The Four Divine Abodes

This course is a four week introduction to the Four Divine Abodes: loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. They are also called the four sublime abodes or four immeasurable minds because they bring a sense of vitality and happiness for others. These are some of my favorite teachings as they work together to cultivate a sense of happiness and joy in our lives.

Target Population and Context

This course is primarily for parents of children up through college age although anyone can attend. The class meets for one hour once a week for four weeks. Starting date is Wednesday Evening March 23, 2022 at 7:00 PM PDT on Zoom, links to be provided. The course is freely offered and donations for the teacher are gratefully accepted.

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Detailed Description / Learning Objectives

The four divine abodes are called the sublime states because when they are present we feel connected through our hearts and aware of precious good feelings. When any of them manifest, it is limitless. I discovered them about 30 years ago and the four divine abodes are incorporated into my practice. As a participant in this course, you will learn how to practice each of the divine abodes and this will help you stay more present. This presence will enable you to be present with your children more effectively and allow them to experience happiness growing up.

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Session 1: Loving Kindness

You will learn what loving kindness is and how to experience it for yourself, your loved ones and your acquaintances. The practices that we do in this class will help you overcome anger and resentment. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) said, “The essence of loving kindness is being able to offer happiness. You can be the sunshine for another person. You can’t offer happiness until you have it for yourself.

Session 2: Compassion

You will learn what compassion is and how it relates to loving kindness. You will also learn the importance of self-compassion. The practices you will learn will help you overcome cruelty. Thay said, “Compassion has the capacity to remove the suffering of others without expecting anything in return.”

Session 3: Sympathetic Joy

You will learn how sympathetic joy will help you recognize when others are experiencing happiness or joy. You will be surprised to learn that it also brings you great happiness to yourself. The practices we do will help you to overcome hatred. Thay said, “Sympathetic joy arises when one rejoices over the happiness of others and wishes others well-being and success.

Session 4: Equanimity

You will learn what equanimity is and how it is related to non-attachment and inclusiveness. This practice helps you to overcome prejudice. Thay said, “Non-attachment is the way of looking at all things openly and equally. This is because that is. Myself and others are not separate. Do not reject one thing only to chase after another.

Learning Objectives

How to use loving kindness to foster connection with others and yourself.
How to use compassion for yourself and others and to be more open.
How sympathetic joy can manifest in great happiness for yourself.
How equanimity keeps you peaceful and at ease.

Interested? Click Here!