The Four Immeasureables

In Tibetan Buddhism the idea of compassion is talked about by using the idea of “Bodhicitta.” Bodhicitta actually means compassion, but for Westerners, the idea of compassion is often that the “haves” give to the “have-nots.” There is a sense of one person having or being in a position to give, and another one being needy. In Buddhism it is different.  When one displays Bodhicitta, one understands that all sentient beings are suffering. One looks at cyclic existence and sees that it is impermanent; that all sentient beings, no matter how happy they are, temporarily, ultimately lose that happiness by experiencing old age, sickness, and death; that in the six realms of cyclic existence, there are many different forms of suffering due to impermanence and the mind of duality.

If you have no awareness of the impermanence of your situation, then you have no awareness of the fact that even though you may be happy at the moment, you are likely to suffer at some point in your life. If you tend to avoid that knowledge, you really cannot accomplish stability in your path because the motivation isn’t right. When you are suffering and you realize that you are suffering, your experience is intensified in such a way that you know that enlightenment is important. You know that this suffering that is happening to you is not good. Even if you are experiencing some temporary happiness like watching TV or feeling great when you’ve accomplished something, you notice that you feel not so great when that temporary satisfaction is absent.

According to the Buddha’s teaching, compassion and the determined cultivation of Bodhicitta is absolutely necessary in stabilizing and deepening one’s experience in meditation. Why is that so? First of all, we should look at the teaching that is called the Four Immeasurables.

The Four Immeasurables are loving kindness, compassion, joy, and boundless equanimity. Of these, the most foundational is boundless equanimity. This means the realization that all things are essentially equal. You learn to treasure your most loved one the same as those that you don’t know, including your worst enemy. How is this possible? If you look at why you care for your loved one more than you love your enemy or someone that you’ve never met, you can understand that the motivation for loving one more than another is desire. The desire that is felt here is the desire for approval, the desire for being recognized as an entity, the desire for the continuation of one’s awareness of self as being inherently real and stable. Believing in self- nature needs to continue once it is assumed, otherwise one will feel chaos or as though things are falling apart. Desire is inherent in all of this.  There is another thing that you can learn from realizing the difference you feel between the friend and the enemy, and that is the belief in the separation of self and other.

Buddha teaches us that we are actually empty of self-nature. This means that although we exist in a primordial wisdom state, what we experience when we experience self-nature as inherently real, is actually a series of conceptualizations that are contrived. They are inconsistent with the pure primordial natural state which is free of all contrivance.

Boundless equanimity is the opposite of this self/other contrivance because it is the realization of the loved one and the hated one as essentially equal. To realize this, one must rid the mind of attraction and repulsion, which according to the Buddha are the very causes of suffering. They are the children of desire; they actually begin the cycle of karmic cause and effect, and they occur every time you have a thought. If there is attraction and repulsion, there is always wanting or not wanting, there is always grasping or pushing away. When attraction arises, to the same degree repulsion will also occur because the ordinary mind exists in a state of duality. If you do not experience it at that very moment it will be experienced at some future time, perhaps next year or next lifetime.  Once a cause and effect relationship is set up it always realizes itself.

Equanimity becomes necessary, then, in order to have a profound and continuously stable experience in one’s meditation or practice, not floating on the ups and downs of attraction and repulsion.  Through equanimity one understands the equality of all phenomena.  The way that the Buddha teaches us to establish equanimity in the mind is to realize true nature, which is the underlying reality of all phenomena, including self-nature. The Buddha teaches us that the primordial wisdom state, or the ground from which phenomena spontaneously arise is clear — it has the quality of innate wakefulness. Yet the moment that you describe it you lose it, because to wrap concepts around it makes it a contrived, unnatural experience. Realizing the natural state comes through realizing equanimity, through learning how that natural state might appear or how it might be viewed, how it might arise. Then by eliminating desire from the mind stream one has the potential to experience the natural state in meditation.

