Taking and Sending and the Four Immeasurables

From: Four Immeasurables 6
Full Transcript
Audioclip (NOTE: this is a long clip with the quote below starting about 15 minutes into the audio)
One way of looking at taking and sending--Mahayana mind training--is that it combines all the four immeasurables into a very simple breath-based practice. And so that’s what we’re going to be looking at in taking and sending.

And it’s very simple to describe. You practice equanimity by doing taking and sending with all sentient beings—not just a preferred group. When you’re giving away your own happiness and joy and goodness and everything, that’s the practice of loving-kindness. When you’re taking in their pain and suffering, and negativity, and fears, and hatred, and so forth, that’s the practice of compassion. You’re being present with that. And taking joy in this process of exchange is the practice of joy. So there are all four just right in the practice. And so it’s a very wonderful practice.

I practiced taking and sending quite a bit before doing the three-year retreat, but in the three-year retreat we had two months on taking and sending, which was a very long time given the program. And I spent the first month just doing loving-kindness and compassion because Kongtrul said you really need this as a basis. So I thought, okay, let me do two weeks on loving-kindness and two weeks on compassion.

And I found that it really changed everything—changed a tremendous amount. And it certainly changed my whole relationship with taking and sending. So I’ve always felt it’s a very, very important preparation for taking and sending as well as being a very potent practice in its own right—four immeasurables.