Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: The key to loving kindness practice is realising that all the love you need is already within you.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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The goal of training in loving kindness is to create an ever-widening circle of love. We begin by learning to love ourselves. This might...


The goal of training in loving kindness is to create an ever-widening circle of love.




We begin by learning to love ourselves. This might take some time! Then we extend our love to those we find easy to love. Then we expand the circle wider by practicing love kindness towards those who we consider as neutral like a delivery driver or person walking down the street. Next up are those we find difficult, irritating, and aggravating. Then, our enemies. Ultimately, we expand the circle to include the whole world.




Of course, we don’t expect to love all beings in a flash. We focus on one stage at a time. Understandably, it’s going to get a little tricky when it comes to the people that we perceive as difficult.




The practice involves the repetition of simple, loving phrases, and begins with directing love towards yourself. Because, if we have no love for ourselves we won’t be able to give love to others. Often, people need to spend an extended period of time on just this first stage before moving on to extending their love to others.




Loving ourselves in a healthy way is not the same as being egotistical or narcissistic, which are characterized by thinking only – or mostly – of your own self. The motivation in this practice is to unblock our spring of love for both ourselves and all others.

Love: the Antidote to Anger and Fear




Loving kindness is considered an antidote to both fear and anger. The following delightful story describes how the practice first began and the power it holds to transform fear.







“This practice was first taught by the Buddha as an antidote to fear. He sent a group of monks to meditate in the forest that was inhabited by tree spirits. The spirits resented the presence of the monks and tried to drive them away by appearing as horrible visions. The monks were terrified and ran back to Buddha, begging him to send them to a different forest. He said, ” I am going to send you back to the forest, but I will provide you with the only protection you need.” He then gave the first teaching on loving kindness. When the monks returned to the forest and practiced loving kindness, the tree spirits were so moved by the loving energy that filled the forest that they resolved to care for and serve the monks in whatever way they could. So not only did the practice of loving kindness remove their fear, it also transformed the beings around them.” – The Heart of Compassion, Part 2 Loving Kindness, The Rigpa Study and Practice Program




The ability to love ourselves is extremely important because – as this story illustrates – it contains the power to heal the world.




The key to loving kindness practice is realising that all the love you need is already within you. We simply need to unblock it and let it shine. In doing so, we bring about our own happiness and add a dose of happiness to the world. It’s a process that any of us can move through successfully with time, patience, and perseverance.

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