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Lions Roar : September 2017
LOVE PHOTOS BY CHRISTINE ALICINO nates me that while we are so obsessed with romance, many of us are turned off by the practice of love. When you tell someone that there’s really a practice—a way that many of us, especially those from dysfunctional backgrounds, can learn what it is to love—they are hesitant to fully accept that. Sharon, when you express your conviction in our innate capacity to love, I’m not sure many people really believe in that. Sharon Salzberg: Well, why would we, really? [laughter] There’s a line from an old Steve Carell movie, Dan in Real Life: “Love is not a feeling. It’s an ability.” I wanted to use that line in my book Real Love, but my editor pushed back, saying I couldn’t really say that because people think of love as a feeling. So I sort of fudged it and wrote, “While we might think of love as a feeling, we can also think of it as an ability.” That turned out to be the most important line in the book. It describes the essence of a transformative experience I had a long time ago. In 1985, I was in Burma practicing intensive loving-kindness medita- tion. I had been there three months when I had a realization. I saw that up Anytime we do the work of love, we are doing the work of ending domination. —bell hooks LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2017 55