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Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Four Immeasurables: Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity

Aloha Everyone,

Today I would like to give you an introduction and definition of Love, Compassion, Joy or Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity.  They are often known to as THE FOUR IMMEASURABLES or as THE HEART OF ENLIGHTENMENT.

Below is a beautiful prayer of THE FOUR IMMEASURABLES in English translation.

    May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,
    May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes,
    May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering,
    May all sentient beings be in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.

In our meditation class, we will study the Buddhism definition of THE FOUR IMMEASURABLES as taught by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.  His Holiness, said, "All sentient beings are exactly the same in that every one desires happiness and seeks to avoid misery. We are not isolated entities disconnected from each other. The happiness and suffering of other beings affect us. This mutual relation is obvious. Sentient beings have been kind and have benefited us directly and indirectly throughout beginning of time. These beings are intrinsically the same as us in their pursuit of happiness and effort to avoid suffering. Thus, it is essentially logical for us to train in cultivating an impartial attitude wishing for the happiness of all beings.

1)  LOVE

a)  This love is: wanting others to be happy.
b)  This love is unconditional; we do not choose who we love or who can love us.
c)  This love requires courage and complete acceptance including acceptance of you.


a)  This compassion wants others to be free from suffering.
b)  This compassion takes place when one feels the pain and suffering with someone,.
c)  This compassion is an unselfish, detached emotion and sense of regency to help.


a)  This sympathetic joy is being genuinely happy with someone else's happiness.
b)  This sympathetic joy is an unselfish and very positive mental attitude.


a)  This equanimity means to have a clear, tranquil state of mind.
b)  This equanimity means not being overpowered by delusions or mental agitation.
c)  This equanimity does not distinguish between friend, enemy or stranger.  Every sentient being are regarded as equal.

So let's begin our practice of Four Immeasurable right this moment.  Hope you will learn them and apply them in your daily lives.

Namaste -- Cathi

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