59. Contemplate the Merit of the Four Immeasurables and Give Rise to Joy
Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 59
Take refuge and arouse bodhicitta.
The Main Part
Meditate that the success or failure of attaining Buddhahood comes about under the conditions of having been trained in the Four Immeasurables or its lack. This is an indisputable fact; therefore, we must engage in this practice.
By practicing love, temporarily we’ll bring joy to sentient beings, and ultimately we’ll accomplish the fruition of sambhogakaya.
By practicing compassion, temporarily we’ll be freed from harms inflicted by enemies and evil spirits, and ultimately we’ll accomplish the fruition of dharmakaya.
By practicing sympathetic joy, temporarily we’ll eradicate the affliction of jealousy, and ultimately we’ll accomplish the fruition of nirmanakaya.
By practicing impartiality, temporarily our mind will become malleable, and ultimately we’ll accomplish the fruition of svabhavikakaya.
Furthermore, the training in the Four Immeasurables will bring about the samadhi of the form realm, purify one’s birthplace so as to attain the body of human or god in the desire realm or the form realm, and be able to benefit sentient beings.
Realizing these benefits, resolve: I must practice the Four Immeasurables.
Many individuals today would rather jump to the practice of Great Perfection directly while shying away from basic trainings such as the four immeasurables. A person who had been a vegetarian for five or six years was confused recently when a “guru” told him: “You cling too much on superficiality! No need to get fixated! You can eat meat, you are free to do anything!” He sent me a text and asked me what to do. Not knowing how my advice would be received, I replied only a few words: “It is good to be a vegetarian that conforms with not taking life.” I’ll leave him to interpret the meaning.
True, nowadays quite a few people disparage the fundamental preliminaries; they babble, “grasp onto nothing” and “all phenomena are pure and radiant,” and can talk nothing else. They boast about their experiences that sound impressive and pleasing. However, if no effort has been invested in building up the foundations, such states will soon evaporate, reverting them back to the mundane level.
The Four Immeasurables must be practiced over and over again. In the first round you may not succeed, so do it a second time, a third time, and so on. As time passes, your mind will be tamed, and steadfast bodhicitta is established in you.
It goes without saying that before you practice the Four Immeasurables, you must first understand the benefit of this practice, or else you won’t feel motivated. This precious instruction is the legacy of our lineage masters; please take it to heart with all seriousness.
Dedicate all the merit of your practice to all sentient beings.