The brahmaviharas are four mental states that the Buddha encouraged for the practice of meditation. They are loving -friendliness (metta), compassion, sympathetic joy (rejoicing in the happiness of others), and equanimity. Through these practices we develop a loving heart, concentration, self-acceptance, fearlessness and happiness. These practices also establish our fundamental connectedness to all life.
This is the first of a series based on cultivating the wholesome states that I share in my Awakening Joy Class. I intend to explore these principles from a more traditional Buddhist perspective and show how they reveal Buddhadharma as a path of happiness. I’ll be suggesting techniques that can be practiced in daily life in addition to formal meditation.
This first week we’ll explore the theme of Intention. “Intending is karma,” said the Buddha. Through intention we create our reality. The clearer we are on our intention, the greater influence we have on the direction of our lives.
The fruit of practice is releasing our identification with core beliefs and fear-based emotions, and realizing and inhabiting our Natural awareness. This is described as the N in RAIN - an acronym that can guide us in awakening loving presence.