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Cultivating Empathetic Joy: An Antidote to Jealousy and Judgment

Pamela Fox
October 12, 2017

Cultivating Empathetic Joy: An Antidote to Jealousy and Judgment

A workshop given at One Salon San Francisco on October 11. The slides do not contain all the narrative needed. Contact me if interested in this workshop.

Pamela Fox

October 12, 2017


  1. Empathetic Joy Rejoicing in the joy of others Tibetan tradition:

    Rejoicing in the virtuous joy of others Rejoicing in the non-morally-questionable joy of others
  2. Empathic Joy is NOT… Jealousy! Schadenfreude! Manic clinging: “That dog

    is so happy, I’ll be crushed if he ever gets upset.” A feeling of superiority: “Wow, my dad got that great award, that means he’s better than everyone else’s dad. We’re such a smart family.”
  3. Let’s practice. Make a list of 5 good things that

    have happened for you recently. Feel the joy you felt when they happened. Rejoice for your past self! Make a list of 5 good things that have happened for a friend or loved one recently. Feel joyful for their good fortune.
  4. Partner time Find a partner. Alternate telling each other the

    good things that happened. (Feel free to skip anything that feels too personal.) When your partner shares something, acknowledge it somehow: “Thanks for sharing” “Wow, that’s great!” High five! Notice how it feels to share and to receive.
  5. Your personal circle Draw your own circle: include loved ones,

    neutral people, difficult people. Make a list of people you feel jealous or competitive with, and rank your feelings of jealousy for them. (If you struggle, try siblings, coworkers, industry peers).
  6. On Difficult People Rehumanize them: remind yourself that they are

    full, complex human beings, and that you have no idea of the struggles that they’ve gone to. Consider that you could have become that person, if your life had gone down different paths. In the future, you could even find yourself being best friends or in-laws with that person! Detach your feeling of self entirely. (Hard Mode)
  7. Empathetic Joy: The Benefits More joy is available to us.

    “Joy is all around us, let the feeling grow…” Negative thoughts can be transformed into or replaced by positive thoughts Our decisions and perspectives on the world aren’t clouded by jealousy
  8. Homework Continue the meditation, trying to extend it to more

    and more difficult people. (Attend the next Nyingma Retreat!) Smile when you see happy people on the street. Congratulate co-workers when they complete a task. Notice your feelings when friends post on FB. Challenge yourself to feel empathetic joy when possible/relevant, and leave a comment like “I’m so happy for you!” What else?