Monday, 6 August 2012

Buddha and The Four Immeasurables

The Four Immeasurables:

May everyone be happy,
May everyone be free from suffering,
May no one ever be separated from their happiness,
May everyone have equanimity free from hatred and attachment.
I live by that prayer; it is the last thing I repeat until I fall asleep every night. I have trained myself to say it as soon as I have a negative reaction to something.  It is a Buddhist prayer and one of the Dalia Lama's favorites.

I am not a Buddhist; I agree with pretty much everything Buddha said. However I do not believe that monastery’s, monks, nuns or stuffy rituals do Buddha’s philosophy any justice. I believe Buddha was his own Guru and I believe he was urging everyone to become their own Guru.  There is also evidence to suggest that Buddha is a fictional character created by Hindu Yogis in an attempt to translate the tenants of Hinduism to the rest of the world.

Whatever the case Buddha went half way to laying down the true religion. It is our job to go the rest of the way. Buddha did away with God, he saw that he was a block on the path to enlightenment.  But subsequent Buddhists developed complex dogmas and rituals that hide the juicy truth of Buddha’s teachings. We need to, each of us, have our own religion and be our own master. We need to become like Buddha:  a genuine seeker of truth who refuses to settle for less than the absolute truth and who also refuses to sell out to organizations and religions.

All of the spiritual books of all traditions should be respected and studied. But I urge you: write your own religion, use the other ones as starting points, or for inspiration, but don’t sell out. You are the Guru. The four immeasurables are a perfect foundation for a new religion, that is why I share them with you here.

The first line of the prayer is: “May everyone be happy”, this wishing others to be happy is fundamentally a state of love. If you meditate on this intent you begin to feel a vibration of love in your heart. So the first immeasurable is love. It is called immeasurable because Love is infinite, there are an infinite amount of beings in this universe, to love them all equally is an act of immeasurable love. As with love you cannot measure the power or amount of compassion, joy or equanimity, the other three immeasurables.

“May everyone be free from suffering” is a statement and an intention about infinite compassion.

“May no one ever be separated from their happiness”, is a statement and an intention about being joyful for other people.

"May everyone have equanimity free from hatred and attachment." is a statement and intention with many meanings, mainly that we are all equal. But also it is suggesting the mind set that one needs to be in if one wants to be happy and free from suffering. It's suggesting how the other three wishes can come about.

I say this prayer as many times a day as I can, join me in doing so to help bring peace to yourself and others. Or don’t, or write your own prayer. Becoming your own Guru is the answer. 

read about my own Philosophy here.

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