Program 158 • 29 mins


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In this program, we consider the considerable power — sometimes underestimated—of having benign intentions toward others. Sharon Salzberg—a teacher of Buddhist meditation, author of ‘Lovingkindness’, ‘Faith’ and other popular books, and co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society—shares an ancient technique known as lovingkindness meditation. Different versions are practiced in Christianity, Buddhism, and other traditions, but they all focus on consciously sending positive intentions to others and ourselves. Salzberg explains the steps of this practice and how it can afford greater calmness, help us be more aware of others and even alter the dynamics of relationships that are strained.

Friends of mine who are poets or musicians say they do ‘lovingkindness’ practices as a kind of antidote to stage fright. That if you’re standing up on the stage, and you’re looking out at all these people thinking, “They’re out to judge me,” that’s really scary. But if you’re offering them lovingkindness there’s much more of a sense of like, “Okay, we’re here together, just us folks,” and it’s a very different thing. And I’ve done that in my own life, and I’ve extended it to all kinds of different relationships and encounters. And I think also I’ve been able to hone a sense of—it’s almost like, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff.'”

—Sharon Salzberg, Meditation teacher and author of “Lovingkindness”


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