a proper life. That's all he could do. Just hang around in the market abusing people. But he was crazy. You bought his eggs and he went home. It was no problem at all. So when the Buddha told that story, he said, This is how you're supposed to deal with abuse. If that's how your husband calls you names cause your donkey face or your wife is called their crazy temporary insanity. So anyone abusing anyone abuses you. Oh, they're just crazy. If you go to work tomorrow or Monday and your boss sort of shouts at you, they must have hit the head on the weekend or something like that. Okay. So what it means is anyone who actually is critical like that is literally out of their mind. When you're angry at somebody, you're out of your mind as well. No rational, reasonable person would actually shout and criticize others. So there's a beautiful simile here of how to deal with abuse. Notice that person abusing you is temporarily insane. Poor thing. But what it also means is we're looking at some other part of them instead of looking about the negative part of them. We're looking at some other part of them. And this is what we say. Everyone's got Buddha and nature in the sense everyone's got a seed of goodness inside of them. When you see the goodness inside of them, you can rejoice along with that seed of goodness, which is Mudita. You can actually celebrate that They've got a tiny bit inside of them, which is beautiful. Which is lovely. Which is generous. Which is kind. Which is soft, which is sensitive. Whatever is inside of that person. If you focus and rejoice along with it, then that's called meditation. It also means you're focusing on that aspect of another human being or on life. And when you focus on it, it's amazing just how that begins to grow. This is why we do this, this meditation on meditate to see the goodness say in another person and to celebrate that goodness. To focus on it, to rejoice in it, and surprise, surprise, that grows. So if you're having a trouble in a relationship, you find if you focus on the bad part of it, negative part of it, where sometimes you get compassion, but it's unbalanced. See the good in the other person and is good in everybody. The early part of my life here in Perth as a monk, I would go to the prisons to teach prisoners meditation. I was doing that for years before I became Abbot and had other things. I took my time and I couldn't go to jail anymore. But maybe it's my bad. My karma was worn out. You need to go to jail anymore. I've done my time. But after a while, that of going to jails, I got to know many of those prisoners so well. And they began to sort of open up to me. And one of the things which I always found from the prisoners when you were they came early and they just had a chat to you. They always used to say that they all felt so bad about the crime which they committed. They said, every time we wake up in the morning, I see my prison clothes and see where I am. I'm reminded of what I did to get in here. Every time when I have to line up for the master where they count the prisoners in the jail, they reminded of the crime, which they did while they're in here all through the day. And when they go to sleep at night alone in their cell, they reminded of what they did. Said, never in a day, never an hour goes past except when they're asleep, when they don't think of what they've done. It says no such thing as a prisoner who hasn't got guilt. They hide it and don't sell it to other people. When you get to know them, they all tell you what they've done. And this is one of the problems which I found when teaching in jail. Always focusing on their fault, what they've done in the past, never having a time to actually focus on something else. To have more data for the goodness which is in their hearts. And many of those prisoners were very fine human beings. Human beings had made 1 or 2 mistakes in their life and got caught. Whereas many of ours, we make 1 or 2 mistakes and we get away with it. And when you try and focus on the good things in their life, the Buddha nature, if you like, that part of them, which is noble, which is caring, which is beautiful, when you actually start to focus on that and relate to that in this prison, that's when the prisoners really love you being around because you imagine what it's like being in jail, in jail. Everyone relates to you as a prisoner, as a convict, as someone who's died. A terrible thing. So few people relate to you as something else. When you start to relating to someone else, you see a good side in a person. It's amazing that they respond to that so well that they start to show their good side more and more. And when they show the good side to other people, they show it to themselves. When they show it to themselves, they realize they're not as bad as they ever thought they were. And they're the healing. The rehabilitation begins. The same as Harvey. But you. When we're talking about data, it's not just about other people seeing the good side of other people and rejoicing and other people's goodness. It's also rejoicing in our own goodness as well. Sometimes that when we make a mistake, we dwell upon it all day. Not all day, but all weeks. And oh, what a stupid thing I did. I shouldn't have done that. But how often do we actually dwell on the beautiful things we do in life? Mrs. Comunita towards ourselves. We we look at our goodness. We recognise the kindness, the generosity, selflessness, the beauty inside us, the Buddha nature inside us, if you