The Four Immeasurables

From the Desk of Pierre Zimmerman, MS
THE FOUR IMMEASURABLES OR GATELESS GATES

Bee-image

I wanted to share with you four intentions that are part of lay Buddhist practice to better be connected with others and share our deepest humanity. During the summer we tend to gather and visit friends, families and acquaintances and these intentions always come in handy in small or large groups.
Loving kindness is love with no strings attached or any particular agenda, just the pure, innocent wish for others and oneself to be content.
Compassion is the highest spiritual ideal of wishing other sentient beings to be free from suffering. The Tibetan word for compassion means “king of hearts.”
Sympathetic joy is experiencing happiness for someone else’s contentment, well being, successes and good fortune.
Equanimity is staying calm and centered, no matter what life throws at us; pleasure and pain, success and failure, praise and blame, fame and disrepute. It lets us relate in a deep way with friends, relatives and strangers.
Each of the four immeasurable has an opposite:
For loving kindness it is ill will or harmful intent,
For compassion it is cruelty,
For sympathetic joy it is envy or jealousy, and
For equanimity it is greed, aversion, prejudice.
Setting these four intentions sustains our energy and purpose to live in alignment with our best aspirations and wishes for ourselves and others. May it be so!
PIERRE ZIMMERMAN IS DIRECTOR OF ONE BIG ROOF AND AN INSTRUCTOR WITH THE SARATOGA STRESS REDUCTION PROGRAM.

Finding Peace Of Mind in Challenging Times

FINDING PEACE OF MIND IN CHALLENGING TIMES

By Pierre Zimmerman, M.S.
In the face of hate, ignorance and cruelty we can build stronger communities of service and compassion with small acts of kindness toward each other, realizing how precious this rare Pierre Zimmerman Director One Big Rooflife of ours is. We can see the gifts and skills of people, rather than their shortcomings; experience more spaciousness in our views of others; let go of solid opinions and sense the inherent goodness that lies at the heart of our diverse circles of being. We can give fearlessness by eliminating our habitual, unwholesome thoughts and planting seeds of kindness, looking upon others with soft eyes and suspending hateful narratives and judgments.
A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt about the tragedy of September 11th. He said, “I feel as I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is vengeful, angry and violent. The other is loving, forgiving, compassionate.”
The grandson asked him, “Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?”
Grandfather responded: “The one I feed.”
Wishing you all a New Year filled with peace and loving kindness,  Pierre
A full article by Pierre appears in the January 2016 issue of Natural Awakenings magazine at this link
HTTP://ISSUU.COM/ALBANYAWAKENINGS/DOCS/ALB_0116/1