Saturday, 14 February 2009

Caring for Ourselves this Valentine's Day

The practice of metta (lovingkindness), uncovering the force of love that can uproot fear, anger, and guilt, begins with befriending ourselves. The foundation of metta practice is to know how to be our own friend. According to the Buddha, "You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." How few of us embrace ourselves in this way! With metta practice we uncover the possibility of truly respecting ourselves. We discover, as Walt Whitman put it, "I am larger and better than I thought. I did not think I held so much goodness."

Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness

Everyday Mind,
edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book.

Received as
Daily Dharma from on the 14th of February 2009


Alice said...

Happy to see we're on the same wavelength! May we all be our own BFF!

Sara at On Simplicity said...

We all need a reminder of this now and then. Loving yourself has come to be seen as selfish and indulgent, but so is expecting everyone else to fill the void we should be filling ourselves. I love the Whitman quote; it has such a sense of innocence.

The Buddhist Conservative said...

Of all the Buddha's teachings, this was one of the hardest for me to wrap my noodle around. At first it seemed to go against the early message of always putting others first.

It took a lot of contemplation for me to understand the simplicity of the message in these words. Without the realization that we are worthy of loving ourselves first, we cannot begin to love all living things completely.

Accepting this fact, most of the time, has given me a greater appreciation of the beauty of things as they are.

Thank you for posting this. May we all be filled with loving kindness for ourselves and all things.


Puerhan said...

Thank you for your comments. It can be quite a challenging lesson to learn and to put into action I find!