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Episode 98 - Rejoicing Versus Jealousy

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Release Date: 02/16/2021

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When we’re jealous, there’s a wish that another would not have the happiness or good fortune we’re observing. It is the opposite of a bodhisattva wish for others to be happy, for jealousy actually wishes that others not have happiness. This is why jealousy is such a hindrance on the path to enlightenment because it conjures a very different intention than the compassionate, bodhicitta intention were trying to cultivate. 

 

A Buddhist definition of jealousy: A disturbing state of mind that involves an inability to bear another’s fortune due to being attached to something someone else has. It involves hatred and has the function of causing discomfort of mind and not abiding in happiness.

 

Jealousy uncovers an unmet need, an unfulfilled wish, or an insecurity. When our mind is focused on jealous thoughts it feeds our insecurity, perception of being less, not having what we want. The more more we let our mind dwell in jealousy, the more our insecurity or feeling of lack grows. 

 

Sometimes we’re jealous and we want that happiness for selves; they got the promotion that we wanted. They got the girl that we wanted. At other times we don’t want them to be happy because we feel it obstructs our own happiness. For example, when we don’t want our partner to go out and have fun with their friends because we want them to stay with us and make us happy.

 

Benefits of rejoicing in others good qualities or good fortune

  1. Antidote to jealousy 
  2. Mental peace
  3. Creates the karma to have the quality or good fortune we are rejoicing in
  4. Better relationships with other people
  5. Creates a harmonious workplace, home, etc.

 

According to their faith,

      According to their satisfaction,

People give.

This being the case,

If one is envious 

      Of the food and drink given to others,

One does not attain samadhi 

      By day or night.

But by cutting out, uprooting and discarding,

      This envious state 

One gains samadhi 

       By day or by night. (Verse 249-250)

--Buddha, The Dhammapada

 

Links and References

Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp.63-64.

Je Tsongkhapa. Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, by Je Tsongkhapa, Volume 2. Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee. Joshua Cutler, Editor-in-Chief, and Guy Newlan, Editor, pp 144-150.