The Qualities Support Each Other

The brahmavihāras can be approached as distinct practices. At times we may also choose to explore one or more of these qualities together.

Using these qualities in concert

We're going to be looking at how the four brahmavihāras support one another. You can practice each separately, but more often we'll take one, like lovingkindness, and infuse it with one of the other three qualities.

This can be particularly clear in the choice of an object of meditation. For example, if we choose to offer lovingkindness to a friend who's having a difficult time, our lovingkindness becomes tinged with compassion. If we focus on a friend who's doing well right now, it will take on the quality of sympathetic joy. So we'll discuss ways in which each of these qualities can be a friend and ally to the others.

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