Friendly, Gentle, Kind
by Friends of Godwin
I’d like to describe a very important meditation which is called meditation of loving kindness. It is learning to be friendly to ourselves, learning to be friendly to others. The phrase I like to use is meditation of loving kindness helps us to be our best friend. Sometimes without our knowledge we are our own enemy; we do things which create suffering for us and suffering for others. We are not even conscious of what we are doing to ourselves. So with meditation of loving kindness, as I said, you learn to make a connection with yourself; you learn to feel really friendly, gentle, kind and tender to ourselves. And if we can learn to relate to ourselves in this way, then we can learn to relate to others in the same way. It is learning to open our hearts to ourselves and learning to open our hearts to others.
Another important aspect of loving kindness is to develop the quality of forgiveness. Sometimes we can be carrying wounds in relation to what you have done to others and what others have done to you. And we can be holding on to these wounds and we can really suffer from a lot of guilt in relation to what we have done to others, and then hatred and ill-will in relation to what others have done to you. So it is very important to learn to heal these wounds by learning to forgive ourselves and learning to forgive others.