Why do we develop the Four Heart qualities
– Loving kindness ( Metta )
– Compassion (Karuna)
– Meditation (Mudita)
– Equanimity (Upekkha)
Accompanied with wisdom, the cultivation of these abodes in the heart leads to the liberation of suffering (Dukkha) which is formed by enmity, anger and aversion.
We train our minds to have pure, well-promoting intentions born. Which then automatically results in desired thoughts, speech and actions. This not only contributes to our own happiness, but as an oil slick the developed universal love extends to everyone in our environment. As a ‘butterfly effect’ it may have an impact that we can not figure out. That is not necessary. The intention and the dedication are sufficient.
When Metta has fully developed, there is no other way to resolve conflict than through loving kindness. If Loving Kindness is sufficiently trained and integrated, it is always present with us. We not only wish good friends prosperity, but also our ‘enemies’. We know where their actions come from and where it leads.
We are happy for others if they are doing well and have compassion for those who suffer while we remain balanced. We are not touched by our pity, nor are we indifferent. We see that everyone has to walk his way and that one suffers more than the other, regardless of wishing them all. Partly for this reason also the training in equanimity.
Until our minds are perfected, sometimes or often, depending on where we are in the process, we will unintentionally act from our protective ego. Well-intentioned, but reactive and not always loving and helpful. We also have compassion for this. We can not enforce it, only create the conditions for the intentions that are born.
Occasionally we also have meditation retreats aimed at developing Loving-kindness.