This is Post 38 in the ‘Meditation Guidance’ series.
The four brahmavihāras are a description of Consciousness, and of our innately compassionate nature, and together they give us a very powerful approach to meditation. This extremely important ancient Indian framework for personal transformation is unfortunately however, very little known and poorly understood. I am very keen to do what I can to help the brahmavihāras to be better known – the world sorely needs this practice and this understanding.
In my efforts to find ways of making this approach to meditation more accessible, I have developed a somewhat simpler, and more experiential approach, which supports the original brahmavihāras framework, and which I call the Four Qualia. I have been introducing this Four Qualia framework in detail in recent posts (here, here and here), and I recommend that you read those articles first – as they will provide context for this one. I hope, students of meditation and non-duality will find that these four Qualia – these four ever-present, but subtle and difficult-to-define experiences – provide a useful foundation from which the brahmavihāras can more easily be integrated into their practice and their understanding.
The Four Qualia are a mandala framework, and can be approached in meditation as a mandala-cycle – usually starting with the Eastern Quadrant. The exploration of the Four Qualia that I have set out below however, is presented in the order that is suggested by the stupa – by the natural hierarchy of the subtle bodies and chakras – and which I have described previously (here). Those wishing to incorporate this approach into their meditative enquiry, may wish to return to this article several times.
Embodiment, the Physical Body, and Appreciative Joy
The Qualia associated with the experienced reflection of Consciousness in the Physical Body, is Embodiment. When we sit to meditate, and we bring the word Embodiment to mind, we find that we can use it as a pointer to the whole experience of embodied Consciousness in the field of the Physical Body. Continue reading