Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Four Supreme Abidings (Brahma Viharas); Wisdom Quarterly

THE PRACTICE - The Four Sublime States (Brahma Viharas) as translated from the ancient texts by the Western monk Ven. Nyanaponika are: contemplation and absorption (jhana) on love, compassion, joy, and calm.
They are central to serenity meditation (samatha) and fundamental to establishing an insight practice (vipassana). As  taught by the Buddha they are:
  1. altruistic love or loving-kindness (metta)
  2. compassion or actively relieving another's suffering (karuna)
  3. sympathetic or empathic joy (mudita)
  4. equanimity or absence of bias (upekkha)
In Pali, the language of the Buddha and the earliest Buddhist texts, these four practices are known as the Brahma ("supreme" or "highest") Viharas ("abidings" or "dwellings"). The term may also be rendered excellent, lofty, divine, or sublime states of mind/heart. They are what brahmas are said to experience all the time.

These four attitudes are said to be excellent because they are the ideal way of conduct toward living beings (sattesu samma patipatti). They provide the answer to all situations arising from social interaction. They are the great removers of tension, the peacemakers relieving conflicts, the healers of wounds... More + VIDEOS

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