The Four Immeasurables in the Bodhisattvabhūmi and Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra and their Implementation in a Measuring Scale for a Study of Brain Imaging
Firstly, this paper discusses the connotation of the Four Immeasurables (catvāry apramāṇāni) in the Bodhisattvabhūmi and Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra. The conclusion is as follows: These two texts approach the four immeasurable states of mind from two different points of view, and based on the three categories of sentient beings, the immeasurables of kindness, compassion, and empathic joy arise accordingly when one is faced with sentient beings in states of neither-pain-nor-pleasure (kindness), pain (compassion), and pleasure (empathic joy) respectively. On the other hand, delusion, hatred, and greed can also be aroused when one is faced with these three kinds of states (neither-pain-nor-pleasure, pain, and pleasure). Consequently, bodhisattvas generate a strong intention (adhyāśaya) - the mind state of equanimity, the fourth immeasurable - to guide these three categories of sentient beings to abandon defilements. This interpretation goes beyond the traditional definition of the Four Immeasurables in earlier Buddhist thought.
Secondly, based on the aforementioned conclusion, in order to develop a measuring scale and study the brain imaging measurements of fMRI/DIT, we surveyed some relevant papers, and we found that there are five questions or topics which need to be discussed between Buddhists and researchers in psychological studies and neurosciences in the future.