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Loving-kindness: The Revolutionary Art of…

Loving-kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

by Sharon Salzberg

Other authors: Jon Kabat-Zinn (Foreword)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This one is alternately encouraging and overwhelming, with odd exotic anecdotes. It's all about trying to be a kinder, better person - always a bit of a squirm inducing subject, but definitely worth reading about. I've been meditating regularly for a couple of months now and am hoping to wear some happier ruts in my brain. (August 12, 2006) ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
Sharon has a great deal of helpful information included in this text. I highly recommend it. So why not give it more stars? Maybe it just needs some time to sink in and be digested. I will be reading this again. ( )
  Velmeran | Mar 31, 2019 |
"Love can uproot fear or anger or guilt, because it is a greater power."

This is an amazing, life-changing, immensely wise book that everyone should read. Sharon Salzberg explains the Buddha's teachings about practicing lovingkidness, sympathetic joy, compassion and equanimity, together which brings us happiness. She illustrates the impediments to this practice - clinging, judgment, envy, anger, fear, and so forth - with tremendous insight. At the end of each chapter, she gives concrete, detailed instructions to meditation practice and real life practice that are simple to follow.

The key to achieving happiness lies within each of us. Start by reading this book.
( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
Sharon Salzberg has practiced Buddhist meditation for many years, so the book provides much information about Buddhism. Though reading the book requires focus and concentration, I found it to be enlightening and inspiring. It also absolutely exudes lovingkindness, which is a main factor attracting me to a book, though I was not previously familiar with the term.

Lovingkindness is a translation of the Pali word “metta”, which is the first of the brahma-viharas, or the “heavenly abodes”. The others – compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity - “grow out of metta, which supports and extends these states”.

The author is open about her own shortcomings and episodes that have contributed to her development, and provides us with many personal stories that add to the book’s readability.

The Buddha presented the metta meditation as an antidote to fear. A mind involved with lovingkindness cannot be overcome by fear. Lovingkindness overcomes the illusion of separatenesss and all its accompanying states - “fear, alienation, loneliness, and despair – all of the feelings of fragmentation”.

When we feel love, we can allow ourselves to be fully aware of the entirety of life – both pleasures and pains. “Love can uproot fear or anger or guilt, because it is a greater power”.

Metta begins with loving ourselves. We ourselves deserve our love and affection. We must focus on the goodness in others, and will thus forge a connection to them. The force of metta “allows us to cohere, to come together within ourselves and with all beings”.

What I most appreciated in the book was the numerous exercises. The first exercise advises us to call to mind kind or good actions we have done, or qualities we appreciate about ourselves. In the second exercise we practice befriending ourselves by repeating phrases relating to what we wish for ourselves.

There are four phrases generally used:

“May I be free from danger.”
“May I have mental happiness.”
“May I have physical happiness.”
“May I have ease of well-being.”

I personally have chosen the phrases:

“May I be healed, completely healed.”
“May I fulfill my life purpose.”
“May I be loving.”
“May I be blissful.”

We begin by reflecting on the good within us or our wish to be happy. Then we repeat the four phrases we have chosen, again and again. After doing this exercise I feel really good.

In later exercises we repeat the chosen phrases directed towards others – a benefactor, a neutral person, a difficult person, difficult aspects of oneself, all beings, all females, all males, all enlightened beings, all those in ignorance, etc, etc.

There are chapters on facets of lovingkindness, hindrances to lovingkindness, working with anger and aversion, developing the compassionate heart, the power of generosity, etc, etc. (There is also a useful exercise on compassion for those who cause pain.)

I found this to be a most wonderful book, which I will need to re-read several times. I greatly recommend this well-written and absolutely inspiring book to all those who wish to develop a loving heart. I will be looking out for other books by this author. ( )
1 vote IonaS | Jun 14, 2013 |
Sharon Salzberg introduces the power and peace of the ancient Buddhist philosophy of lovingkindness. The author teaches readers the historical background, philosophical underpinnings, and techniques designed to promote a more objective, compassionate approach to existing with oneself and the world.
  Shinsengumi | Apr 9, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg is, in our opinion, one of the best Buddhist books ever written on the topic of lovingkindness (metta). Not only does it provide the reader with all of the background information needed to understand what lovingkindness is (which makes the content accessible to everyone) it also delivers plenty of instruction on actually practicing lovingkindness and cultivating more love, compassion, joy and equanimity in our own lives.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sharon Salzbergprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kabat-Zinn, JonForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kabot-Zinn, JonForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 157062903X, Paperback)

Sharon Salzberg, a meditation teacher and the founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts, focuses on a kind of Buddhist practice that emphasizes feelings of love, happiness, and compassion. Metta, or "lovingkindness," meditation involves four phrases: "May I be free from danger"; "May I have mental happiness"; "May I have physical happiness"; "May I have ease of well-being." (Some readers will find this surprising, since the most commonly known meditation techniques have little "content"--you simply repeat a single word or phrase, observe your breath, or observe your thoughts as they pass through your mind.) Other exercises in this book are intended to increase your connection to and intimacy with others, by directing these positive sentiments outward toward specific people or the world in general. This book will probably be best appreciated by those who have some experience with meditation already, but anyone can appreciate the way it takes a practice often considered mystical and turns it into a means of creating joy. --Ben Kallen

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:04 -0400)

Explains how the Buddhist path can help individuals discover the inner joy within themselves, and shares simple Buddhist teachings and suggestions for meditation.

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