||The first of the Four Immeasurables is loving-kindness. Presently our loving-kindness is very partial, because we just love ourselves and our close friends, family members and relatives. Love is something we can experience quite easily, and through practice it can become profound and vast.
The Buddha Shakyamuni taught that there are one thousand and one Buddhas that will come into our world during the superior aeon. Among those, three Buddhas have already come, so Shakyamuni is the fourth. The next, or the fifth Buddha, is known as Maitreya in Sanskrit, which means "loving-kindness." Buddha Shakyamuni spoke a lot about this future Buddha in the Mahayana Maitreya Sutra. He taught that Maitreya will realize buddhahood solely through the practice of loving-kindness.
When you really love, you feel respect for the person or beings who are the object of your love. This attitude of loving-kindness expands and increases by seeing and appreciating their good qualities. True love is based in pure perception and a respectful attitude toward yourself and others.
If you decided to be loving, you can easily develop the other three immeasurables: compassion, a joyful attitude and equanimity. So it is important that we know the value of love before we begin the other practices. The benefit of love is a very powerful and special. As soon as you generate an attitude of loving-kindness, you will start feeling more calm and peaceful, and naturally share this feeling with other beings. Your whole field of perception will be changed into something beautiful.