The Four Immeasurables

“The teachings on love given by the Buddha… love, compassion, joy, and equanimity, are the very nature of an enlightened person. They are the four aspects of true love within ourselves and within everyone and everything.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

This month, October 2017, we are beginning to explore The Four Immeasurables: loving-kindness (“metta” in Pali), compassion, joy (often referred to as “sympathetic joy”) and equanimity, using Sharon Salzberg’s book Loving Kindness- The Revolutionary Art of Happiness as our primary text.   This exploration will continue at least until the end of the year.  New participants are welcome to join at any time.  The exploration will have as its aim the cultivation of these qualities within each of us, learning to express them directly and purposefully in our relationship with ourselves and with other beings in the world.

Other resources you may find useful include:

  • The Four Immeasurables- Practices to Open the Heart by B. Alan Wallace
  • Teachings on Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The chapter on The Four Immeasurable Minds in The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, also by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Metta Sutta, the Buddha’s discourse on metta, is on a separate page, connected to this one.  There are many versions- this is the one I resonate with the most.  As it turns out, it is also the version, with 2 minor changes, that is at the beginning of Sharon Salzberg’s book. If you are interested, you can use this link for 18 different translations:

On another separate page linked to this one I have attached some suggestions on how to cultivate these qualities in daily life, taken from the OpenSkyZen blog.

May all beings experience loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity!

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