wish. We look upon that and we rejoice in it is the important point. We rejoice in our goodness. What happens when you start to rejoice in your goodness is actually your recognizing it and we recognizing it. It starts to grow. You start to cultivate it and it becomes more and more actually, you find that goodness, that kindness grows and grows and grows. Which is why we do more data towards ourselves. It's actually encouraging and cultivating our inherent goodness. I know I was taught as a young man that if you do anything good, you should never pat yourself on the back or seek for praise. If you just do it and hide it. And sometimes you hide your goodness so much, not even you can find it. And yes, sometimes we get depressed. We get fed up because we think there's no goodness inside of us. Or we can see as our faults and what's wrong with us. And so sometimes we need more data. To go searching for our goodness. See if there's anything inside of us which is worthwhile. One of those stories I tell. Tell I heard. And one of the members who used to come here. But he's not here today. He was a story from a funeral in the United States many years ago at the funeral of this elderly man. His wife gave the eulogy. And when she was describing her husband's life, she described an incident which happened when he was at primary school. And the result of this incident from a very, very brilliant teacher had actually helped him through many of the crises of his life. Times when he felt so alone, when he felt so sad and burdened with his suffering. Something which could actually help him put himself through the dark times of life. What actually happened was in the primary school class, there was some sort of altercation, some sort of argument almost coming to a fight. When the teacher had stopped the class doing what they were doing before in order to bring a sense of peace and harmony. She got the two factions, set them down, gave them a piece of paper and a pencil. Told her, first of all, to rule a line down the middle lengthwise the piece of paper. And to choose one of their enemy. One of the other side they're arguing with. Write their name on the top and on the left hand side of the paper by all the stupid things that person does or the things you hate about them, you dislike about them or their faults as much as you like. So all the kids were writing about the enemies or the terrible things they did when they filled out the left hand side of the paper. Now, on the right hand side of the paper, write down all the things you like about that person, all their good qualities, all the things you respect about them. And they had to do that. Took a bit longer time, but they wrote down on the right hand side all the things they respected and cared for about the enemy. And she told them to carefully sort of tear the paper down the middle along the line, the left hand side, all the things you hate, screw it up and put it in the bin, the right hand side, give it to that person. You hate, all the things you like about them. And after that was done, he got his half from his enemy or the things his enemy actually liked about him. And his wife said he kept that piece of paper throughout his whole life. And whenever he felt sad and upset, he'd get that piece of paper out and read it to himself about a person in school who didn't even like him, respected his good qualities. But to focus on those good qualities and that would pull him through many crises. And having given that as her eulogy. According to the story, about 5 or 6 other people stood up. Reached into their purses and wallets and also brought out pieces of paper. Tear down the middle or left right hand sides. They, too, were in that same class. That's where they were friends. And they, too, had kept that piece of paper throughout so many decades that two had pulled them through. So the very dismal days of their life. Because what it was doing was showing them how to focus not just on the faults and the pain of life, but also to focus on the happiness and the good side. It's there, but sometimes we just can't see it because we don't want to see it. The Buddha was very brilliant in his analysis of the human mind. And just to show just how we get into these ruts of negativity where we just only want to see what's wrong, we only want to see the faults. We only want to see the rubbish side of life. It's cool when we're negative, when we're angry. We look at the people we work with. We look at the people we live with. Her husband. Our wife. After a while, it's just too easy to see their faults, to amplify those faults and to hate the person we once loved. Your brothers and sisters you grow up with. The people you played with, you cared for. Maybe later on in life, things happen. You don't like each other anymore. Why? So often as we're focusing on only part of the story, the left hand side of that page, we really want to actually look at the right hand side of the page as well, the data side. And if we can do that, it's amazing just how we can have compassion, peace, even love for all sorts of beings in jail, even though there was murderers and rapists and things like that, you could still have compassion, kindness, even love for all those beings. Once you saw the right hand side of the paper, the muddy side. You could actually rejoice in the goodness of the rapist. Were they a rapist anyway? They done the act? One, two, three, four. I don't know how many times, but they've done many other things in life. It's