Loving-Kindness Meditation

Four Brahma Viharas

A guided meditation by Ven. Ayya Khema

Think of the four brahma viharas, the four supreme emotions, loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy (joy with others), and equanimity. And see them, as the Buddha explained them, as the only emotions worth having. Nothing else has any real place in our hearts. And think your heart as yearning to be filled with love and compassion, with joy with others, and equanimity. See your heart as yearning for that and then fill it with those emotions. The warmth of love. The care of compassion. The generosity of joy with others. And the peacefulness of equanimity. Fill your heart to the brim.

And now spread the love and compassion, and the joy with others, and the equanimity through this room. So that there is the warmth and the care, the generosity and the peacefulness of it all through this room, so that everyone can partake of it.

And now let these four emotions, with their warmth and their caring, their generosity and their peacefulness emanate from your heart and reach out to the people who are close to you, so that they can have part of it, without expecting that you can get the same back.

Now let all your friends partake of the beautiful emanation from your heart. Loving and compassionate. Caring and peaceful.

Now reach out to other people you know. Neighbors. People you might work with. Those you meet in everyday life. Let the heart full of loving-kindness and compassion reach out to all these people that you can think of.

Now think anyone towards whom you have some negative feeling in your ordinary life, and don't change your heart now. Allow it to retain love and compassion, joy with others, and equanimity and let those same emotions reach out to that difficult person.

Now feel your heart emanating the beautiful rays of love and compassion, the warmth and the caring, the giving and peacefulness and let these rays go out into the world and touch peoples hearts near and far. Think of people around here and then go further a field. Letting these beautiful rays and emanations from your heart go to as many hearts as you can find.

And put your attention back on yourself and feel the warmth of loving-kindness and the peacefulness of giving permeate you, fill you and surround you. The warmth in the heart brings joy and the peacefulness that surrounds you brings a feeling of security.

May beings everywhere love each other.

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Leigh Brasington / / Revised 20 June 03