CREDOS: Loving kindness — IV

The Buddha described what he meant by being a good friend. He talked about a good friend as som-eone who is constant in our times of happiness and also in our times of adversity. A friend will not forsake us when we are in trouble nor rejoice in our misfortune.

The practice of metta, uncovering the force of love that can uproot fear, anger, and guilt, begins with befriending ourselves. The foundation of metta practice is to know how to be our own friend. According to the Buddha, “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself deserve your love and affection.” How few of us embrace ourselves in this way! With metta practice, we uncover the possibility of truly respecting ourselves. We discover, as Walt Whitman put it, “I am larger and better than I thought. I did not think I held so much goodness.”

Seeing the goodness in someone does not imply ignoring the difficult qualities or unskillful actions. We can acknowledge these difficulties as we choose to focus on the positive. If we focus on the negative, we will feel anger, resentment, or disappointment. If we focus on the positive, we will forge a connection to the person.

Looking at people and communicating they can be loved and love in return gives them a gift. This is the power of metta: to teach our world and ourselves this inherent loveliness. — Beliefnet. com (concluded)