One simple step toward happiness every day for a year. Doesn't everyone want to be happy?
Join us on Facebook (more about these "Secrets")

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Practice "The Four Immeasurables"

As we come near the end of this project (just ten Secrets to go!) you'll notice that I'm leaning more and more toward lists. We had Goethe's last time, and I'll be giving you my own "summa" over the final few days.

But today's list is a corker. The Buddha taught four principles in his "higher teaching" (not for the weak at heart), and these were so supreme that they have been called "immeasurable," or even "Brahma Viharas"--the dwelling-places of the divine.

They are, in short:

  1. Loving-kindness: wishing happiness for all (including not just people but all sentient beings)
  2. Compassion: desiring a decrease in suffering for all (again including all sentient beings)
  3. Sympathetic Joy: rejoicing in the success of all (including you-know-what); the very opposite of jealousy
  4. Equanimity: avoiding distinctions like "friend" or "enemy," "success" or "failure," "praise" or "blame," etc., and reacting to all phenomena with detached acceptance

And how do we attain these exalted states? Through meditation, calming the mind, quieting the raging ego.

Try it. If you can do that (and no one is saying it will be easy), you'll be happier.

No comments:

Post a Comment