How do you begin to attain this pure view of equanimity? First of all you should look at yourself in the mirror and ask, “Which part is self? Where exactly is self?” Maybe you think it’s in your brain. Imagine that you can open up your head. Can you find self there? Where’s your identity? Look at every little piece under a microscope. Where is self? Then look at something else you identify with. Do you have great legs? Look at your legs, take them apart.  Look at the bones, the muscle, the cellulite. Can you find self in there? Or look in your liver, or heart, or your chakras. Maybe self is in one of your chakras. You look inside, but you can’t find it. You take yourself apart and examine every single molecule under the microscope and you still haven’t found self. So you understand then that self-nature is a concept or a contrivance that is born of a certain type of consciousness which is actually an idea of separation — the separation between self and other. The whole thing is a conceptual proliferation. In examining the nature of self we understand that self-nature is inherently empty, that it doesn’t exist the way we thought.

If self is not real, maybe I should look and see if I can find “other.” Do the same thing with all the “others” in the world. Take everybody apart, examine everything. And after you do all of this you will find that many of the things by which you have structured your life are not as they appear. From that you can begin in a courageous way to determine what true nature really is. It is through meditation that you may come to sense or understand this primordial wisdom state that is free of all conceptualizations, free of any religious idea, free of any perception of self and other yet experienced and felt as luminous and awake.

How is it then that one’s loved one and one’s enemy become essentially the same? It is because they are understood to be the same nature, the same taste. Buddha teaches that all phenomena, when understood through pure view and the stabilization of one’s mind, are the same taste. It is only desire and the attraction to other that makes loved ones and enemies seem inherently real and separate in the way we always consistently experience them.

The equality of all sentient beings allows the arising of the purely loving viewpoint found in the other three Immeasurables. One of these three is loving kindness. This kindness is not about acting kind, or adopting a set of rules to be a nice person. Instead, the Buddha’s view understands that profound nature as having one taste, realizing that all beings are equal. Their happiness has exactly the same weight as mine, exactly the same importance.  From this viewpoint, one naturally develops loving kindness. There is no progress without it:  This exceptional quality of desiring the happiness of all sentient beings is what the Buddha means by loving kindness.

The next of the Four Immeasurables is compassion. Here one realizes the needs of others by realizing the intense suffering of others. One realizes the fragile nature of impermanence, the needs of sentient beings and how they suffer. The wisdom, stability and intensity of determination that comes through a solid realization of these things, the compassion that arises naturally from this is the second of the Four Immeasurables.

The third is joy. Ordinarily we grow up thinking that if we just develop a good attitude and if we are positive we’re going to look happy and therefore be happy. We’re taught, “I want mine and when I get mine then I’ll be joyful because I’ll be able to act joyful then.” But the Buddha talks about joy in the well-being of others. An example would be: if I hear that you have a new car I am happy for you because you have attained even a moment of temporary happiness. I don’t make a judgment like, “Well, you’ve already got three cars, or hey, there are lots of people starving and you have a new car.”

Instead, the practice is this: the happier you are, the happier I am. If even for one moment you have achieved some level of happiness I should bless that happiness and think, “May that happiness bring you to such a point of stability and regard, may it afford you the generosity to think about others and wish for their well-being to the extent that you attain realization. May that car be the cause for your realization, may you be free of suffering in all its forms.” Or, “I wish you could have six hundred cars; I wish you could have everything that makes you happy.” It’s the joy that naturally occurs from sincerely wishing for the happiness and well-being of all sentient beings, to the extent that whatever they are capable of in terms of achieving some degree of relaxation, peace, time out from suffering, or whatever they are able to achieve that is of any benefit or any use to them at all, I am sincerely happy for them because they are the same as me and inseparable from me.

Without the Four Immeasurables and the pure view that’s implied by them, there is no enlightenment. They can be developed in the same way that you have cultivated any of the talents or abilities you have developed during your life — through determination, through taking the time to really examine the emptiness of self-nature and the emptiness of phenomena, through meditation and stabilizing the mind through pure perception of the natural primordial wisdom state, through the determination to attain compassion. It does not happen effortlessly. So it does no good to throw your hands up and say, “I can’t do this, I just can’t think that way.” Neither can anyone else.

All the great Buddhas and Bodhisattvas began as sentient beings, in a state of confusion. Through the same kind of practice that you are embarking on now, they stabilized their minds and developed not only loving kindness and compassion, but the extraordinary pristine Bodhicitta that is the basis and the method for the attainment of enlightenment.

