The Four Immeasurables Are Meant to Be Applied in Daily Life (Video)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
(Archive #2072)

In this video, Lama Zopa Rinpoche advises how to relate the four immeasurable thoughts to our daily life, with a strong determination to make our life beneficial for others. This teaching was given on April 4, 2018, at a retreat held at the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, Bendigo, Australia, in April-May 2018. You can watch the video and read along with the transcript overlay on the FPMT YouTube channel or alternatively, you can watch the video only. The video is from the FPMT's Essential Extracts series, which is a selection of important teaching excerpts on a range of topics.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche advises how to do the four immeasurables prayer, relating the formal practice, when we are sitting on the meditation cushion reciting the prayer, to our daily life. Rinpoche gives examples of visualizations that will purify or eliminate the discriminating thoughts and enable us to generate the realization of equanimity. The same applies for the immeasurable thoughts of loving kindness, compassion and joy. Rinpoche says it is beneficial to think of all sentient beings in the six realms and in particular to pray for those who are experiencing a lot of problems in this world.

Read the video transcript below.


How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings were free from the discriminating thoughts, discriminating some as far and some as close.
May they be free from their discriminating thoughts.
I will cause them to be free from the discriminating thoughts.
Please grant me blessings, buddhas, to be able to do this.

You visualize the Buddha in front and request the guru-buddha to be able to help do this. Then nectar beams are emitted to you and all sentient beings, purifying the discriminating thought. Generate all the realizations, all the obscurations, in particular the discriminating thought, and then generate all the realizations, in particular the realization of equanimity.

Then I want to advise one thing, not only during the prayer, meditation, no, but we should relate the prayer in daily life practice, in the daily life. You should connect it, not only when you sit on the meditation cushion, or only when you recite prayer you think this, and then other times you do the opposite, you follow the discriminating thought. I don’t know what it is called, your life guidance is to follow the discriminating thought of anger and attachment, you live the life with that, but only when you do the prayer you think that. No, not like that. When you do the prayer, strong determination but then you should relate the prayer to how you live your daily life, what you think and recite, the rest of the day also like that. That is how you have to try. Try.

How to make your life better, how to make your life better human being, how to make your life better, how to make your life more peace and happiness, more peace and happiness. Not just for yourself, but how you make everyday life more beneficial to sentient beings, to every single hell being, every single hungry ghost, every single animal, every single human being, every single sura and asura, all like this. How to make your life more beneficial for them, better for others, you make your life better. When it is better for others, there is no question it is better for you, best for you.

So you should have a connection, should have a relation, otherwise only when you sit on the meditation cushion, only when you do prayer you think this way and other times, day and night, it is opposite. Not like that. It should be related; there should be a connection or related. That is the way how to practice Dharma. So like that. That is the purpose of why we recite prayers, as well. Not only this minute, not only life in this minute, not only life in this hour, this minute, not only that.

I changed [the verse] here. Instead of “How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings had happiness and the cause of happiness,” for my mind it doesn’t remind us of enlightenment or liberation from samsara, it doesn’t remind us, it connects more only to temporary happiness, so that is why I changed it. Those who can think, it is OK but for my mind this “happiness” only relates to temporary happiness, wishing sentient beings only temporary happiness according to my mind, so I changed it into enlightenment. In Tibetan I recite like that in the Six-Session Guru Yoga:

How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings had buddhahood, peerless happiness, and the cause of happiness, buddhahood.
May they have buddhahood.
May they abide in buddhahood.
I will cause them to abide in buddhahood.
Please, guru-buddhas, grant me blessings to be able to do this.

[Think it] purified all the wrong concepts, in particular the anger, what to say? Yeah, so that. Then yourself and all sentient beings received realizations, all the realizations, in particular the realization of immeasurable loving kindness. All the sentient beings, not only yourself, all sentient beings, not only in this world, all the sentient beings. You can think of all the sentient beings in the six realms and then in particular you can think of those in this world. You can think like this. Then in your country or some other country where there is so much killing and a lot of problems, you can think of those places, those people. It is very good to pray for them. It is so important.

Then,

How wonderful it would be if sentient beings were free from sufferings and the cause of sufferings.
May they be free from all the sufferings and the causes.
I will cause them to be free from all the suffering.

Taking responsibility on yourself.

Please, guru-buddhas, grant me blessings to be able to do this.

It purified all the obscurations, in particular, I think, the self-cherishing thought. If you have much selfish mind then compassion doesn’t arise to others. Less self-cherishing thought that arises, then more compassion arises to others. Then you received all the realizations, in particular the immeasurable compassion, think that, within you and within the hearts of all sentient beings, especially those in this world.

How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings were not separated from the happiness of the upper realms, and then, liberation from samsara.

That includes also enlightenment, the ultimate happiness, two ultimate [happinesses]—liberation from samsara and then enlightenment.

May they not be separated away from the happiness of upper realms and the ultimate happiness.
I will cause them to not be separated away from the upper realms’ happiness and the ultimate happiness.
Please, guru-buddhas, grant me blessings to be able to do this.

It purified all the wrong conceptions, purified all the wrong conceptions, the ignorance, anger, attachment. Then in particular, received all the realizations, in particular immeasurable joyfulness within you and in the hearts of all the sentient beings. You can do like that. OK.

To achieve buddhahood for the benefit of sentient beings, to free the numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, suras, asuras, intermediate state beings, from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to buddhahood by myself, then I must achieve buddhahood. Therefore, I’m going to do Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga practice and the protector prayers.

Click here to watch the video and read along with the transcript overlay, or alternatively, you can watch the video without the transcript. To browse more video extracts from the series, visit Lama Zopa Rinpoche Essential Extracts webpage.