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Brahma Viharas and the Key Moment

by Kulaprabha

Kulaprabha has been involved co-leading retreats on the Brahma Viharas for about 15 years. This talk is distilled from from that experience. In September 2001, before and after the Twin Towers attack, Kulaprabha was on a six week retreat in Italy and was one of only a few people on that retreat who knew what had happened and knew about the shock that had reverberated round the world. Some of her reflections from that time are included in the talk.

The Brahma Viharas are a mandala of four meditation practices on loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. Each practice is different in its primary focus but simillar in its means of focussing - asking us to consider ourselves, a good friend, someone we know but not well, someone we dislike or who dislikes us, and finally asks us to contemplate all beings wherever and in whatever circumstances we can imagine them. So there's a lot to contemplate in these meditations!

The talk focusses on the Dharmic context of the Brahma Viharas and how to bring that context into our sitting practice. You can find lead throughs of the actual meditation practices elsewhere on Free Buddhist Audio. Search for metta bhavana (loving kindness), karuna bhavana (compassion), mudita bhavana (sympathetic joy) or upekkha bhavana (equanimity).

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. What are the Brahma Viharas? (8:36) 
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2. The Sphere of Concern of Meditation (8:48) 
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3. How to Begin? (5:53) 
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4. The Key Moment (10:16) 
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5. Hard to Put into Practice - Why? (12:17) 
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6. Some Reflections from Brahma Vihara Retreats (12:42) 
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7. Who Benefits? (6:54) 


Total running time: 1:05:26

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