64. The Training Process of the Four Immeasurables
Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 58
Take refuge and arouse bodhicitta.
The Main Part
When meditating on the four immeasurables, begin in the order of love, compassion, joy, and impartiality; then in the reverse order of impartiality, joy, compassion, and love; next, alternate the order to love, joy, compassion, and impartiality, and so on. Moment by moment, you meditate diligently without investing things with true existence. Through such training, you will gradually attain a steadfast realization.
Try to alternate your meditation topics in succession. For example, for a little while you meditate on compassion wishing all beings be free from suffering; next, you switch to meditating on love, wishing sentient beings happiness; and so forth. In due time, a meditative experience of the four immeasurables will arise in you.
In fact, the mind is malleable. Our problem is lack of training; otherwise, meditative experience of one kind or the other is bound to arise. Sadly, in today’s world of high tech, most people are consumed by endless tasks—taking phone calls, driving to places, rushing to meet deadlines, pulling every string to get what they want, and competing at full throttle. When ensnared in the rat race of disharmony and intrigue, their minds have no room for worldly kindness to arise, let alone bodhicitta!
The more advanced scientific discoveries and living standards are, the more retrograde our spiritual practices become. I can’t help but admire the masters of old who devoted their whole lives to studying, reflecting and meditating on the Dharma, and benefiting sentient beings, which is really meaningful. Regrettably, as ordinary people in modern times, we fall far behind their footsteps.
The theme of these practices is the four immeasurables. A solid cultivation on this will automatically bring forth bodhicitta. Otherwise, as Khenpo Ngaga repeatedly admonishes in A Guide to the Words of My Perfect Teacher, our bodhicitta will be rootless, rendering the fruit of any Mahayana practice unattainable, much less those of the Vajrayana. Therefore, we must zoom in our strength and manage to arouse altruism to the best of our ability.
Arriving at such a state only once or twice will not do; rather, it calls for a constant abiding. With sustained practice, the mind will gradually reshape itself, and in time your thoughts will mainly be the concern for others. Even though you can’t claim to have eradicated selfishness at each and every moment, your thoughts will become dominated by virtues throughout the day. Eventually, you’ll lose interest in your own affairs and become totally enthused to serve others.
Dedicate the merit of your practice to all sentient beings.