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Lions Roar : November 2013
your enemy feel good!) Imagine your enemy being happy to see you, or if you can’t quite summon up that vision, imagine them at least as not being angry with you. Imagine your enemy being happy enough with their own life to have neither the time nor the inclination to bother you. Think of what would make your enemy truly satisfied, truly pleased. It may not be what you assume your enemy wants—that is, domination over you. When you are no longer bothering your enemy, no longer standing in the way of what that person wants, then your enemy will no longer be interested in bothering you. In visualizing yourself from the enemy’s perspective, you start to see that what makes you vulnerable to your enemies is your sense of being fundamentally different from them. But when you realize that in very basic ways you are the same—at a minimum, you share a desire to be happy and not to be in pain—then you don’t want to spoil the happiness of your en- emies any more than you want them to spoil yours. When you truly grasp that it is the projection of your own hurt and anger and fear that turns someone into your enemy, and you are able to recognize your kinship as fellow human be- ings, it releases the energy you previously invested in defending yourself and your ego. Now you can use this precious energy to work on rooting out the inner enemies, such as anger, fear, and jealousy. In this way, the enemy you so disliked becomes your ally: your teacher, your helper, even—dare I say it—your friend. Eventually you will even be able to see the beauty in your enemy, and you will feel free of inner anxiety about them. Then, whenever you happen to meet that person, you will no- tice that they seem less troublesome to you. And your new attitude toward your former enemy will affect them, too, and they will be less antagonistic toward you, though they may not consciously know why. Now you can meditate on seeing your life as one of being among friends. ♦ A friend once told me that from a young age, whenever he heard the commandment “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” his heart would soar. Then inevitably, his next thought would be the troubled question: But how? SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2013 41