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Mettā (Lovingkindness)

The Big Idea for Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Both Christianity and Buddhism embrace the philosophy of love your enemy, a philosophy that was revolutionary when it was first introduced and remains somewhat difficult to understand in a modern setting.

In today's lesson, Robert Thurman, Professor of Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, explains that loving our enemies is really about making peace with ourselves. Instead of returning anger with anger, Thurman advocates the practice of lovingkindness, a translation of the Pali word mettā that is found in the original Buddhist texts. 

Lovingkindness, Thurman says, is not an abstract idea but rater a practice that allows us to appreciate that everyone, including our enemies, want to be happy. And so instead of reflexively categorizing people as bad and wasting our energy by fighting them, we can elevate kindness and compassion "as the strengths they really are."




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Mettā (Lovingkindness)

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