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Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Shambhala Classics) Paperback – September 3, 2002
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"Salzberg exposes the warm beating heart at the center of Buddhism."—New Age Journal
"Reading Salzberg's book produces the sense of having been gifted abundantly."—Sylvia Boorstein, Turning Wheel
"Sharon Salzberg's book illuminates the heart of lovingkindness like a lamp in the darkness, like the clearing of the fog, like a sunrise on a beautiful morning—it brings light so that all those with eyes may see."—Jack Kornfield, author of After the Ecstasy, the Laundry
"Lovingkindness is a profound exploration of the deepest meanings of love, empathy, and caring. It offers psychological insights of real spiritual value and practical utility."—Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
About the Author
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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I read about "Loving kindness" on a blog post on the University of California' greater good in action website. The blog post was about how research showed that practicing loving-kindness meditation for seven consecutive days can increase positive feelings such as joy and referred this book.
It didnt disappoint. It is well-written, easy to follow and yet, I found that the author can also be poetic at times, and is even entertaining.
Each chapter includes a general explanation and at least a couple of practical exercises. For me, it was the perfect introduction to the practice.
The author also introduces the reader to various practicioners (masters etc) often by quoting them. I leave you with this gem:
"The Thai meditation master Ajahn Chah describes this happiness we can attain through meditation practice: 'Your mind will become still in all surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things..."
After several months of advice and searching, someone suggested Metta meditation to help me reconnect to myself and the world, and to help me feel safer. They suggested I buy this book, because Metta classes are hard to find. Long story short, it worked. Even just using the instruction in this book, and even without an actual teacher to guide me, I was able to get a practice going that made me feel better almost immediately. Just two short Metta sessions per day based on Ms.Salzberg's instructions (which was all the time I could physically spend sitting), was enough to restore my sense of myself, make me feel much more attached to the world, and to feel powerful despite my disabilities. Once this practice let me reconnect with my naturally loving and optimistic spirit, it unfolded fairly quickly that I felt deeply soothed and more secure every minute of every day.
I cannot recommend this practice more highly, and if you don't have a Metta teacher available to you, this book is the best place to get started. If you suffer from some kind of trauma, sense of unreality or inability to connect with others and the world around you, or some kind of severe emotional pain, this is the way to go. I think that for ordinary life stresses or spiritual development, insight meditation or Zen or some other kind like that might be fine, but if something really nasty has happened to you, or if something really unpleasing happened to you in the past that's eroding your ability to live a normal, happy life, Metta meditation is the way to go. Thanks to its clear, simple explanations and easy-to-remember mantra, this book is the place to go when you need to be healed.
May you be happy
May you be peaceful
May you be free from fear and pain
May you live life with ease.....
May all beings be happy....