I'm thrilled to be featured on Sharon Salzberg's Metta Hour Podcast this month, with a recording from our alternative Valentine's Day event at Deepak Homebase a few months ago. The episode starts and ends with me leading some chanting, and Sharon speaking on the topic of "Love Your Enemies". Enjoy!
For episode eighteen of the Real Love Podcast Series, Sharon looks at how we can cultivate compassion for our enemies with Lovingkindness practice.
This episode features kirtan lead by Lily Cushman who is the co-founder and director of the Brooklyn Yoga School, a donation-based center founded in 2010, and the Executive Assistant to Sharon Salzberg. Lily offers 20 years experience in classical yoga and chanting practice, infused with the wisdom tradition of Insight Meditation.
Kali Durge (Opening) – We begin with an opening chant of Kali Durge led by Lily Cushman.
More Than A Feeling (22:15) – Now more than ever it seems that world could use some extra love, but what does love really mean? Love is such a loaded word that we each have our own interpretation of. To make things easier, Sharon asks us to reconsider love as an ability and not a just feeling that we get from someone else.
“Think about love as an ability for a moment. Not as something in someone else’s hands to bestow upon us and therefore not as something that someone can take away from us.”
Cultivating Lovingkindness (30:15) – If love is an innate ability, then how do we cultivate it within ourselves? Sharon explores how the practice of Metta (Lovingkindness) allows us access to that love for anyone at any moment. She looks at the quality of friendship that is integral to Metta and re-examines what friendship means in our lives.
Love Your Enemies (48:45) – While some find it difficult to practice Lovingkindness towards themselves, the big difficulty for others comes in finding love for those they don’t get along with. Sharon discusses what it means to really love your enemies and practices we can use to remind ourselves of the love and light that resides within us all.
“It comes back to the unencumbered heart and the ability to recognize that we are part of the same universe. From the Buddhist point of view it comes back to everyone wants to be happy. We all want not just superficial happiness but we all want to be truly happy. To know we have a place in this world and to feel at home in our body, mind and this earth.”
Looking Within (59:30) – Sharon leads us in a Lovingkindness meditation and talks to the live audience about finding love and forgiveness for ourselves and those who have hurt us.
Jaya Sita Ram (1:13:00) – We close with a chant of Jaya Sita Ram led by Lily Cushman.