||The first of the Four Immeasurables is
loving-kindness. Presently our loving-kindness is very partial, because we
just love ourselves and our close friends, family members and relatives.
Love is something we can experience quite easily, and through practice it
can become profound and vast.
The Buddha Shakyamuni taught that there are one thousand and one
Buddhas that will come into our world during the superior aeon. Among
those, three Buddhas have already come, so Shakyamuni is the fourth. The
next, or the fifth Buddha, is known as Maitreya in Sanskrit, which means
"loving-kindness." Buddha Shakyamuni spoke a lot about this future Buddha
in the Mahayana Maitreya Sutra. He taught that Maitreya will realize
buddhahood solely through the practice of loving-kindness.
When you really love, you feel respect for the
person or beings who are the object of your love. This attitude of
loving-kindness expands and increases by seeing and appreciating their
good qualities. True love is based in pure perception and a respectful
attitude toward yourself and others.
If you decided to be loving, you can easily develop the other
three immeasurables: compassion, a joyful attitude and equanimity. So it
is important that we know the value of love before we begin the other
practices. The benefit of love is a very powerful and special. As soon as
you generate an attitude of loving-kindness, you will start feeling more
calm and peaceful, and naturally share this feeling with other beings.
Your whole field of perception will be changed into something