March 28 : The Four Immeasurables
Developing the Four Immeasurables is a prelude to doing the taking-and-giving meditation. Before we can do taking-and-giving, we must have love, compassion, joy, and equanimity for all beings. We practise them so that we have an attitude of friendliness and loving-kindness towards ourselves and other living beings, and then practise compassion towards ourselves and other living beings. From the Four Immeasurables to the taking-and-giving meditation, it is quite a big jump because it is one thing to wish others well, and it is another to give away our own body, wealth, and merit so that they can be well. Similarly, it is one thing to wish others to be free of suffering, and it is another to be willing to take on and experience their suffering ourselves. If you see these differences, then you will see why meditating on the Four Immeasurables is a prelude to taking-and-giving, and why doing the taking-and-giving meditation requires a very special kind of courage. We must first make our minds strong through generating love and compassion, joy and equanimity, and from there, go on to increase those that we are actually willing to give away our happiness and take on others’ suffering
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