ccharles wrote:Would generating feelings of joy for others when they receive joy from sensual pleasures still count as mudita?
I am not sure myself, but I have begun seriously working on developing Mudita lately and so I would like to provide a response for both of our sakes.
I think that, at least from my limited knowledge and experience, that Mudita is best applied to the admirable mental qualities that a person exhibits at a time. Somewhat like a "There's some good to everyone" sort of thing. Of course, there is more "good," or more accurately, "skillfullness" to the actions of some rather than others.
Yes, I do think that it is possible to be happy for someone else's happiness, say, if they're happily asleep or eating delicious food. But it seems that such sympathetic joy would be quite limited in comparison to the feelings of gladness that one would experience by contemplating, for example, how someone worked hard to achieve a goal or developed qualities that made himself or herself a better person. I suppose that an practical example would be being happy for someone being wealthy versus being happy for someone having worked diligently to acquire the wealth he or she possesses. I believe that the latter is stronger, and leads to development of the former as well.
Hope this helps!