The brahmaviharas are four sublime mental states recognized by Buddhism and for which there exist different meditative practices designed to cultivate them. Concretely, the brahmaviharas are:
- Metta (loving kindness): wishing the happiness / well-being of all conscious beings.
- Karuna (compassion): wishing the end of suffering for all conscious beings.
- Mudita (sympathetic joy): rejoicing when a conscious being (oneself or other) is experiencing well-being (the opposite of envy).
- Upekkha (equanimity): "To practice upekkha is to be unwavering or to stay neutral in the face of the eight vicissitudes of life—which are otherwise known as the eight worldly winds or eight worldly conditions: loss and gain, good-repute and ill-repute, praise and censure, and sorrow and happiness". I understand that it is also associated with the ability to stay in the present moment, in a state of serene mindfulness.
Question: Are there equivalent concepts in Christianity for the four brahmaviharas?
My own educated guess would be that metta and karuna have probably a lot of overlap with the concept of love in Christianity, but I'm not really sure if we can call that a perfect equivalence. Likewise, I'm not quite sure if we can find perfect equivalences for mudita and upekkha. I know that joy exists as a virtue in Christianity, it is in fact explicitly mentioned as part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), but can we really say that the Christian concept of joy is similar to Buddhism's sympathetic joy? Perhaps praising God could be seen as a form of sympathetic joy towards God, as one rejoices about God's good qualities? And what about the sublime state of equanimity, and all this present moment awareness and mindfulness that are so popular nowadays? What would be its equivalent in Christianity?