just too easy just to sum up a person by a handful of terrible mean acts which they've done in their life. Can you really sum up a person like that? Is that fair? Ignoring anything else they'd ever done? I don't think it is fair. It's not rational. So how can we judge a person so cruelly? They have got a right hand side of that paper, things which are good and kind and generous and wonderful about themselves. And so have you. We also got a right hand side of the paper. So that's why Modesto actually looks at ourselves and celebrates the goodness we have. What have you done today, which has been beautiful and good? When you go home at night, you think of all the good things you've done. What do you do about it? I think about the stupid thing which you did today. The thing you got into trouble for your faults, your mistakes. You see what I'm talking about here? That. Yeah, you got to recognize those mistakes, but not to dwell upon them and to balance them with all the good things. Then you feel good about yourself. What happens when you feel good about yourself? You feel happy. It's a path to happiness. When you feel happy, you tend to do more good things. When you feel miserable, you go home and you tend to kick the dog. If you haven't got a dog, the cat, if you haven't got a pet, you kick your husband or your wife or whatever you want to kick something, you want to get her. This is what happens when you're grumpy, when you're unhappy. But imagine you go home really happy or you go home from the Buddhist society here with a big smile on your face. Then how are you going to deal with your, you know, your people back home? Of course you're going to do more good things. You're going to be more positive, more caring, more happy, whatever. So from happiness, more giving to others. So this is it's in your interest and other people's interests to cultivate happiness. So we actually learn how to cultivate happiness. Is a Buddhist. That's why that the basic Buddhist teachings, which we call the Four Noble Truths. You may read that in the books, but those who have been here before know that I rearrange those four noble truths into actually what really is the heart of Buddhism, the heart of any spiritual life, the heart of religion, what religion is all about for the noble truths. First, noble truth is happiness. Second, noble truth the cause of happiness. Third, noble truths that there is sometimes unhappiness. And the fourth, noble truth. Why there is unhappiness. And this is actually what life is all about, finding what happiness is, what it's cause, why there's unhappiness, what the cause of unhappiness is. That's basic Buddhist four noble truths. And when we start to understand that, we understand why the Buddha gave all these beautiful teachings like meditate, to actually to create happiness in our life, the sense of being at peace with ourselves or rather appreciating ourselves and appreciating others and appreciating life and appreciating our government. Why do you laugh? And you'd laugh. How about having some data to your government? Okay. We all we all think that's a really tough one happened to our government. But my goodness, it's much better than some of these other governments in the world which will arrest you and put you in jail and torture you without any sort of. No sense of recourse. Of all the governments which are in the world. If you did a league table, we would probably be in the top half anyway, not the bottom half. You think of some of the other governments which actually run countries, run regimes in this world. And so we actually have a bit of appreciation for any governance, no matter what kind of government there are any person, any policeman, anybody who's who's actually there could be much worse. I'm saying and many of you probably know what it means by being much worse. Somebody told me, was it was it in a documentary recently? It just comes to my mind on television. Of course, we haven't seen television for 30 years, but. The fact is a documentary, somebody in some African country or somebody invaded their country. There were a woman was put in jail and was tortured and raped every day. If I remember correctly, someone telling me this a few days ago, and that's why it was actually this lady who invited me to the hospital. So she was telling me about this story and she said that what actually got her through this terrible nightmare existence until she was eventually released as the one day after being raped and beaten, when she was laying sort of on the cobbles of the courtyard, bruised, bleeding in pain, she looked up and saw, I think, the head of the guards, the torture of himself, the boss, smoking a cigarette with his friends, taking a break and talking about he'd just bought a puppy for his son. And just how his son would feel so happy that when he bought this surprise gift back to his little boy. She saw a spark of goodness in her torturer. And he said that. That was what pulled her through that terrible time. Powerful story. I'm not sure if I'm reporting it correctly. If there was actually such a documentary recently on the television. But this is actually what she was telling me and I can understand. That that's feasible. I can understand why that would work. Because sometimes when we get hurt by another person or by life, sometimes that when we just see the pain, when we see the hurt, sometimes it gets so black. When we can't see any light at all, we want to give up. Depression. Suicide is no hope. But when