Friday, April 24, 2015

Breakfast at the Karma Cafe

This morning I was waiting in the drive through line at McDonald’s to get my breakfast sandwich, cost $3.78. When I went to pay, the girl at the window told me the woman in the van in front of me paid for my sandwich. I tried to pay for the order from the car behind me. It cost $9.78. I only had $7.00 in my billfold. So the guy behind me got a $7.00 discount on his order.

I wonder where that little chain of blessings will end.

At the time I was listening to the last half of an old Joel Osteen sermon on my car radio, #469 Freedom from Competition, if you are interested. What Joel was teaching is called Mudita or Sympathetic Joy by the Buddhists. They consider it one of the four sublime or heavenly abodes. When you are experiencing pleasure as you witness the success and happiness of another, you are in heaven. The opposite of Mudita is envy or schadenfreude, taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others. When we experience envy, one of the seven deadly sins, or take pleasure in the sufferings of others it must be a foretaste of Hell.

The sages consider Mudita the most difficult of the four immeasurables to practice. Maybe the sages are wrong. Through a simple random act of generosity, the woman in front of me in line was experiencing sympathetic joy and giving others to opportunity to join her in a heavenly place.

Jesus paid the price so that I, a man condemned to death, might live and experience joy in heavenly places.

What are the implications of this model for His followers?

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