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Can you really love your enemies?

Updated: Jan 2

calm image of person sitting on the end of a pier with mountains reflected in still water
Image credit: S Migja (Unsplash)

Meditation and yoga say by practicing metta (or kindness) we can learn.

The Loving Kindness meditation is one such practice.

This meditation calls on us to send love to ourselves, friends, strangers and people you dislike.

I struggled with the enemies.*

It’s a classic metta meditation with Buddhist roots. Perhaps it has stood the test of time because it is easy to remember for it’s repetitive nature?

Or, maybe it is recognising we can send love to others that we dislike then perhaps we can learn to love ourselves completely?

I’m not sure when we started to place expectations on ourselves as humans to be a certain way, perhaps it has always been a thing? These expectations seems to be creating a lot of discontentment within our current lives and selves.

It’s an interesting theme in Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s book “Open Heart Open Mind”. He struggles with an internal conflict as a Buddhist monk on what he views as good and bad thoughts as a monk. He finds his mind wandering to supposed ‘bad’ thoughts he is consumed with the feelings of being a fraud - sound familiar anyone?

In the book he raises this concern with his father, (also a teacher and monk). His father points to the clouds asking if they are good or bad. The answer runs along the lines of good for those see