we see the Buddha nature even in our tortuous. Then it gives us hope. There is such a thing as goodness in the world. We can develop this data, this celebration of the goodness in others, and an amazing thing happens that it does grow. The people we are with tend to show that side more to us when we recognize it and we show that side more to ourselves. Sometimes there's a monk. You may not think this, but I work very hard and I sometimes get very physically tired. Some of the things which I do are just teaching overseas, teaching here, doing administration teaching amongst sometimes there's a lot of things on my plate. Sometimes I get very tired and I have to give a talk. I remember once going to a meeting of the monks in England. As soon as the meeting was over, I had to get a plane from London to Singapore to teach at a conference. Straight off the plane, straight into the conference hall and just going through it all day teaching. Reason why I get those energies is because when I get tired, I start to focus on all the good things I've done that day. I look upon the service which I have given. I deliberately focus on the beauty inside. I forget about all the faults and the silly things which I've done. And when I start to focus on the beauty and the goodness which I've done, I'm actually bringing up the perception of the good karma. What I do that more and more, I get a sense of happiness coming up. I'm celebrating. Goodness. When I celebrate the goodness I get, happiness and energy starts to come up. And that's one of the ways I've got this energy source inside. By focusing on the goodness, what happens when you focus on the badness? What sort of energies do you get? You get depressed, you get tired, you get really fed up. What's the point? And you can never get out of the ruts and the holes of life. By focusing on the faults and the bad. And as you just get deeper and deeper into a hole. And he can always focus on the goodness. There's always something good there. Just we're talking the other day about even like the the epitome of evil in the world. Now we're talking about not George Bush, but Adolf Hitler. I shouldn't do this. But he's not a bad guy. I don't feel the. You know, I should have bought this, but every now and again, I don't know what I'm going to talk about. But every now and again I bring this poem, which is a poem about a love of a son for his mother. It's a very beautiful poem. I think the last time I bought it here was like Mother's Day and as a Friday night or Mother's Week, Mother's Day weekend. And I bought this poem and I read it out. And here is a beautiful poem about how you should look after your mother. I should love her. And it doesn't matter what she's like if she speaks a bit, sort of roughly to you. She's your mum, so be careful for her. Love her. And because she cared for you. Having read out this poem. Then I read out the name of the author as Adolf Hitler. A beautiful little poem. Part of it. And I love doing things like that because that's not saying what I can see how we judge. We always look at the bad side of a person. That bad side is there, but there's always the other side as well. Never look at ourselves. We look, the people we live with. We look at life. What is your attitude towards life? Do you really want to be happy? This is one way of doing it. Focus on that happiness. You should start focus on that happiness. It grows if you always was it like when people always look at your faults and tell you off? Do you really want to try to get better? We just get fed up. It's amazing that when you start praising other people, you praise yourself, meditate, rejoicing, and other people's goodness rejoicing in the goodness of life, rejoicing in your own goodness when you praise. Try it out. It grows the goodness. You don't become a worse person, you become a better person. Life becomes better. You know that from your own experience where you work. How often is it your boss praises you for what you've done? And how often do I tell you off all the rotten things or when you make a mistake? What would it be like if your boss started praising you? Would you work harder or would you work less? What happens if they're always on your back criticizing you, pointing out your fault so you're not work hard enough. Does that make you work harder or you want to work less? It was obvious from your own experience. You should know that if you get praised and encourage, you want to work harder. You want to live up to. You want to help out that person? That's why that somebody came to my monastery last, last week. When I asked, he said, Do you ever get angry? And I said, Ask the other monks. And they asked one of the actually only had been a long time, so I haven't seen him angry for years. As adults shout at people. And that's why monks work so hard for me. On our committees. I said. President, when was the last time I shouted at him? And that's why he works so hard. This is actually how you get people to help you because you want to help, You want to serve. You want to sort of look after people who are kind to you. So what I'm saying is when you focus on goodness. Who actually you get the most out of other people, most out of life and the most out of yourself. So we don't need to be over critical. We need to develop much more data celebrating rejoicing in the goodness of ourselves. That's why when a person does do an act of goodness and kindness, go and celebrate it. Feel good about yourself. Pat yourself on the