September 27, 2023 6:00pm

Savoring the Four Infinite Thoughts | Cultivating the Four Immeasurables with John R.B. Campbell PhD

John R.B. Campbell, PhD



Wednesday, September 20, September 27, October 4,  October 11

6-8pm ET

$25 per session | Hybrid

Does prayer work? Clearly, the answer depends on whom you ask. This series explores a strongly affirmative answer based on the “four infinite thoughts,” also known as the “Brahma-Viharas” and the “Four Immeasurables,” a short prayer known to virtually all traditions of Buddhism and closely related schools of Hinduism. Despite its apparent simplicity, recitation of and meditation on its verses remains a cherished expression of the essence of spiritual life. This series provides an opportunity to explore questions of the efficacy of prayer according to the Indo-Tibetan worldview, while developing a personal routine centered on altruistically oriented thought as a formal, daily embrace of wellbeing—one’s own, and others’. 

In this four part series on the Four Immeasurables Dr. John Campbell will provide context and instruction for cultivating these four infinite thoughts, both as a preliminary foundation for meditation and as a method of meditation itself.

Class 1 will focus on the 4 Immeasurables as understood in the Theravada and Yoga Sutra traditions, both having very similar notions of the spiritual path and its objectives.

Classes 2-3  will cover the practice within the Mahayana, using it as a platform for exploration of bodhicitta and the bodhisattva ideal.

Class 4, will focus on the Vajrayana, and the harnessing of bodhisattva altruism to imagination.

In every session, the class will briefly address historical context: how did this formulation of prayer find its way into both Buddhist and Hindu traditions dating back two millennia? The class will then explore each one of four core values expressed in the prayer—equanimity, joy, love, and compassion—as well as the implications for personal agency of the prayer’s wording (“may I be the one to make these things happen.”) The class will seek to understand these thoughts, values, and intentions in drawing on primary source readings from Indo-Tibetan tradition, in class discussion, and most importantly in guided meditation sessions. 

For anyone seeking to learn to explore the value and power of prayer, or to deepen an existing experience of prayer, this series has much to offer.


*This course is offered in person at Tibet House and Online via Zoom*


Program recordings can be found in your “My Account” for 90 days



Additional information

Pricing Options

September 20 $25, September 27 $25, October 4 $25, October 11 $25, All 4 Sessions $90

Type: Recurring Meeting

Savoring the Four Infinite Thoughts | Cultivating the Four Immeasurables with John R.B. Campbell PhD

Next Occurrence:
Wednesday, Sep 27, 2023 06:00 PM

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Timezone: America/New_York
  • Wednesday, Sep 20, 2023 06:00 PM
  • Wednesday, Sep 27, 2023 06:00 PM
  • Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023 06:00 PM
  • Wednesday, Oct 11, 2023 06:00 PM



John R.B. Campbell, PhD


John Campbell, PhD, is an independent scholar, accomplished yogin, and translator of Sanskrit and Tibetan texts. His main areas of research are practice systems of yoga and tantra in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism. He is currently writing a book on the commentarial literature of Buddhist and Hindu tantric Buddhist practice systems in late first-millennium India. A former assistant professor of Buddhist studies at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, among other academic institutions, he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the theory and practice of yoga (both contemporary and premodern), Buddhist philosophy in India and Tibet, and surveys of culture and religion in South, East, and Himalayan Asia. He is currently the director of Sanskrit projects for the Asian Classics Input Project, developing the digitization of classical Sanskrit texts on Buddhist and Hindu spiritual sciences. He also advises the research of advanced graduate students in UVA’s renowned Buddhist Studies doctoral program.

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