Buddhism A–Z
What is Joy (Mudita) in Buddhism?

In Buddhism, joy is one of the positive mental states that practitioners cultivate. The Sanskrit/Pali word mudita translates to “sympathetic joy.” This means taking joy in others’ happiness and is the opposite of jealousy and envy. 

Mudita is one of the “four immeasurables,” or “boundless states” (Sanskrit, apramana; Pali, appammanna) and the third of the four “divine abodes” or brahmaviharas, the four highest qualities of the heart.

One who is engaged in mudita delights in the positive experiences of others. By learning to appreciate the happiness of others, we can reduce our own attachment to unhelpful comparison, foster a more open-hearted and compassionate attitude, and deepen our awareness of the interconnection of all beings.

Related Reading

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How to Multiply Joy in Your Life

Christiane Wolf on how to practice sympathetic joy, or mudita — delight in the happiness of others.

Buddhism A–Z

Explore essential Buddhist terms, concepts, and traditions.