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The Four Immeasurables
Transcript of The Four Immeasurables
Far Enemy: A mental/emotional state totally opposite to that we want to cultivate and deepen in our practice.
Near Enemy: A mental/emotional state that arises by mistake while we are practising. It shares some qualities with the mental state we wish to cultivate, but it is actually very different and leads us astray.
So what is hindering the blossoming of our Heart?
Mental Afflictions/Toxins (Kleshas):
"Anything that disturbs our tranquility
and peace of mind"
Craving, attachment, clinging
Hostility, anger, hatred, cruelty
Envy, jealousy, competitiveness
"All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, made by mind. Speak or act with a corrupted mind, and suffering follows, as the wagon wheel follows the hoof of an ox."
"All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, made by mind. Speak or act with a peaceful mind, and happiness follows like a never-departing shadow."
How do they help us?
"By practising Loving-kindness one extinguishes anger in our heart. By practising Compassion one
extinguishes pain and anxiety. By practising Empathetic Joy one extinguishes sadness and lack of joy. By practising Impartiality one extinguishes hatred, aversion, and attachment in our heart."
: Being aware of our thoughts/desires/emotions, and verify if they lead us to wholesome or unwholesome states, i.e.genuine happiness. Capacity to dwell on wholesome states for increasingly longer periods of time.
: Ability to monitor if our mind has wandered from its object of attention, and to bring it back to its object.
Trainable through repeated application
The Four Dwellings of the Heart
The 4 Immeasurables = They have no boundaries both in the degree to which they may be cultivated, and in the number of living beings they can include
"One who follows the path proclaimed by the Wayfarer has a dwelling place with loving-kindness in all four quarters, and above, and below. Her mind penetrates the entire world with loving-kindness; nothing is untouched. Her dwelling place is vast, exalted, measureless; there is no room in it for hostility or ill-will". Tevijja Sutta
A Network of Mutuality
"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality; tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. This is the interrelated structure of all reality."
Martin Luther King