Maintaining lovingkindness for our adversaries carries the day

Aug 19, 2015 Maintaining lovingkindness for our adversaries carries the day


My teacher Sharon Salzberg teaches the power of metta/lovingkindness, having studied with lovingkindness legend Dipa Ma decades ago in India, and writing and presenting about lovingkindness. It is more powerful to have compassion for our adversaries than to despise them.

In this video, during Lovingkindness month, Sharon shows a simple way to put the practice into action through #StreetLovingkindness , simply wishing that each person going to and fro be happy, be healthy and transcend adversity.

With Sharon four years ago, I for the first time experienced meditation as feeling time and space as limitless and myself as limitless in time and space. Through meditation, the dust and gunk drop off my proverbial weapons and the clutter leaves my mind so that I am fully battle ready, able to have persuasive empathy even with the seemingly most underhanded and heartless opponent. With meditation, the risks of being angry, and thus weak, fall away. Strong non-duality is at once not to let others get under my skin, to effectively engage the situation and to maintain compassion for me and all others.


Imagine sitting in mutual meditation in the same room with your most underhanded and heartless-seeming opponent, when s/he has nobody to grandstand for, no reason to throw dirt in the opponent’s eyes, and no reason to do anything but get towards center. Better yet, see what happens if such a session becomes a reality.

During this mutual meditation, resist the temptation to attack the opponent while s/he is off guard. Instead make this an opportunity to see the opponent as at once both a potential danger and yearning for harmony.

Now you will be more powerful in every way dealing with that opponent.

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