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What is the Buddhist concept of the Four Immeasurables?

The Four Immeasurables, also known as the Four Boundless Qualities or Brahmaviharas, are a set of virtues or attitudes that are central to Buddhist practice. They are practices of cultivating positive mental states towards oneself and others.

The Four Immeasurables are:

  1. Loving-kindness (Metta): the wish for all beings to be happy and free from suffering
  2. Compassion (Karuna): the wish for all beings to be free from suffering and the motivation to help those who are suffering
  3. Sympathetic joy (Mudita): the ability to rejoice in the happiness and success of others
  4. Equanimity (Upekkha): the ability to remain balanced and peaceful in the face of all circumstances, without attachment or aversion

The practice of the Four Immeasurables involves cultivating these qualities through meditation and through daily actions towards oneself and others. By cultivating loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity, a person can overcome negative mental states such as anger, jealousy, and selfishness, and develop a more positive and compassionate outlook on life.

The Four Immeasurables are not limited to Buddhism and can be found in other spiritual traditions, including Hinduism, Jainism, and Taoism. However, in Buddhism, they are considered a central part of the path to enlightenment and are believed to help practitioners develop a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings and the nature of reality.
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