In a single
moment of offering food, the Buddha said, a great
our spiritual path is fulfilled. All four of the
brahma-viharas appear in that moment.
because we feel goodwill toward the person
who is receiving; we want that person to be happy.
in that moment, because we wish that being
to be free from pain or suffering.
rejoicing in the person's happiness and
Equanimity manifests in this
giving, because we are willing to let go
of something we have;
we are willing to be without it ourselves.
All four of those unique qualities are present
right in that
one single action.
The arena of intention
In the your development of the brahma-viharas, the
arena in which they work is that of our intention.
The four brahma-viharas
Theirs is a benevolent alliance
to brighten our minds. And because of their brightness,
and joy to our perceptions. We can increasingly open
to the happiness that exists. And we can see the
suffering that exists as well and maintain an open
heart in face
of it. In this way, as they share their strengths
with one another, the bright forces of mind support
help us to our own happiness.
With wisdom of equanimity
Equanimity in the face of
pain (or their success) does not
mean that we don’t care, by any means,
but it gives us the strength of wisdom, the
and the balance of wisdom, to recognize what
we can do and what we can’t do. Where
we need to let go. We need to trust in the
purity of our
in terms of our action. We need to trust
in the unfolding of events. We need to see
going to be some pain in life.
When we feel unhappiness or pain, it is not a sign
that things have gone terribly wrong or that we have
done something wrong by not being able to control the
circumstances. Pain and pleasure are constantly coming
and going, and yet we can be happy. When we allow for
the mystery, sometimes we discover that right in the
heart of a very difficult time, right in the midst
of a painful situation, there is freedom. In those
moments when we realize how much we cannot control,
we can learn to let go.
Metta — the foundation practice
Your practice, your path
Remember, the brahma-viharas are qualities to cultivate,
not ideas we "understand" by reading
about them. The reflections and meditations in this
course are tools for guiding you on your path
the qualities of love, compassion, sympathetic joy
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Here are a few of the resources you can
pursue to further your study of the brahma-viharas
with Sharon (click to purchase):
Revolutionary Art of Hapiness
primary source for this course
A Heart as Wide as the
World- Stories on the Path of Lovingkindness(Shambhala
tape (Sounds True)
as Wide as the World- Stories
on the Path of Lovingkindnessaudio
tape (Sounds True)