The Four Immeasurables are a series of meditation practices, aiming at cultivating wholesome attitudes towards all sentient beings. They are said by some as the Buddha’s teaching on love. On Jan 30th, 2018, Santavana Forest Hermitage, with the cooperation of K.K. Tzer Ying Buddhist Temple, has cordially invited Venerable Dhammadipa to expound on this subject.

At the beginning of the talk, the Venerable explains that the Four Immeasurables (pali: Brahma-viharas) are four immeasurable minds: immeasurable loving-kindness, immeasurable compassion, immeasurable empathetic joy, and immeasurable equanimity. They are the most beautiful dwellings or the supreme states of the minds.

The Venerable mentioned that the aim of learning Buddhism is to govern our mind. Our minds receive object via feeling, and the way we receive the object governs the mind. And when feeling arises, we habitually hold to it, and the notion of self follows, and we suffer. To break this linkage, we need to understand Dharma, and to learn the way to reduce and finally abandon the bondage of the mind.

The Venerable said that the best way to liberate the mind is to practice love. Unlike the conventional understanding towards the Chinese character 愛(Love) as a bondage to liberation, love is actually the most beautiful thing we have. Love is to open the mind. However, if due to love we cling/grasp, it can also be the most disastrous thing we have.

 

So howshould we start the practice?And how can we love without clinging? The Venerable said we start by using beings as the objects and opening our heart with non-defilable love. And the key to practice love is to practice wise love, i.e. caring without wanting. We cling because we have not understood the feelings. By develop the equal feelings, we cultivate equal mind; and we develop equal feelings by developing equal love for beings.That means, we should also learn to love people that harmed us. If there is no one you dislike, there is not a chance for you to rejoice in sufferings. If so, love extends in great dimensions. Ultimately when we get enlightened, we don’t see any beings. The ultimate love is objectless love, andlove becomes part of the mind.

The Venerable also mentioned that, for many who are interested in the path of Bodhisatta, we should practice equal love. Practicing bodhicitta is to practice equal mind. Equal mind is the mind based on sincere love for the Buddha, and the state of equanimity / non-differtiating wisdom, i.e. the wisdom of suchness.

This Dharma talk was conducted in English and was hosted in Tzer Ying Temple. In total there were 5 reverends and 80 laypeople attended this talk.