How to Love (Mindful Essentials)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
How to Love is the third title in Parallax’s Mindfulness Essentials Series of how-to titles by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, introducing beginners and reminding seasoned practitioners of the essentials of mindfulness practice. This time Nhat Hanh brings his signature clarity, compassion, and humor to the thorny question of how to love. He distills one of our strongest emotions down to four essentials: you can only love another when you feel true love for yourself; love is understanding; understanding brings compassion; deep listening and loving speech are key ways of showing our love.
Pocket-sized, with original two color illustrations by Jason DeAntonis, How to Love shows that when we feel closer to our loved ones, we are also more connected to the world as a whole. With sections on Love vs. Need, Being in Love, Reverence, Intimacy, Children and Family, Reconciling with Parents, and more, How to Love includes meditations you can do alone or with your partner to go deep inside and expand your own capacity to love.
Scientific studies indicate that meditation contributes tremendously to well-being, general health, and longevity. How to Love is a unique gift for those who want a comprehensive yet simple guide to understanding the many different kinds of love, along with meditative practices that can expand the understanding of and capacity for love, appropriate for those practicing in any spiritual tradition, whether seasoned practitioners or new to meditation.
person wants. The basis of loving someone else is to know yourself and to know what you need. I know a woman who suffered very much because she couldn’t say “no.” From the time she was young, whenever a man asked her for something, she felt she had to say “yes” even when she didn’t want to. It’s important that loving another person doesn’t take priority over listening to yourself and knowing what you need. THREE STRONG ROOTS To keep our commitment to our partner, and to weather the most
more beneficial neural pathways. LOVER AS HEALER The Sanskrit word karuna is often translated as “compassion.” Compassion means to “suffer with” another person, to share their suffering. Karuna is much more than that. It’s the capacity to remove and transform suffering, not just to share it. When you go to a doctor, it doesn’t help if she just shares your suffering. A doctor has to help heal the suffering. When you love someone, you should have the capacity to bring relief and help him to
suffer less. This is an art. If you don’t understand the roots of his suffering, you can’t help, just as a doctor can’t help heal your illness if she doesn’t know the cause. You need to understand the cause of your loved one’s suffering in order to help bring relief. LOVING MINDFULLY “Love” is a beautiful word, and we have to restore its meaning. When we say, “I love hamburgers,” we spoil the word. We have to make the effort to heal words by using them properly and carefully. True love includes
cause; it’s very vague, but that feeling of being empty inside is very strong. We expect and hope for something much better so we’ll feel less alone, less empty. The desire to understand ourselves and to understand life is a deep thirst. There’s also the deep thirst to be loved and to love. We are ready to love and be loved. It’s very natural. But because we feel empty, we try to find an object of our love. Sometimes we haven’t had the time to understand ourselves, yet we’ve already found the
in the new child. THE PRACTICE OF METTA To love is, first of all, to accept ourselves as we actually are. The first practice of love is to know oneself. The Pali word metta means “loving kindness.” When we practice Metta Meditation, we see the conditions that have caused us to be the way we are; this makes it easy for us to accept ourselves, including our suffering and our happiness. When we practice Metta Meditation, we touch our deepest aspirations. But the willingness and aspiration to love