Can you practice Brahama Vihara without attaining fourth Jhana?

As per MN 52 you attain Brhama Vihara only when you are in fourth Jhana.
Is it possible to practice Brahama Vihara without reaching the fourth Jhana?

I tried to do my own research and found this.

Thus the sign and access are obtained by this bhikkhu simultaneously
with the breaking down of the barriers. But when breaking down of the barriers
has been effected, he reaches absorption in the way described under the earth
kasióa without trouble by cultivating, developing, and repeatedly practicing
that same sign.
At this point he has attained the first jhána, which abandons five factors,
possesses five factors, is good in three ways, is endowed with ten characteristics,
and is accompanied by loving-kindness. And when that has been obtained,
then by cultivating, developing, and repeatedly practicing that same sign, he
successively reaches the second and third jhánas in the fourfold system, and the
second, third and fourth in the fivefold system. [308]>

I think so, but they are not fully boundless/immeasurable while in lower states because there is still hinderances.

From memory there’s a bit in MN44 talking about hinderances, immeasurable states and fourth jhana

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Agree. It seems that Buddha wanted to differentiate the BV practice by the average householder and the recluse. It appears that BV should be practiced in conjunction with the four Jhanas to qualify for Noble Eightfold Path.

"And what are the six kinds of household equanimity? The equanimity that arises when a foolish, deluded person — a run-of-the-mill, untaught person who has not conquered his limitations or the results of action [2] & who is blind to danger [3] — sees a form with the eye. Such equanimity does not go beyond the form, which is why it is called household equanimity. (Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.)>

Further discussion on this topic.

If you haven’t yet read Bhikkhu Analayo’s book Compassion and Emptiness I’d recommend it. He talks about developing these states to the highest levels.

Personally I don’t think there is meditation for householders vs meditation for monastics. It’s just the difference between how advanced in practice someone is.

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What I meant was, perhaps there is a wrong way and a right way to practice BV.
In other words and effective way and a noneffective way.

It talks of a sutta where Ven Sariputta is instructing a lay person in his death bed. He does a guided meditation of sorts and he man dies and is reborn as a Brahma- suggesting that even in the grip of a mortal illness it is still possible to practice BV to great degrees. Then it talks of how the Buddha praises Ven Ananada for having a limitless mind, in his words and deeds towards the Buddha, suggesting that he wasn’t in a jhana, but in the normal waking mind when this was happening. The ‘limitless’ nature of the BV seems to bypass the need for a rigid system of jhana attainment- another sutta talks about BV in union with the Factors of Enlightenment, without particular mention of jhana, but in union with the path of insight (N,V,N), again suggesting, to me that noble sammasamadhi is samadhi with all the other path factors, at a jhanic level of samadhi (rather than attaining the jhana, so that that degree of samadhi is guaranteed), if that makes sense.

with metta