The ground from which you arise thinking that you are self and thinking that self and other are inherently real and separate, that ground is the same ground that gives rise to the most pristine compassion, the most glorious of spontaneous celestial awareness when realized with pure view. That ground is your nature, and in potential you are the same as all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Holding that in your mind, continue with determination, knowing that all things are possible.

© Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

A Teaching on the Four Immeasurables

The following is respectfully taken from “How to Follow a Spiritual Master” edited by Ngagyur Nyingma Institute.

The following story of King Tsangpa Lha (Brahma Deva) and his son Gyaltshab Dhampa provides insights into the way bygone great practitioners have followed and practiced with their own Masters. The Prince was seeking dharma teachings but could not find any, feeling very saddened. Indra, the King of Gods knew clairvoyantly the mind of the Prince and assumed the guise of a Brahmin. He came to sit near the gate of the palace announcing he could give teachings. The Prince came to hear about it and requested them. The Brahmin answered that he would give teachings if the Prince were to jump into a deep fire pit and then make offerings.

The Prince accepted without hesitation and set about digging the fire pit at the dismay of the The King, Queen, Ministers and courtiers. Yet the Brahmin maintained his condition and the Prince his resolve so all was set for the Prince to jump. All his subjects requested him to abandon the idea to which the Prince replied, “I have been born in Samsara countless times and taken rebirth in higher realm of God and humans. There I have suffered under desire, in the lower realm I had undergone immense suffering. All to no avail and further I have never sacrificed my life in order to receive Teachings. Now I am going to offer this impure body. Please do not hold me back and alter this pure motivation in order to achieve enlightenment. I will give you the Teachings as soon as I have gained enlightenment. The subjects saw that the Prince was very determined and they could not press the matter further.

The Prince was ready to jump staying close to the pit as he spoke to Brahmin. O great Teacher! Please give me the teachings now as I may die and not be able to receive them from you. Then the Brahmin gave the following teachings on the Four Immeasurable,

Practice loving kindness,
Abandon anger
Protect the beings through great compassion
Shed tears of Compassion
With all sentient beings never to be separated from happiness
and the causes of happiness
By protecting all the beings through great compassion
You will become a genuine Bodhisattva

As soon as he finished these teachings, the Prince jumped into the fire pit. Both Indra and Brahma held him back holding him on both sides from falling into the pit. They said, “You are the Protector of beings who is very kind and compassionate. What will happen to your subjects if you jump now? It will be like the death of our parent.” The Prince replied, “Don’t hold me back from entering the path to Buddhahood, and all became silent as the Prince jumped into the firepit.

The earth shook and the Gods in the sky lamented shedding a shower of tears like rainfall transforming the firepit into a lake at the center of which the Prince stood on a lotus and the Gods showered flowers to praise him.

Ven. Dzigar Kongtrul to Offer Teaching on The Four Immeasurables at KPC

The Four Immeasurables: The Key to a Meaningful Life

KPC  is honored that renowned Buddhist Master and Nyingma lineage-holder, Ven. Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche will be teaching at our Maryland Temple this Friday 29th June at 7pm.

Rinpoche defines what it means to be a spiritual person in modern times, always mixing practice and life. “Isn’t that the goal of the spiritual path?” Rinpoche often asks; to be flexible, courageous and exploratory in the face of life’s joys and paradoxes, while never parting from a connection to its deepest meaning.

Born into a Tibetan family in Northern India, when he was a boy Ven. Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche was recognized by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche as an emanation of Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thaye, also known as Jamgön Kongtrül the Great.  His Holiness the 16th Karmapa confirmed this. Jamgön Kongtrül the Great, was one of the most influential teachers of the Rimé movement of Tibetan Buddhism. His collected works total more than ninety volumes, which include The Treasury of Precious Termas (Rinchen Terdzod).

Rinpoche married an American woman, and moved to the United States with his family in 1989. In the early 1990’s he founded Mangala Shri Bhuti (link: http://mangalashribhuti.org/index.html), an organization established to further the study and practice of the Nyingma lineage in the West and particularly the Rimé tradition.

Ven. Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche is the author of three books and is also an avid painter in the abstract expressionist tradition, and a photographer – bearing witness to moments of life around him as he travels widely throughout the world teaching and furthering his own education.

