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From the 1st of March for 4 weeks we shall be focusing on the Brahma Viharas which translates as the ‘abodes of wisdom’ or ‘houses of understanding’.
Pictured as a vast tree, the canopy, leaves and trunk are made up of Metta - being the practice of loving kindness to all beings. Not informed by how we think about them or our attitude towards them but rather by a desire to actively bring happiness, good health, freedom from suffering and contentment to all beings, including ourselves.
Within the tree we identify two particular branches:
Karuna or the practice of compassion. Coming in to an emotional understanding and empathy with the suffering that all beings have or will experience. This is not just passive sympathy but is an active intent to help to alleviate suffering in any way that we can.
Mudita or empathic joy. Seeing happiness in others, most especially that happiness that arises from their own efforts and actions, and then engaging with that joy, celebrating it without any element of jealousy or craving.
The roots of the tree are Upekka or equinimity. This is not neutral but passionately engages with the other three and provides a place of balance and harmony, a deeply felt inner peace.