Lovingkindness is the practice of offering to oneself and others wishes to be happy, peaceful, healthy, and strong. Cultivating lovingkindness for ourselves is the foundation of real love for our friends and family, for new people we encounter in our daily lives, for all beings and for life itself. The classical progression of lovingkindness meditation is that you start with offering lovingkindness to yourself and move on to others with whom you have varying degrees of difficulty. After ourselves, over time we will meditate on someone we admire and respect, then a friend, then a neutral person such as your dry cleaner or a shopkeeper, then a person who is somewhat challenging for you, and then all beings. — Sharon Salzberg (from Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection #BK576)
July 31st is the last day to join Sharon Salzberg for the online exploration of Real Love sponsored by our friends at Tricycle! The course is a multi-faceted experience including videos, guided meditations, comments and discussions with other participants, and two live Q&A’s with Sharon Salzberg. Learn more about the online course here.
Sharon Salzberg is one of the world’s foremost meditation teachers, especially on the topic of lovingkindness, and is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society. She has written ten books including Real Happiness, a New York Times Bestseller.
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature.
May all beings be free.
The Pali word for lovingkindness is Metta, a sense of deep caring for ourselves and all other beings. This bracelet serves as a constant reminder to open your heart.
This gentle image of the Buddha holding several lotus leaves close to his heart truly emanates a quality of lovingkindness by reminding us of our own Buddha (or awakened) nature. The lotus plant roots in the muddy depths. Transcending its environment, it emerges pure and unsoiled, blossoming into a beautiful, fragrant flower – another symbol of our own original nature, which is pure and radiant. By cultivating lovingkindness, we can heal ourselves and the world.