The meaning of Muditā

The name for the centre is Dhamma Muditā. Muditā means "joy", more precisely "sympathetic joy", which is joy for others' achievements and happiness. Less frequently, it is used to describe "positive confirmation" and "enthusiasm".  Muditā is one of four Brahmavihāras, sometimes translated as 'divine abodes', also called the  "four immeasurables" (Appamaññā). The other Brahmavihāras are Metta (loving kindness), Karuna (compassion) and Upekkha (equanimity). 

Below you will find a description of the Brahmaviharas according to literature.


The four Brahmaviharas are universal inner attitudes towards ourselves, other human beings or life as taught systematically in the Buddhist mind training. They are also called divine or heavenly abodes.

Metta, the first quality, has different meanings, e.g. loving kindness, friendliness, connectedness, acceptance, non-judging and inclusive presence and tolerance. Metta meditation unfolds the power of love and compassion. Altruistic motivation is cultivated for the good of all life. Openness and respect for oneself and others is developed. the cultivation of an altruistic motivation is an important part of the practice. 

The second quality is Karuna – compassion. If we have an inner attitude of benevolence and loving kindness, our heart reacts compassionately. We allow ourselves to feel the suffering, be it our own or that of other living beings. The wish to alleviate or end the suffering arises. 

Muditā is the third quality. It is the ability to appreciate the happiness and wellbeing of other living beings and to be happy for them. We include ourselves in our Muditā practice and are happy for our own positive intentions, abilities and actions. 

The fourth quality, Uppekha, means equanimity, joyful serenity, impartiality and prudence. It is the ability to encounter everything with an open and calm heart and mind - no matter if it is a desirable and pleasant experience or not. Serenity allows the other Brahmaviharas to fully unfold - it is an important part, or even the result of the real Vipassana practice. 

The four attitudes are our true nature. They are immanent, but often covered by negative states of the heart and the mind. The Brahmavihara practice wants to make us familiar again with this inner attitude, to open up for and settle into the pleasant, the healing.