Precautions in practicing the four Sublime States of the Mind (Brahmavihārā):
Be careful of the close enemies of these four dharmas, which are:
1. Lust is the close enemy of loving-kindness (mettā).2. Sorrow & regret is the close enemy of compassion (karunā).3. Over-joyfulness & restlessness is the close enemy of sympathetic joy (muditā).4. Ignorance & delusion is the close enemy of equanimity (upekkhā).
1. When we are kind to someone, if we are in a situation that can give rise to lust, then we need to watch out for lust. Try to draw a line out to the extent of kindness, and do not let kindness go beyond that line.
2. Compassion is an intention to help someone out of suffering. If we cannot help, then we need to be still. Otherwise, sadness will consume us.
3. If congratulations and joy with others is too much, watch out for restlessness, which is due to too much joyfulness.
4. The mental calmness of equanimity should be controlled by wisdom. If wisdom is lacking, delusion will conquer. Then, the equanimity will be due to ignorance, and be like the indifference of an animal.
The far enemies of the four Sublime States of the Mind correspond to factors that the Sublime States eliminate.Loving-kindness eliminates hatred & vengeance.Compassion eliminates thoughts of harming others.Sympathetic joy eliminates jealousy.Equanimity eliminates chaotic feelings and mind states.
Cr: Wasin Intasara