Great Heart of Compassion by Jack Kornfield


Speakers: Jack Kornfield
Recorded: 2013-03-12
Place: Spirit Rock Meditation Center

The brahmavihārās (sublime attitudes, lit. “abodes of brahma”) are a series of four Buddhist virtues and the meditation practices made to cultivate them. They are also known as the four immeasurables (Sanskrit: अप्रमाण, apramāṇa, Pāli: अप्पमञ्ञा, appamaññā) or four infinite minds. The Brahma-viharas are:

loving-kindness or benevolence (maitrī/mettā)
compassion (karuṇā)
empathetic joy (muditā)
equanimity (upekṣā/upekkhā)

According to the Metta Sutta, cultivation of the four immeasurables has the power to cause the practitioner to be reborn into a “Brahma realm” (Pāli: Brahmaloka).

Karuna is generally translated as compassion or mercy and sometimes as self-compassion or spiritual longing. It is a significant spiritual concept in the Indic religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism.