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Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Shambhala Classics) Paperback – September 3, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Shambhala Classics
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; Revised edition (September 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157062903X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570629037
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Another seminal work in the development of American Theravada, this expression of the central thrust of Vipassana and Insight Meditation explores ways to incorporate a caring mindfulness into day-to-day life.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Sharon Salzberg has been a student of Buddhism since 1971, and leading meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. She teaches both intensive awareness practice (vipassana or insight meditation) and the profound cultivation of lovingkindness and compassion (the Brahma Viharas). She is a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts and The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Sharon's latest book is Real Happiness At Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace, published by Workman Publishing. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is also the author of several other books including the New York Times Best Seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program (2010), Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier with Robert Thurman (2013), Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience (2002), and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (1995).

Sharon Salzberg is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. The ancient Buddhist practices of vipassana (mindfulness) and metta (lovingkindness) are the foundations of her work. "Each of us has a genuine capacity for love, forgiveness, wisdom and compassion. Meditation awakens these qualities so that we can discover for ourselves the unique happiness that is our birthright." For more information about Sharon, please visit: www.SharonSalzberg.com.



Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is a well concieved book, and has a very personal, kind tone.
K. D. Jones
That makes it a book I can strongly recommend, regardless of your religious inclinations, if you want to practice metta meditation.
Wyote
I love this classic book on Loving-Kindness and the simple, straightforward exercises to help you practice metta meditation.
Lazo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

250 of 255 people found the following review helpful By Wyote VINE VOICE on May 2, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not a Buddhist, but I've practiced insight (vipassana) meditation for several years. I was curious about lovingkindess (metta) meditation, which I'd heard of when I was in Burma, although as a beginner, I chose to stick to insight meditation.

Somehow I thought this book would be the best introduction to me, and I ordered it. But let me confess, at first I failed to appreciate it. I read about 20 pages, I was bored, and I put the book down for about 8 months. That's fine, insight meditation never hurt anyone.

I don't remember why I was initially so bored by the book. Perhaps it was because of her conversational style, full of stories from her own or her friends' experiences. Most people like that kind of thing, it makes the author's ideas easier to understand, more familiar and more human; but I usually prefer an author to state their point and move on, without personal stories. Anyway, the stories she shares actually illuminate her points quite well.

When I picked the book up again (8 months later), somehow it hit me this time. I read it in about 2 weeks, and it only took me that long because I actually did many of the meditation exercises she suggests. I intend to keep going back and doing more of them.

She does a good job presenting the tradition of metta meditation, as far as I can tell, although I'm certainly no expert on it.

Since she's Buddhist, naturally she believes in karma and reincarnation, but I don't. So I, as a thorough skeptic, appreciated the lack of supernaturalism throughout the book. In the penultimate chapter she gave an account of karma, but that was all. She was very considerate to skeptics in that regard.
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81 of 85 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
Lovingkindness : The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg is by far one of the best books ever written. And contrary to what others have said in their reviews, I believe that this book can be read by anyone. If meditation makes you uncomfortable, thing of it as a positive affirmation. Ms. Salzberg teaches us how to appreciate life and those around us. It really is a great book: one of three that I always keep by my bedside and refer to frequently! I highly, highly recommend it!!
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Sedro on December 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sharon Salzberg is such a capable, warm, and inspiring voice for Western Buddhism. This work beautifully weaves together Buddhist philosophy and practice, reality and practicality, compassion and joy. She fleshes out concepts of meditation and mindfulness using her own experiences, often amusing, without drawing attention to herself. Rather, she is a skilled teacher who guides the student on his/her own journey.
Whether Buddhist or not, beginner mind or monk, most readers will celebrate this work.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By lneill@gateway.net on August 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the few books I would actually read over and over. It's incredibly down-to-earth and is full of great quotes you keep in mind all day long. It invites you to think about your perception of yourself and others in a very different light. There is so much common sense in the buddhist way of relating to each other, but we don't often use our common sense.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Swing King on March 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
Loving-kindness meditation is unique to our Buddhist traditions, and in this book Sharon Salzburg presents us with an informative body of work on it's practice. She uses her understanding and know-how drawn from many years of practice to point each and every one of us to the realization that the light of love is already within us all. Loving-kindness must be aimed at two sources: ourselves and all beings.
Sharon talks a bit about what holds us back from this realization, ranging from our attachments to antagonism. One of the first rules to breaking down these impediments is the act of giving, not just giving in a material sense but ultimately giving the breadth of our very being; compassionate action, not just loving-kindness thoughts. This book should speak to all of us, and for this reason alone I give it 5 stars.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. V. Lewis VINE VOICE on November 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am not overstating in saying that I owe much of my happiness to the principles this book so clearly, intelligently, and accessibly presents. The principle of loving-kindness is explained in short, marvelously fat-free chapters, at the end of each of which are excellent guided suggestions for practice. The book is impeccably written and edited. These meditations have helped me through profound grieving, which has transformed into joy and new insight.

I especially recommend this book for readers who are experiencing divorce or other difficult interpersonal problems. Short of an expensive and demanding meditation retreat I can think of no better practice for unconditional love and happiness. This is worth a mint in therapy!

No religious belief in Buddhism is necessary.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By rh002ns@munich.netsurf.de on September 24, 1997
Format: Paperback
While self-help books abound, promising deliverance from all that ails us, Sharon Salzberg's "Loving Kindness, refreshes. Her writings burn themselves clean...in that, one is not tangled up with an author presenting her version of a spiritual path, rather she is the path itself, unfolding for who ever wants to journey. From the opening lines in chapter one: "We can travel a long way and do many different things, but our deepest happiness is not born from accumulating new experiences. It is born from letting go of what is unnecessary and knowing ourselves to be always at home." to the last chapter, entitled, "Living Our Love", Ms. Salzberg writes with dignity and care about that which she deeply knows.
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