Brahma Viharas

The Brahma Viharas are four heart qualities meant to be cultivated by Buddhist practioners. The name Brahmavihara in Pali is a complex word including Brahma, the supreme god in the Hindu cosmology and Vihara which can mean abiding or to abide. So these are the four qualities where Brahma abides.

In English the Brahma Viharas are often translated as: The Divide Abodes or Abidings; the Sublime Abodes and the Four Immeasurables.

These four are:

  1. Metta (Loving Kindness or Benovolence)
  2. Karuna (Compassion)
  3. Mudita (joy)
  4. Upekkha (Equanimity)

Brahma Vihara meditations often use phrases that are repeated by the practioner. Following are some phrases:

Metta

May I be safe
May I be happy
May I be well.
May I live in peace.

May she be safe.
May she be happy.
May she be well.
May she live in peace.

etc

May all beings be safe
May all beings be happy
May all beings be well.
May all beings live in peace.

Karuna

May all beings be free from suffering.

Upekkha

May I be at peace with your journey.
May I have peace and equanimity with whatever arises.
May I abide in well-being.
May I abide in well being in myself.
May I be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from anxiety.
I care for you deeply, but I cannot control your happiness and unhappiness.
Your experience is yours (mine, whoever), the results of your actions (your karma), not my wishes for you.