Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lesson 4 - The Four Immesurables

We have talked about Bodhichitta - compassion being totally dedicated to relieving another's suffering. That suffering could be a physical illness, the death of a loved one, or the first grey hair you see in the mirror. Or it could simply be the recognition that no matter what you do, you can't hold on to happiness. The truth is, whatever you believe is essential to your happiness - a relationship, a possession, a job - won't last forever, or your feelings about it will change. We know intellectually that everything is always changing - friends turn away, your new car gets a scratch, your birthday comes around quicker every year - but still we try desperately and fearfully to hold on. Because we do, we suffer. The Buddha and other enlightened beings (when I say this prayer I think of White Tara) understand this and feel great compassion for us. A compassion and love that is totally selfless. Think for a moment of what the world would be like if everyone's love was selfless. It's a lovely picture. It's the way the enlightened beings behave and a wise kind of loving we can all aspire to emulate. Here is a beautiful prayer called The Four Immeasurables that many Buddhist recite each day. It expresses the wish that each of us experiences the immeasurable love and compassion that the enlightened beings feel.

May all beings have happiness
May they be free from suffering
May they find the joy that has never known suffering
May they be free from attachment and hatred

No comments: