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The Four Immeasurables: Practices to Open the Heart

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The Four Immeasurables is a rich suite of practices that open the heart, counter the distortions in our relationships to ourselves, and deepen our relationships to others. Alan Wallace presents a unique interweaving of teachings on the Four Immeasurables - the cultivation of loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity -...

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The Four Immeasurables is a rich suite of practices that open the heart, counter the distortions in our relationships to ourselves, and deepen our relationships to others. Alan Wallace presents a unique interweaving of teachings on the Four Immeasurables - the cultivation of loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity - with instruction on quiescence (shamatha) meditation practices to empower the mind. The book includes both guided meditations and lively discussions on the implications of these teachings for our own lives. This enhanced presentation is the most in-depth treatment on the topic and includes guided meditations and Q&A sections.
Brief Description:
Previously published as: Boundless heart.

Review Quotes:
Howard Cutler, coauthor with H.H. the Dalai Lama of The Art of Happiness--Howard Cutler, coauthor with H.H. the Dalai Lama of The Art of Happines

Review Quotes:
A one-of-a-kind book that helps educate as well as inspire.--Inquiring Mind

Review Quotes:
Any person on a spiritual path, Buddhist or not, will find in this book fresh, practical insights for cultivating a boundless heart. A thought-provoking, useful, encouraging read.--ForeWord Magazine

Review Quotes:
This in-depth treatment is presented clearly and directly without unnecessary trappings and will be a good choice for customers looking to begin serious study of Buddhist tradition and practice. It includes guided meditations intended to help readers open their hearts and empower their minds--Anna Jedrziewski, New Age Retailer, August 2010

Review Quotes:
We are in very good hands when Alan Wallace takes us on a journey with the four immeasurables: loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity.--Mandala, July 2010

Review Quotes:
"As is usual with books by Alan Wallace, there is a strong emphasis on making the ideas and practices discussed accessible to modern readers without diluting those ideas or dumbing them down. A determination to show how the four immeasurables are to be applied in practice, in our lives is also evident. For anyone who wishes to a read a lively presentation of some central ideas within Buddhism and that achieves the difficult balance of being both traditional and modern in approach this book will not disappoint." Steve Palmer, Buddhism Now

Review Quotes:
"This book is written in a very simple and direct style. It always cuts out the superficial and directs the reader to the heart of the practice. Interspersed are numerous personal anecdotes and insights that could only be gathered from a lifetime of practice and teaching."--The Middle Way

Review Quotes:
"Alan Wallace is one of the great Western Buddhist thinkers of our day."--Howard Cutler M.D., coauthor with H.H. the Dalai Lama of "The Art of Happiness"

"A one-of-a-kind book that helps educate as well as inspire."--"Inquiring Mind"

"Any person on a spiritual path, Buddhist or not, will find in this book fresh practical insights for cultivating a boundless heart. A thought-provoking, useful, encouraging read."-- "ForeWord Magazine"

"We are in very good hands when Alan Wallace takes us on a journey with the four immeasurables."--"Mandala", Editor's Choice

"This book is written in a very simple and direct style. It always cuts out the superficial and directs the reader to the heart of the practice. Interspersed are numerous personal anecdotes and insights that could only be gathered from a lifetime of practice and teaching."--"The Middle Way"

"This in-depth treatment is presented clearly and directly without unnecessary trappings and will be a good choice for customers looking to begin serious study of Buddhist tradition and practice. It includes guided meditations intended to help readers open their hearts and empower their minds."--"New Age Retailer "

"This rich psychological unfolding of these spiritual practices provides a fine capstone to the author's thoughts on meditation."--"Spirituality & Practice "

"As is usual with books by Alan Wallace, there is a strong emphasis on making the ideas and practices discussed accessible to modern readers without diluting those ideas or dumbing them down. A determination to show how the four immeasurables are to be applied in practice in our lives is also evident. For anyone who wishes to a read a lively presentation of some central ideas within Buddhism and that achieves the difficult balance of being both traditional and modern in approach, this book will not disappoint."--"Buddhism Now"

Biographical Note:
B. Alan Wallace Ph.D. has authored, edited or translated more than thirty books on Tibetan Buddhism, including Buddhism with an Attitude. An in-demand international teacher, he is often the keynote speaker at conferences, and is the founder and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies.