back. Any one of the people here was telling me that year or two ago I asked him to give the the Catena cloth. We're having a Catena ceremony at our monastery in a couple of weeks time. It's a ceremony where the community comes together to offer a rope to the monks and have an alms giving. And it's a celebration of the the the monks and the monasteries and the nuns. And every year we choose a different member of the community to actually to offer the robe. A few years ago, when I asked one of the members here to actually can you give the offering on behalf of one of the communities. So they started crying. They felt so happy, and that made them just high for weeks and weeks and weeks. I told them this is because of your goodness and we're celebrating your goodness, looking after the Buddhist society, all the stuff which you've done for them behind the scenes celebrating Goodness. I said about goodness like that. It creates so much happiness, so much joy. I think of all the good things you've done in your life. Celebrate them. Feel good about them. You've actually contributed. You're a good person. You've had your faults. Put them aside for a while and have moved to celebrate your goodness and celebrate the goodness of others as well. Then life becomes a bit of a celebration. Instead of this miserable, depressed look at the world. It's all going wrong and bombing here and stuff happening there. Okay, that's true. But don't just dwell upon that 24 hours a day. Balance. When you balance this life in that way, then you find you can have more happiness. And with that happiness, more energy, you can actually do more things and create more positive outcomes in the world. You don't create much at all when you're grumpy and upset. If you go out into the world trying to solve the world's problems, when you've got too many problems yourself, you're just adding to the world's problems. So this gives you energy, energy to do things in a day, focusing on goodness growing goodness. I call it watering the flowers. Instead of watering the weeds, you're watering the goodness and you find it grows and grows and grows. You're growing in happiness and understanding. And become more effective as a compassionate person in the world. Compassionate to yourself. Compassionate to others. It's amazing. There's two ways of dealing with problems. Sometimes you can actually look at the problems and get rid of those. It's like pulling out the weeds. And that's a fair way of solving the problem of weeds in your garden. The other way is growing flowers. You grow so many flowers that they actually swamp the weeds and we just can't get any light because there's just too many flowers in your garden. It's the way of like growing goodness, growing what you call like wholesome qualities. You get so many wholesome qualities that they swamp or the bad qualities. The bad qualities can't come in. There's so many which I've given before of like, how to keep burglars out of your house. You know, you can have sort of guard dogs and alarm systems and stuff like that to keep burglars out of their house. The other way is have all your friends in your house. We've got lots of good people and lots of friends in your house all the time. The burglars won't come to your house. There's too many people there again to trouble. They go to some other people's houses. It's what the Buddha actually say. The way to overcome unwholesome qualities in life or in your mind is to fill your mind with good things, with wholesome qualities. The Buddha actually thought this is part of the eightfold path. It's called the the right efforts for right efforts and wholesome things in your mind or in life to just get rid of them, try and avoid them in the first place, and good things in your life. Encourage them. But if they're there, maintain them. It's like encouraging wholesome, good, happy, positive things in the world, which is what is like. You're rejoicing in the goodness. Now, I don't want to be one sided here and think that's all there is to life and you're just being really stupid, just thinking the world is wonderful. It's so good. This is all balance. If somebody just rejoices, rejoices and they don't see anything wrong with the world and they're saying no. Start to do some focusing on the faults as well. But for most people, we focus on the faults too much. We look upon the faults in the newspapers. We look upon it on the TV. We talk about the faults at work. We pick out each other's faults at home. I always pick picky. Picky. Just listen to the way you talk. How many times in one day do you praise another person? How many times in one day do you praise yourself? And how many times in one day did you say words of criticism to others? And how many times in a day do you criticize yourself? I think you understand when you actually do a quick count why Modesto is so important, because we're two critical, two for finding. We just go over the top. We get into this habit, this rut by Modesto. So we deliberately decide to celebrate our goodness and the goodness in others, the goodness in our husband, our wife, our kids. Poor kids have so many pressures on them. And we sometimes always criticizing them, saying they sort of spend too much time on a computer. They do this, they do that. Praise is so important for a child to know they're loved and they respected and they are cared for. So please, you know, have some data to your child. There was a school teacher. I practice that with the kids I taught when I was a