Napa Valley Insight Meditation Message Board › Loving kindness - Readings for Wednesday February 27th
I hope you have had an enjoyable week. This Wednesday (February 27) we will continue our exploration of the 7th Step of the Awakening Joy Program, “The Sweetness of Loving Ourselves.” We will cover the following two sections during our discussion period:
- Shifting the Focus (page 185)
- Planting the Seeds of Love for Ourselves (page 189)
A copy of the readings can be printed out by clicking on the link below:
Buddhism, as it is practice here in the west, has begun to emphasize the importance of compassion and loving kindness practice as a way to help practitioners gain greater insights into the causes of their suffering. Unlike our eastern counterparts, we in the west tend to be much more self-critical and less tolerant of our mistakes. Such intolerance often makes it difficult to find greater peace and happiness through mindfulness practice, as these feeling may overwhelm our capacity for greater insight.
The good news is that we don’t have to like everything about ourselves to love ourselves. We just need to learn to stop having so much aversion to the parts of ourselves that we don’t like. Instead of getting caught up in judgment and self-hatred, loving kindness practice helps us shift our focus to more positive ways of regarding ourselves. By embracing our imperfections with kindness and caring, we begin the process of transcending the ego and connecting with our true essence.
As the Dalai Lama says, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.