On Friday, Rinpoche will guide us in a meditation on the Four Immeasurables, and will speak about how it can be applied to our contemporary lives. By practicing the Four Immeasurables, equanimity, loving-kindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy, we develop the aspiration to devote our lives to attain enlightenment for others. The practice of altruism is the best form of kindness towards oneself and others; the ultimate altruism is Bodhicitta, the compassionate wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. For Ven. Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, the Four Immeasurables are the foundation of Buddhist practice and the key to leading a meaningful life.

Ven. Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche is a wonderfully accessible teacher whose fluent English and western manner allow the most profound teachings to be easily assimilated into the western mind. He is respected by Lamas of many traditions. Please join us for this precious opportunity to learn how to apply the extraordinary methods of the Buddhadharma in our daily lives.

Suggested donation is $35, but no-one will be turned away. For those not in the Maryland/D.C. area Rinpoche’s teaching will also be streamed live here. Please let your friends know – everyone is welcome!

 

“May all beings know happiness and the causes of happiness,

May they be free from suffering and the causes of suffering,

May they never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless,

And free from the knots of hope and fear, may they believe in the equality of all that lives.”

Joy

His Holiness Penor Rinpoche
His Holiness Penor Rinpoche

From The Spiritual Path:  A Compilation of Teachings by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

The quality of joy is not as we usually think of it. Our culture teaches—though we may not be consciously aware of this—that to be happy, we should act happy. By developing a positive attitude, we will look happy and become happy. We are also taught to keep up with the Joneses. We are taught to get ahead—or be left behind. We expect joy to come from getting what we want.

The joy of which the Buddha speaks is vastly different. Once we realize equanimity, loving kindness, and compassionate concern—then, when we hear that someone has a new car, we will be happy for that person: he has attained at least some temporary happiness. There is no need for judgments such as: “Many people are starving, yet he spends so much on a new car.” Or: “He already has three cars. Why does he need a fourth?” The Buddhist attitude is: the happier you are, the happier I am. If even for one moment you have achieved some level of happiness, I should be joyful and think: “I love you so much I wish you could have everything that makes you happy. May your happiness bring you to a point of great stability and regard for others. May it afford you the generosity to wish for their well-being to the extent that you will attain realization. May that car somehow promote your realization, and may you be free of suffering in all its forms.”

This joy in the happiness of others can only be attained when equanimity, loving kindness, and compassion are realized. It is a joy that occurs naturally. It occurs from sincerely wishing for the happiness and well-being of all sentient beings, for the end of their suffering. To the extent that any degree of relaxation, peace, or alleviation of suffering is of any benefit to them, I am happy because they are the same as I and not separate from me. In other words, I realize that the nature of “me” and “other” are that same Suchness and have the same taste.   Without these four qualities, known as the Four Immeasurables, and the pure view implied by their attainment, there is no enlightenment. This attainment has not come easily to anyone. When you think about all the great Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who have the means to liberate minds, remember that they all began as sentient beings. They all used the same methods that are offered to you. Through determination, you too will develop the Four Immeasurables. There is no doubt that they are within you.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Compassion

His Holiness Penor Rinpoche
His Holiness Penor Rinpoche

From The Spiritual Path:  A Compilation of Teachings by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Compassion is a deep commitment to bring about the end of suffering. The vow of a Bodhisattva is to return in whatever form necessary, under any conditions, in order to accomplish this. We are told that in one of the Buddha’s previous lives, he was a huge female sea turtle. This turtle saw a shipwreck, and she thought: “The sailors are about to drown. I must help them.” With that compassionate intention, she swam to the sailors and supported them until they reached land. The exhausted turtle then fell into a stupor on the beach. So deep was her sleep that she did not feel the thousands of insects who began to eat away her body. They consumed her to the point that she awoke with intense pain. She started to move away but realized that if she went into the water to wash off the insects, they would all die. Since there were eighty thousand of them and only one of her, she thought: “Their nature is the same as mine, and since there are so many more of them than there are of me, it’s much better to let them live.”

Thus she allowed the insects to consume her. Just before she died, she made a wish: “I pray that when I attain enlightenment, the first ones I teach will be the insects that were eating me and the sailors I helped. May they attain enlightenment quickly after I do.” Later on, the sailors became the Buddha’s first disciples in the Deer Park, while the eighty thousand insects were eighty thousand celestial beings who came to hear His teachings. This story exemplifies the dynamic of equanimity, loving kindness, and compassion.

