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Lions Roar : March 2017
1. Loving-kindness Translated from the Sanskrit word mitra, or friend, the act of loving-kindness is the very act of befriending ourselves. If we cannot love ourselves, we have no hope of loving others. It is like throwing a lawn party and inviting all of your friends. You tell all your friends you want to serve them from your limitless keg of beer. “Great!” they say excitedly. “Where’s the tap?” If you can’t tap the limitless keg, no one can drink your beer, no matter how many plastic cups they’re holding. The same goes for love. You can hook up with any number of people, or hold the hands of family members, or go on a million dates, but if you haven’t unlocked your heart by befriending yourself there is no love to offer to those other beings. 2. Compassion Having befriended ourselves, we can offer our heart to others. We share in their joy and we share in their suffering. There are many types of suffering, and if we can become familiar with the many ways we suffer, then we will be more comfortable accommodat- ing and embracing the suffering of others. We can’t just be there for the good times; we need to be there for the bad as well. My personal definition of a lov- ing relationship is one where two people are able to stand shoulder to shoulder together to meet the many discomforts life presents them. That is a compassion- ate relationship, regardless of whether LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2017 73