The Brahma Viharas and Music Therapy

 

The Brahma Viharas are the four divine abodes as taught by the Buddah which are karuna (wise compassion), mudita (empathetic joy), upeksha (equinimity) and metta (loving kindness).  The buddah taught that these skillful mindstates are to be realized and practiced in order to uproot the causes of our affliction.  In brahma vihara practice the yogi focuses on one of these four sacred emotions and dwells within its feeling both mentally and physcially.  The postivity exuded by conciousely calling these emotions to arise transforms and heals both body and mind.

Karuna (wise compassion) - The hearts recation to suffering.  The feeling of care that arises when in the presence of suffering.  Karuna is not to feel bad, sad or sorry for someone or something it is to care for and caring always carries a positive feeling.  This is what gives a karuna a quality of wisdom, it is to care with strength fearlessly.

 

Mudita (empathetic joy) - Is to be delighted by and to celebrate anothers well being or good fortune.  The joy of realizing anothers joy.

Upeksha (equinimity) - The ability to stand steadily alongside any experience without the reactions of like and dislike, without grasping for or pushing away.  A state of pure acceptence of the perfection of everything. Upeksha is possibly the most difficult of the Brahma Viharas to grasp and is often said to be the achievment of nirvana in its mastered state.

Metta (loving kindness, un conditional love) - The energy of true un conditional love towards all beings and phenomenon of the experience.  The wish that all beings be safe, peaceful, happy and free of both mental and physical suffering.  The ability to exude friendliness towards anyone and everything.

Music therapy is a unique element which Ian includes in his method of teaching the brahma viharas.  When first learning and practicing Ian was deeply moved and felt inspired to express his meditation experience through writing guitar pieces on each brahma vihara. Now when teaching practice he guides yogis through the divine abodes both verbally and musically with his original style of medicinal music.