Table of Contents:
Preface -- 1. Introduction -- Why Practice? -- The Foundation of Ethics -- The Affirmation of Intuitive Wisdom -- A Meditation on the Jewel in the Lotus: Om Mani Padme Hum -- Questions and Responses: On Ethics and the Sequence of Practice -- 2. Entering Samatha Practice -- Beginning the Meditation -- Relaxation, Stability, and Vividness -- Questions and Responses: On Breath Awareness -- The Mastery of Attention: Mindfulness and Introspection -- Samatha as a Catalyst for Mental Events -- Dealing with Problems in Samatha Practice -- 3. The Path to Samatha: An Overview -- The Nine Stages of the Path to Samatha -- The Achievement of Samatha -- The Prerequisites for Achieving Samatha -- Five Obstructions to Progress in Samatha -- The Five Factors of Stabilization -- On the Choice of an Object in Samatha Practice -- Questions and Responses: On Achieving Samatha -- Beyond Samatha -- 4. Loving-Kindness -- Meditation: Loving-Kindness for Oneself -- Extending the Practice of Loving-Kindness -- The Advantages of a Lay Person in the Practice of Loving-Kindness -- Loving-Kindness for One's Enemies -- The Problem of Righteous Anger -- Passion and Patience in Response to the Sources of Suffering -- Finding a Lovable Quality -- Confusing Attachment with Loving-Kindness -- Questions and Responses: Enemies and Insight -- The Attainment of Samatha in Loving-Kindness -- 5. Compassion -- Questions and Responses: Catharsis, Logic, and Compassion -- Compassion for a Suffering Person: Meditation -- Extending the Meditation on Compassion -- Intrusiveness in the Practice of Compassion -- Meditation on Avalokitesvara, the Embodiment of Compassion -- 6. Empathetic Joy -- Rejoicing in Others' Happiness -- Rejoicing in Virtue -- 7. Equanimity -- Equanimity in Theravada Buddhism -- Equanimity in Tibetan Buddhism -- Questions and Responses: On Distinguishing Attachment from Affection -- 8. The Empowerment of Insight -- From Insight to an Unmediated Experience of the Ultimate -- Questions and Responses: The Urgency and Rarity of Spiritual Awakening -- Notes.
The Four Immeasurables--the cultivation of loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity--is a rich suite of practices that open the heart, counter the distortions in our relationships to ourselves, and deepen our relationships to others. Alan Wallace presents a unique interweaving of teachings on the Four Immeasurables with instruction on meditative quiescence, or shamatha practice, to empower the mind. This book includes both guided meditations and lively discussions on the implications of these teachings for our life.

Review Citations:
Foreword 07/01/2004 pg. 80 (EAN 9781559392099, Paperback)
Contributor Bio: Wallace, B Alan
B. Alan Wallace is president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. He trained for many years as a monk in Buddhist monasteries in India and Switzerland. He has taught Buddhist theory and practice in Europe and America since 1976 and has served as interpreter for numerous Tibetan scholars and contemplatives, including H. H. the Dalai Lama. After graduating "summa cum laude" from Amherst College, where he studied physics and the philosophy of science, he earned his MA and PhD in religious studies at Stanford University. He has edited, translated, authored, and contributed to more than thirty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and religion.

Contributor Bio: Houshmand, Zara
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian was born in 1924. She now lives and works in New York.
Zara Houshmand is an Iranian American writer and theater artist. She lives in Austin, Texas.
"From the Hardcover edition."

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