This precious dynamic occurs when you become convinced that only the end of suffering and the realization of true nature are important. It gives rise to wisdom, stability, and intensity of determination. The turtle understood the fragile nature of the eighty thousand insects: not long after their ample meal, they would need more food. Or, if the turtle had entered the water, they would have lost their good meal and suffered greatly by drowning.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Loving Kindness

His Holiness Penor Rinpoche
His Holiness Penor Rinpoche

From The Spiritual Path:  A Compilation of Teachings by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

How is it that one’s beloved and one’s enemy become essentially the same? Because their true nature is understood. The Buddha taught that all phenomena, however they arise, have the same taste, the same nature. It is attraction and repulsion that make us experience them the way we do.

Loving kindness is a profound wish for the welfare and happiness of others. We were raised to consider loving kindness a code of behavior to make us a nice person. This is far from the Buddha’s view of love. By realizing that all phenomena have the same nature, the same taste, you understand that all sentient beings are equal. Thus, their happiness has exactly the same weight, the same importance, as your own. It is from this viewpoint that loving kindness is developed.

If your mind is not stable, if there is no awareness of the natural state, if there is no real progress in meditation, you will not be able to actualize loving kindness. Yet without a determined effort to understand loving kindness, you will not make progress in meditation. It is a “Catch-22” situation. You must be determined both to realize the primordial state and to realize loving kindness as a naturally arising result. Only then can both be firm and stable within your mindstream.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Equanimity

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From The Spiritual Path:  A Compilation of Teachings by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

The Buddha taught us to treasure those we do not know—even our worst enemies—as much as our most beloved relatives and friends. We should value them equally. “Is that really possible?” you may wonder. Not only is it possible; it is necessary. Boundless equanimity is the basis of compassion and of a truly deepened, stable practice.

If you carefully examine why you value a loved one more than someone you have never met, or more than your enemy, you will uncover a whole mother lode of information and awareness required to understand the Buddha’s teaching. You will realize the extent to which you are motivated by desire. This can make you uncomfortable: sincere self-examination requires tremendous courage. I believe that the Buddha’s teaching is best understood and practiced if you are fearless in examining your motivation. This alone can be a great guru. You can learn much about your desire for approval, for recognition.

If you look closely at how you have felt about yourself throughout your life, you will see that you have played a kind of mirror game since birth. Children develop their sense of self by seeing its reflection in the eyes and minds of others. Through our perception of them, children learn about their appearance, qualities, and tendencies. This process continues even now: you modify your self-image as you watch your reflection in others.

Your belief in the reality of self-nature seeks its own continuation. That, of course, is the bottom line of survival instinct. Once we have developed the view that self-nature is inherently real, we see “other” as inherently real—all phenomena as inherently real. This perception seems essential to prevent chaos, to maintain stability.

But the Buddha teaches that we are empty of self nature. Our true reality is the primordial-wisdom state. The experience of self and other is merely a series of conceptualizations. Watch your mind as you meet a person for the first time. The determinations you make in order to distinguish that person from yourself or someone else are all tainted by attraction and repulsion. This is true even of the thought processes that occur when you are not looking at anything, when your eyes are closed, and when you are resting or in a relaxed state.

With attraction and repulsion, there is always wanting or not wanting; there is always grasping or pushing away. When attraction arises in the mindstream, repulsion will also occur to the same degree. Though you may not be aware of the repulsion at that moment, the seed is there which will cause it to be experienced at some future time. Once a cause-and-effect relationship is begun, it always fulfills itself—unless it is purified. That is why equanimity is essential to your meditation or practice. In order to attain equanimity, one must realize the emptiness or sameness or suchness which is the underlying reality of all perceived phenomena. The way to stabilize the mind is not through suppression. The goal is not to train your EKG to become a straight line. Realization is not a “flat-line” mentality. You are not supposed to act out your idea of peacefulness. You know how it’s done: not too blissful, just un-focus the eyes a little, a pseudo-Mona Lisa routine. We tend to think that the way to attain stability is to adopt a pose or posture, like a child putting on his daddy’s clothes.

