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Lions Roar : May 2019
LOVING-KINDNESS PRACTICE FOR ONLINE DATING 1. May I be present and clear about my intentions for dating as I swipe and meet others. 2. May I be free from the fear of saying or doing something foolish. 3. May I use wise speech in all of my communication. 4. May all beings keep a sense of humor. 5. May we be free from bad lighting and the causes of bad lighting. 6. May we not be attached to the way we looked ten years ago. 7. May your good looks take you far in life. 8. May someone find adorable your strangely- shaped head or love of electronic music. 9. May the person you cropped out of your profile pic be happy. 10. May I not take my thoughts too seriously. 11. May all beings be free from the delusion of happily ever after. 12. May I not take the flakiness of others personally. 13. May I respect my own boundaries and the boundaries of others. 14. May I risk vulnerability in the appropriate circumstances. 15. May all beings remember we are made of love. Partners are just the beautiful people with whom we walk along the path. — Melvin Escobar and Yael Shy it also gives me hope. Because I realized in doing this that I actually do want to be loved. I thought this was a journey of meeting other people. But it turned out to be a journey of meeting myself.” Alicia pressed “delete” on her online dating profile. “I didn’t know I had so many versions of me,” she says, shaking her head at her lessons in love. At the end of this journey, I asked our experts the big question: “How do we cultivate authenticity in this artificial environment?” To cultivate authenticity, Melvin Escobar says we have to feel safe in ourselves. “We can only build real intimacy to the extent we are vulnerable. But can we be safely vulnerable?” he asks. “Because when we make ourselves vulnerable, old harms can get activated. “Authenticity can only arise when there is equanimity,” says Escobar. “It is only natural when we meet a potential romantic partner to have anxiety and doubt, which are opposites of equa- nimity. However, if you’re striving for equanimity you might miss the mark and can land in indifference, the near enemy of equanimity. Dating is basically a declaration of needs—for love, for companionship, for connection. Indifference prevents these authentic needs from arising, though it might make us feel safe.” The answer? “Mindfulness,” says Escobar. “Mindfulness is the best way to deal with our reactivities in dating.” “To me,” says Yael Shy, “being authentic means accepting everything: All of the excitement and hope and even despera- tion. All of the fear and anxiety and questions. It means taking a deep breath and committing, over and over again, to being honest and brave. And if it becomes too much, I think taking a step back, like Alicia did, is never a bad thing. “Just remember that you are worthy of love, just by being alive,” Shy says. “It’s okay to be bummed when something doesn’t work out. It’s okay to feel hurt and grieve the loss of a rejection. But when you can, gently remember who you are. Remember your beautiful, shining, interconnected nature. Come back to your original desire—why you signed up to online date in the first place. Your vulnerability and open heart may be why you are suffering now, but they are also the only path forward.” Shy reminds us that the Buddha once said, “Be a light unto yourself.” “You are the light,” she says. “You are made of love. Partners are just the beautiful people with whom we walk along the path.” May all of us, and Alicia, remember these words as we put our vulnerable hearts forward, walking our paths toward loving and being loved. ♦ ©LUMINA/STOCKSYUNITED