divine states & near enemies

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Four divine states: 

  • Loving-kindness and friendliness – Learning to love life in all its forms, unconditionally.
  • Compassion and empathy– the resonance of our heart with the suffering of another.
  • Sympathetic joy and rejoicing – the felt joy in the happiness of others within this world of impermanence.
  • Equanimity and peace of mind – the heart being open to all things; embracing impermanence and the inseparable nature of joy/ suffering.

The Near Enemies:

  • Attachment – has within it a sense of separation.  It can grow into clinging, controlling, and fear.

It often happens, so it seems to me, that the lack of knowledge is the cause of a great deal of pride…if it is a thing that pleases you in the past, there will arise in you a strong delight when thinking about that thing, whatever it may be.  If you remain with that thought and eventually fasten your heart and your will to it, and if you feed your fleshly heart with it so that you feel at that moment that you desire nothing else but to live in tranquility with the thing of which you are thinking; and if this thought that you draw in this way upon yourself or that you receive when it is brought to you and held with pleasure, if this thought concerns the great wealth of your nature, or your knowledge, or your grace or degree, or your beauty in appearance, then it is pride. ~Progoff, Ira, The Cloud of Unknowing

  • Pity – feeling sorry for “that poor person over there” as if s/he were different from us, whereas, true compassion is the resonance of our heart with the suffering of another.
  • Comparison – looking to see if we have more of, the same as, or less than another – it creates separation fed by envy and resentment or by anxiety and self doubt.
  • Indifference – distancing one’s self from others.  The voice of indifference withdrawal and says, “Who cares, I’m not going to let it affect me.”
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