Gil Fronsdal offers an extended loving-kindness practice that opens the heart to even the most difficult person in our lives.
Why practice loving-kindness for ourselves or others? Gil looks at what loving-kindness (Metta) practice has to offer and guides us through the practice – beginning with an offering of goodwill for ourselves.
“Part of the function of loving-kindness practice is to remove the ways that our hearts are closed to people.” – Gil Fronsdal
The doors to the heart that are closed off by anger, fear, jealousy, and guilt can be reopened be by practicing loving-kindness. We can learn not to judge ourselves. To be gentle and kind to ourselves – just as we are – here and now. From that place of grounded compassion, it becomes easier for us to extend the same quality of loving-kindness outward.
“You might begin with a person who it is easiest to have this goodwill for. For whom it is easiest to have well-wishing. It makes you happy to think of this person happy. Happy to open your heart and think of them as safe and smiling.” – Gil Fronsdal
What about those who are more difficult for us to offer loving-kindness towards? In this meditation, we learn to gradually open our hearts to even the most challenging and hurtful individuals in our lives. Seeing them for their true selves and not all the ways that they hurt us.
Explore questions around the practice of loving-kindness with Sharon Salzberg on Ep. 37 of the Metta Hour Podcast