school teacher before I became a monk. That's actually one of the reasons why I became a monk. Anyone teaching school would know what I mean. Little hooligans? No, they weren't that bad. But in this story, there was one kid, as I must be every year, who came. Bottom of the class. This poor child in the class of 30 came 30th. And when we gave out the results, you know. You know, you came first, second, third, fourth. It's Carl came 30th and he could see. He looked so depressed and upset. Imagine what it's like, you know? I'm bottom of the class. You have to go home to your parents with your report Bottom. So I went up to this kid afterwards. I saw he's so depressed and it's a boy. And I said to him, Look, don't be so depressed. Said, What do you mean? So I'm bottom. I'm going to be in big trouble when I get home. He said, Look, in Buddhism, because I was a Buddhist and we got this idea of like a bodhisattvas. About Issoufou is like someone who sacrifices their own happiness for the sake of others. I say like, you're like one of those bodhisattvas. You have taken this awful position of bottom of the class and no one else has to suffer. It's such an enormous sacrifice you've made have become important, so no one else has to have this terrible position of being number 30. This says, you know, you're just so kind and compassionate. You're much better than these other guys over here. Been so selfish just looking after how well they can do. You've actually thought of others by taking this table position. Actually, you deserve a medal for coming the 30th and being like the bodhisattvas, sacrificing your own happiness for the sake of others. You thought I was crazy, but he laughed. And because he laughed and thought I was crazy, he got out of his depression for a few minutes. And of course, what does it matter? 30th. You know, you can bottom of the class this time and come top the next time. You always change around. They didn't feel so bad. So it was an example of that crazy moody that, you know, for finding something to celebrate about being bottom of the class. That you bottom of your class if you are the most abject miserable. I live in this world. It's a wonderful thing you're doing for other people. If you're a person who can't have a relationship with others because you can't maintain sort of a partner, it's a wonderful thing you're doing in this world by freeing these other people to form partnerships with other people so that they're not actually stuck with you. Some of you do. Whatever. Excuse me, whatever it is you do. You can always put it on there, see it in another way. And so celebrate some goodness in whatever happens in life. Imagine, you know, you have a cancer, you're going to die young as amazing thing you're doing because people, all the taxes they pay, they don't have to pay for your pension. Oh, it's the most compassionate thing you're doing to die young. But whatever it is, you could always look at it in a positive way. When you look in the positive way, it's a bit of like moody to. You're celebrating sort of life. Rather than noise being miserable about it is celebrating the joy in life, which you can always find it there somewhere. You're celebrating the Buddha nature and other people there. Goodness. You can see in your enemy something which you can respect. Confirm that you have a chance not to be the enemy anymore, but to make friends. The Jew in Israel can see some respect in the Arab Muslim summer. They can laugh. The Arab Muslim can see something they really care about in the Israeli Jew. Right now. Let's focus on the terrible things which they do to each other. They can rejoice when it comes to the Jewish holy days, we can rejoice with them. When it comes to the Arab Muslim holidays, we can rejoice with them to. You can rejoice in other people's goodness. Imagine what would happen if we could do that. Have more data towards one another. How conflict can be solved. We find something to respect in our sworn enemies. How when we go through divorces, you can find something in our X. Which means we don't hate them anymore. So all these problems and difficulties and trauma of separations can be healed. And most important, the divorce with ourselves, a separation with us from ourselves. It's a terrible thing of that part of you which you don't like, which causes depression, which causes so many of the psychological and physical problems of ourselves. Self-hate. Instead of focusing on all it's wrong. You can focus with Modesta when our good qualities, we can rejoice. In anything we find in ourselves. Which is beautiful. Which is good. Which is kind. Which is wonderful. That's called meditation. We do that deliberately. We find happiness grows and we actually do become better people. It's like we're putting this amazing, wonderful happiness. Our friends in our house and the burglars which take away our happiness and make us do stupid things, haven't got a chance to come in. Because we're full of data. So that's a little talk. Again, off the cuff, as usual, about the Buddhist quality of rejoicing in the goodness of other people, rejoicing in the goodness of life, rejoicing in the goodness of ourselves. So that we can have happiness and growth is a valid way of growing goodness in the world. Instead of just looking at the faults and trying to fix up all the faults. So thank you for listening. That's the first of the season. I hope I'm in for see what happens next week. So.

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