True enemies may be easy to spot, but what about "near enemies"? If near enemies were people, we might call them "frenemies". A near enemy is a subtle quality that we may miss or confuse as useful or helpful when, in fact, it can become an obstacle to our mindfulness practice that is hidden from us or in disguise.
Compassion, lovingkindness, appreciative joy, and equanimity are beneficial mental states that could be considered four complimentary "flavors of love". Together they form a firm foundation upon which authentic love can take solid root in a way that is boundless & indestructible. We can cultivate these qualities through a dedicated mindfulness practice.
The practice of mindfulness can help us pause before reacting impulsively to acts of aggression or hatred. This makes space for considering the many choices available to us for responding with skill and wisdom. Evidence throughout history and in the research demonstrates that a more reasoned and compassionate response leads to better long term outcomes for us all.
Aversion involves the desire to turn away from or avoid something unwanted. Most often experienced as annoyance, disliking, disgust, or even hatred, aversion obscures reality by turning attention away from what is present, preventing us from truly understanding our experience. By learning to face aversion, we can gather important information that can help us respond to life situations with greater ease and wisdom.
Compassion is openness to the presence of suffering combined with the desire to eliminate it and its causes. In this culture we can easily find ourselves swimming in a sea of fear and pain. Immersed every day in stories and images of danger and loss, we may feel we are barely able to keep our own heads … Continue reading Cultivating Wise Compassion