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honoring the Four Immeasurables

The Four Immeasurables - equanimity, compassion, sympathetic joy, & loving kindness - are like four facets of the heart jewel. Each reflects an aspect of love. Each is a gateway to love. Recognizing the Four Immeasurables in action promotes gratitude & mindfulness. Practicing the Four Immeasurables cultivates love & heart-centered presence.

The graphic above provides a beautiful framework for engaging the Four Immeasurables.

Here's another framework for approaching the Four Immeasurables - seeing each Immeasurable as a phase of the sun:

"In his book Compassion and Emptiness in Early Buddhist Meditation, Bhikkhu Analayo distinguishes the four Brahmaviharas, or immeasurable minds—the four qualities of true love— using images of the sun. Metta, or loving friendliness, he says, is like the sun at noon, bright and strong, shining on everyone. For karuna, compassion, the image is of the sun setting, meeting the darkness of suffering with tenderness and care. Mudita, appreciative joy, carries the image of the sunrise, brightening up everything in its path, moving upward with freshness and inspiration. And the image for upekkha, equanimity, is of the full moon reflecting the light of the sun in the vast, cloudless night sky.

Once you feel acquainted with the Four Immeasurables, try this simple mantra or prayer. Place your hand gently over your heart & say the quoted words aloud. Feel free to also invoke what's in parantheses, either aloud or silently.

"heart, feel" (equanimity) (moonlight)

"heart, open" (compassion) (dusk)

"heart, smile" (joy) (dawn)

"heart, glow" (loving kindness) (noon)


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