Thought, Intention, Action

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“The fragrance of flowers…blow not against the wind.
But the fragrance of virtue blows to the ends of earth”
(Dhammapada 4:9).

Written by Randeep Singh

Love. Compassion. Joy. Equanimity. These are the “four immeasurables” in Buddhism. They are referred to invariably as “mental states” to be cultivated through meditation.

But can these “immeasurables” not be something more? What good are love, compassion, joy and equanimity if they exist only in our minds?

Buddhism is not just the practice of meditation. It is the practice of how mental discipline can be cultivated together with wisdom and ethical conduct to end suffering. The four immeasurables as a form of meditation teach one to cultivate love, compassion, joy and equanimity first with respect to oneself, to people close to one, towards a neutral person, towards an otherwise hostile person and towards the whole world.

This methodology can also be applied towards ethical behaviour. One can exercise love, compassion, joy and equanimity so they ultimately embrace all persons. What better way is there to end suffering than spreading love, compassion, joy and equanimity? Those are the true immeasurables, the fragrance of virtue blowing against the wind.

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