The Buddha teaches that the primordial-wisdom state is the ground from which phenomena spontaneously arise. We experience them either purely, as spontaneous, natural movements of that Nature, or impurely, as delusions of self and other. The primordial wisdom state is clear; it has the quality of innate wakefulness; it is neither dead nor cold. Yet the moment you try to describe it, saying: “Well, it’s like this” or “It looks like this” or “It’s light” or “It’s love” or even “It’s innate wakefulness,” whatever words you use, the moment you describe it, you lose it. You lose it because you wrap concepts and terminology around it, making it a contrived, unnatural experience. But by gradually eliminating desire from the mindstream, you begin to practice equanimity. You begin to experience the natural state in meditation.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

The Four Immeasurables by Venerable Gyaltrul Rinpoche

The following is an excerpt from a public talk given by Venerable Gyaltrul Rinpoche:

What is the benefit of taking refuge in a great teacher such as Buddha? Why would we want to do that? Is it so we can become more worldly, have more worldly power and develop worldly qualities? Actually, it’s for just the opposite reason. If we take refuge in a great spiritual teacher and follow a true spiritual path, we will achieve happiness, and many obstacles in our life will be removed. But the most important point to consider is the way that refuge affects our mind and prepares us for future lifetimes. The duration of this life is a very short period of time. Rather than be concerned with this life alone, it is far more important to think about endless time and what happens after this life.

This is why we take refuge in a spiritual guide, and why we should do it without any doubt, with a mind that is single-pointedly aware of the qualities and accomplishments of that object of refuge. It is important to recognize what those qualities and accomplishments are, and to understand that exactly that is what we wish to actualize, and will actualize, if we follow the path our object of refuge presents to us. So, without a lazy, slothful attitude, and without any doubts, we must follow an object of refuge.

At the same time, we must consider that up until now, throughout all of our past lifetimes, we have tried to accomplish our own purpose, focusing only on our self, but we haven’t been able to accomplish even that. Wouldn’t it be wiser to exchange self for others and focus on how to be of benefit to others? If we think in this way, and exchange our self-cherishing attitude for the wish to benefit others, automatically we benefit our self. This is really the only way to benefit our self. By thinking of others, automatically we experience happiness.

To work for the welfare of others, we must first of all have the aspiration, the wish to do so. In this wishing, we must first develop a sense of the equality of all that lives; we must recognize that all beings are truly equal. Then we must develop love for them all equally, compassion for them all equally, and joy for them all equally. When we are able to develop these four qualities—equanimity, love, compassion, and joy—we can then engage in practices in our daily life to actually bring benefit to beings, practices such as generosity, patience, ethics, perseverance, concentration, wisdom, and so forth.

Compassion for others is developed by seeing that all living beings without exception, as long as they remain on the wheel of existence, exist in a state of suffering and discontent because they haven’t been able to realize the true nature of their own minds. Seeing them like this, suffering in all their different predicaments, we feel compassion for them. It is just how we would feel if our own child were to be thrown into prison and we would see him, or her, suffering there.

Love arises when we then develop the wish that these beings may be free from their suffering. For instance, we certainly feel compassion and pity for our child who is suffering in prison, but along with that we also have a strong desire that our child be liberated from that experience of suffering. That strong desire is love.

Then, the happiness we feel when we see others established in a state of permanent happiness or bliss is joy. We naturally feel joy when we see others happy and liberated from their suffering.

Finally, equanimity is the experience of compassion and love and joy for all living beings equally, without any partiality. For instance, if we have two children in jail, we feel the same about each of them, not loving one more than the other, not wanting one to be free of the condition of suffering more than the other. Exactly in this way, we must develop love and compassion equally for all living beings.

Compassion, love, joy, and equanimity are what is called “aspirational bodhichitta”, and because we have this for all living beings, which are limitless, these four qualities are called the “four immeasurables”. If we have them as a foundation, then any activity we engage in will be virtuous and positive. Actualizing our bodhichitta aspiration, putting it into action in our daily life, will produce powerful, positive results. But if we don’t have this foundation we won’t achieve the same results. Doing good things without compassion, love, joy, and equanimity simply doesn’t accomplish the same results at all. This point is extremely important.

 

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