Home » Excerpts » Combining Meditations on the Four Immeasurables

The practice of equanimity is the equal application
of loving-kindness, compassion and rejoice
towards all beings without discrimination.

– Stonepeace

Begin with altruistic love, the strong wish for others to find happiness and the causes of happiness. If after a while, this love drifts towards self-centred attachment, move on to the meditation on impartiality in order to extend your love and compassion equally to all beings – dear ones, strangers or enemies.

If your impartiality turns to indifference, it is time to think of people who are suffering and arouse intense compassion within you with the wish to relieve these beings from all their suffering. But it can happen that, as a result of being continually concerned with the endless misfortunes of others, you may be overcome by the immensity of the task and lose heart. At that point, meditate on your joy in the happiness of others, thinking of those people who possess great human qualities and of those people whose altruistic aspirations have been successful. Rejoice fully in that.

If that joy turns into blind euphoria and distraction, go back again to altruistic love – and so on. Develop the four thoughts in this way while avoiding the pitfalls possible in each of them. At the end of your meditation, contemplate the interdependence of all things for a few moments and their lack of autonomous, intrinsic existence. Understand that, just as a bird needs two wings to fly, you must develop wisdom and compassion simultaneously. Wisdom is a better understanding of reality and compassion is the desire for all beings to be liberated from the causes of suffering. [Read Chapter]

The Art of Meditation
by Matthieu Ricard
Get it at Awareness Place shops or Amazon

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