Loving Kindness

The first step we take away from selfishness and towards altruism, limitless compassion and our ultimate enlightenment, is to engage in the practice of loving kindness. Through this practice, we learn to love ourselves, and create the basis for loving others. As Maitreya said, “The water of compassion courses through the canal of loving kindness“. Filling our hearts with love is a way of being tremendously happy. It softens our heart and brings gentleness.
(from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)

The practice of loving kindness is a very effective way to work with emotions.

Going through the different stages of the practice provides an with an opportunity to meet and purify the different negative emotions which normally block our ability to love. It is also especially effective for overcoming the problems of lack of self-love and low self-esteem.

The Buddhist training in loving kindness also includes meditations on compassion, joy and equanimity. Since loving kindness is seen as the main meditation and the other three are considered extensions and refinements of loving kindness, this introductory course will focus mainly on the first. While loving kindness stands as a training in its own right, in the Mahayana tradition it is seen as a basis and preparation for training in bodhichitta, and provides a platform from which to enter the four immeasurables.

This course presents a practical training in loving kindness in a rich and profound, yet simple and accessible way. The teachings and the practice will be based on teachings by Sogyal Rinpoche, including Chapter 12 of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

‘Introduction to the Practice of Loving Kindness’ is suitable for both newer and more experienced students. Meditation practitioners will find that it is an excellent complement to sitting practice, whilst ngöndro students will find loving kindness enriches their ngöndro practice. In particular, it increases our capacity to receive blessings and to feel their loving quality. Each of the ten sessions combines video selections of teachings by Sogyal Rinpoche, instructions, guided meditations, personal reflection and group discussion.

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