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The Four Immeasurables
by Ven Sangye Khadro
May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes;
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes;
May all sentient beings not be separated from sorrowless bliss;
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.
This is a brief explanation of how to awaken a kind heart by using the four immeasurable thoughts: love, compassion, joy and equanimity. Each of these four verses is short and can be easily memorized and recited from time to time during the day to remind ourselves to have positive thoughts for the people we meet.
One last word of advice: donít forget to have loving-kindness for yourself. You are also a living being who deserves, who needs love and compassion. In fact, you canít really love others until you learn to love yourself. That doesnít mean being selfish and egotistical. It means being a friend to yourself, accepting yourself as you are with your faults and limitations, knowing that you can change and grow. It is no use hating ourselves because we are not the way we would like to be, or beating our heads against the wall every time we make a mistake. Doing this only adds more problems to what is already there, and does not help us to improve. But having a kind heart towards ourselves lightens the pain of failures and faults, provides the space in which we can grow, and lays a good basis for loving relationships with others. -- Extracted from "Awakening a Kind Heart" by Ven Sangye Khadro, Amitabha Buddhist Centre, 1996.