Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

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Shambhala Publications, Sep 3, 2002 - Religion - 208 pages
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Throughout our lives we long to love ourselves more deeply and find a greater sense of connection with others. Our fear of intimacy—both with others and with ourselves—creates feelings of pain and longing. But these feelings can also awaken in us the desire for freedom and the willingness to take up the spiritual path.

In this inspiring book, Sharon Salzberg, one of America's leading spiritual teachers, shows us how the Buddhist path of lovingkindness can help us discover the radiant, joyful heart within each of us. This practice of lovingkindness is revolutionary because it has the power to radically change our lives, helping us cultivate true happiness in ourselves and genuine compassion for others. The Buddha described the nature of such a spiritual path as "the liberation of the heart, which is love." The author draws on simple Buddhist teachings, wisdom stories from various traditions, guided meditation practices, and her own experience from twenty-five years of practice and teaching to illustrate how each one of us can cultivate love, compassion, joy, and equanimity—the four "heavenly abodes" of traditional Buddhism.
 

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A life-changing book. Sometimes the most simple is the most profound. Salzberg's book reflects what the Dalai Lama has said: If you want others to be happy, practice compassion; if you want to be happy, practice compassion.
Chapter by chapter Salzberg shows through examples and meditations how to experience more compassion, joy, equanimity, forgiveness, and peace. I found myself rereading sections several times, especially as inspired by the day's events.
As I practiced LKM daily, I found it easier to move from anger to love, from envy to sympathetic joy, and even from shame to self-forgiveness. I also found it easier to move into some mindfulness meditations after having the experience of doing LKM. Having phrases to focus on rather than just my breath was a key first step to calming my mind and opening my heart.
I also love the way everything in this book complements what is showing up in the positivity and positivity resonance research of positive psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D.
 

Selected pages

Contents

1 The Revolutionary Art of Happiness
8
2 Relearning Loveliness
22
3 Facets of Lovingkindness
41
4 Hindrances to Lovingkindness
60
5 Working with Anger and Aversion
78
6 Breaking Open the Loving Heart
106
7 Developing the Compassionate Heart
130
8 Liberating the Mind through Sympathetic Joy
151
9 The Gift of Equanimity
173
10 The Power of Generosity
196
11 Living Our Love
218
For More Information
247
Credits
249
Back Cover
254
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Sharon Salzberg is one of America's leading spiritual teachers and authors. A practitioner of Buddhist meditation for over thirty years, she is a co-founder of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and the Insight Meditation Society, and she directs meditation retreats throughout the United States and abroad.

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