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Love's In Need Of Love Today

As the month of August draws to a close, I'd like to acknowledge the incomparable Stevie Wonder, and the message so eloquently phrased in his tremendous song, "Love's In Need Of Love Today". That thought was no doubt true when he wrote the song, and it's also true, today.

In Buddhist parlance, the song is a plea for what some would refer to as Metta Bhavana-- a meditation that cultivates love, friendliness and kindness toward others. As opposed to some other meditations which tend to be inward-facing, metta meditation is an outward-facing practice that is directed to all sentient beings (that is, all beings capable of feeling emotion).

It's a simple meditation that I've led and taught in classes, and it consists (for me) of four simple thoughts that are suggested and repeated silently to one's self:

May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be safe.
May you find ease in your life.

As we silently repeat those wishes, we are invited to think of: 1) someone we know well, and of whom we are particularly fond; 2) someone with whom we are familiar, don't know well, but nonetheless think kindly of; 3) someone with whom we are familiar, and not fond of; 4) others we may not know, but with whom we share a specific association; and 5) others we don't know, but with whom we share a more general association.

One of my favorite meditation websites is Wildmind, hosted by a man named Bodhipaksa and among others things, he has a number of pages devoted to, "What metta is". The discussions are insightful, thought provoking, and written in terms that are accessible to pretty much any reader.

Having learned a bit more about the concept of metta, you might even consider a metta meditation, before casting your vote in the November election (assuming you live in, or will vote in, the United States election).

Love is in need of love, today. Don't delay-- send it right away!



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