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Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier Hardcover – October 1, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
When I read the title of this book, my first question was, "How can I love people who've hurt me if I'm labeling them `enemies'?" I've learned that as soon as I see someone as separate from me and label him or her, I'm acting out of my ego, which means I cannot really love a person I call enemy.
Early into the reading, however, Thurman answered my question. He clarifies that "ultimately, we have no enemies. We think of an enemy as someone--or something--that blocks our happiness. But no other being can block our happiness; true happiness comes from within. Therefore, ultimately, we have no enemies."
Salzberg and Thurman use the term "enemy" so we can clearly understand the message of love and acceptance they share with us. The book offers tools we can put in practice any time to come to terms with our so-called enemies. I especially enjoyed the basic and specialized meditations in the Appendix.
Also, the authors explain how "love" means to "wish for the happiness of someone," so if we send thoughts of happiness to our enemies, we might not only bring happiness to these human beings (who are probably tormented as a result of their own actions,) but also achieve inner peace.
The most thought-provoking aspect of this book is the idea that we all have four kinds of enemies:
1. The outer enemy (people or institutions who've hurt us and situations that frustrate us.)
2. The inner enemy (negative emotions such as anger, hatred, and fear.)
3.Read more ›
I was eager to read this book to see how effectively I could apply its lessons.
Well … In the end, I was a little disappointed but I still think this book has a lot to offer.
First, I didn’t expect it to be quite so focused on blatant anger, but it is.
If you have issues with “anger management” and letting it fly when you’d rather not, then this would be a great book for you.
It touches on some of the more complex and subtle forms of anger such as feeling victimized, jealous, frustrated, resentful, etc. but its focus is on anger as an emotional outburst.
I have to admit, this may have been my own misunderstanding about what it was about. The subtitle is “How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier”, after all! Still, the description led me to believe it would have a more broad application.
I already knew that in my case, I needed relief more from my own thoughts and emotions than from the person with whom I’d been interacting!
>>> Outer vs. Inner
The book begins by addressing outer conditions and our surface experience of them, and works its way more and more inward to those parts of our being that we’re not as aware of.
For the first half, I thought I didn’t like it because so much of the outer that I/we are aware of was not so new or revealing.
But the second half gets much deeper and is more what I was after.Read more ›
Think of a person who really bugs you. Yes that one. Feel all the negative emotions as you imagine that person in the room with you right now. Did you know this supposed enemy could be one of your greatest teachers? That’s the premise put forth by Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman in their new book “Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & be a Whole Lot Happier”
“If there weren’t people trying to harm us or keep us from getting what we want, how would we learn patience and tolerance and forgiveness?” writes Thurman in the book’s introduction. People who anger us are just one type of enemy discussed by Thurman and Salzberg. There are three more:
The inner enemy: anger, hatred, fear, and other destructive impulses
The secret enemy: self-obsession and self-preoccupation, which isolate us from other people, leaving us frustrated and alone
The super-secret enemy: deep-seated self-loathing that keeps us from finding inner freedom and true happiness
The focus of “Love Your Enemies” is on what is happening inside of you, and not on other people. “The teachings and meditations in this book help us to draw on our own innate wisdom and compassion in order to transform our relationship with our enemies, both inner and outer,” writes Salzberg. Can I really be at peace no matter what others may say or do? A tall order, but “Loving Your Enemies” will move you towards that perspective.
I was confused with the mix of writing styles in the book. Robert Thurman is brilliant in his grasp of the human condition, but I find him difficult to understand at times. Salzberg is more down to earth.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book arrived in a great condition, and I look forward to reading it.Published 2 months ago by James Plaskett
For me, this was a bit of a "slog" through some material that I am fairly familiar with from reading other authors, all of whom made it more accessible than Thurman and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by MickieMac
This book is short, sweet, and to the point in terms of practicing Buddhist exercises to better get along with difficult people, including yourself.Published 10 months ago by Zebedee
A beautiful book and a lush mix of the writing styles of two very different teachers. I've done meditation following Salzburg since 2000 so really resonate with her. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Clark Freshman
Wonderful book whose ideas, if understood and practiced, would do a great deal to make our own lives and the world we all share a much better more humane place. Bravo! Read morePublished 14 months ago by diane lindsay