The Four Immeasurables: Key to Cultivating a Kind Heart
The Divine Abodes: Brahma-Viharas
Patrul Rinpoche holds the four Brahma-Viharas as keys to obtaining the main source of Bodhicitta, “A Kind Heart.”
These are also known as the Four Immeasurables, the Four Divine Abodes, or the Four Divine Emotions. While they are core to Mahayana teachings, they are also found in early Vedic and Jain scriptures. The word Brahma literally means ‘highest’ or ‘superior.’ It is also the name given to the supreme god in Hinduism during the Buddha’s time. Vihara means ‘to dwell, ‘to live’ or ‘to abide.’
In this six-session audio class series Susan Shannon explores how we can experience these Four Divine Abodes in our daily lives. They include: Loving Kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity. Practicing each one of these provides us with a different portal to expanding our compassion, joy, inner peace, and interconnectedness with all forms of life. She integrates other Buddhist ideals and practices including method, wisdom, and awakened body, speech, and mind with the overall goal of realizing our own spiritual potential so that we can better serve our ailing world today.
Each session is in two parts: a teaching and then discussion and interaction with each other. There are various suggested assignments as well.
Susan Shannon, M. Div. is a seeker, teacher, earth and animal steward, and devotee of the heart. She has worked in the fields of Emotional Literacy and Restorative Justice for over 20 years, incorporating over 45 years of Buddhist practice and study from the Tibetan tradition. She’s worked with various diverse populations all her life including inmates, Tibetan refugees, the homeless, the differently-abled, at-risk youth, and has served as the Buddhist Chaplain to the men in San Quentin State Prison and Death Row. She currently resides in the San Juan Islands where she writes, provides spiritual coaching and tends her land.