Live from Deepak HomeBase, Sharon shares wisdom on learning to love your enemies.
Love your enemies? An enemy – whether within or without – as someone for whom we steadily feel antipathy or fear, marks the edge between limited loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity and the potential boundlessness of these qualities. In this special talk, Sharon explores inner and outer enemies, looks at the fear, anger and anguish generated by being stuck in a mode of “us” and “them”, and focuses on the liberation we are capable of.
A World That Could Use Some Love (Opening) – Sharon talks about making the commitment to make love part of the conversation, in a world that could use some love. That means loving even those who cause us pain or difficulty; loving our “enemies.”
Know Your Enemy (8:00) – Sharon modeled “Love Your Enemies” on a Tibetan system that classifies things as the outer, the inner, the secret, and the most secret. She discusses how these different aspects of the “enemy” play into our lives.
The inner enemy possesses forces such as grasping and fear that threaten to take over. Sharon talks about preventing this from happening by understanding the nature of what we are feeling.
“When we get lost in anger, we put people in a box.”
Secret Enemy (20:25) – The secret enemy is a more fundamental question of worldview. How alone do we really think we are? Do we experience this as a world of interconnection, or is it a solitary one? Sharon points out the problem with thinking we are isolated in the universe.
“There is this deep knowing that our lives have something to do with one another and that the rigid sense of self and other is a construct.”
Most Secret Enemy (26:00) – The most secret enemy is a sense of hopelessness for one’s self. It is the sense that we do not have the capacity to be different, that nothing can really amend. Sharon talks about finding the capacity that exists within us all to change.
“Think about love as an ability, as something we can exercise and bring forth.”
Mindful Activism and Righteous Anger (33:00) – Sharon takes questions from her live audience. She talks about connecting mindfulness to activism and finding light in dark times.
Is it possible or appropriate to classify a sense of anger as righteous? Particularly in the face of oppression or injustice? Sharon discusses not only the feeling of righteous anger but how to curb it.