How to Become a More Loving You: Lessons from the 4 States of Mind
If you're wondering which four states of mind I'm referring to, it's the Brahmavihara from the Buddhist tradition. They were also mentioned in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
These four states encourage you to be your most universally loving self: lovingkindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.
It was only recently I found out about them, but since then, I've held the concepts close to my heart.
Out of all the yoga philosophies I've uncovered so far, I think that this one is the simplest and most elegant way to strive for a higher consciousness.
Let's Break it Down
Brahmavihara can be split into two words, brahma and vihara.
Brahma can mean sublime and vihara can mean divine abodes.
Some translations of the term brahmavihara can be the 4 divine abodes, 4 divine emotions, 4 sublime attitudes, and 4 divine dwellings.
Regardless of which words you want to use to describe this concept, I find that brahmavihara is both mystical and humbling. There's a wholesome quality to contemplating and practicing to become a more loving you.
Lovingkindness, or maitri, is a deep regard for others and their journey in life.
Compassion, or karuna, means to not only feel for others' suffering, but to take action to lessen their suffering.
Sympathetic joy, or mudita, means to be so happy that you are happy for others’ joy.
Equanimity, or upeksha, means having a remaining sense of temperance, neutrality, and calmness.