In our quest for true happiness and fulfillment during the course of our lives, nothing is more essential than giving and receiving love. But how well do we understand love's extraordinarily transformative powers? Can we really cultivate and appreciate its priceless gifts?
In How to Expand Love, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, offers a simple yet illuminating program for transforming self-centered energy into outwardly directed compassion. Drawing on exercises and techniques established in Tibetan monasteries more than a thousand years ago, the Dalai Lama guides us through seven key stages.
First, we learn ways to move beyond our self-defeating tendency to put others into rigid categories. We discover how to create and maintain a positive attitude toward those around us, in ever-widening circles. By reflecting on the kindnesses that close friends have shown us, particularly in childhood, we learn to reciprocate and help other people achieve their own long-term goals. And in seeking the well-being of others, we foster compassion, the all-encompassing face of love.
In this accessible and insightful book, His Holiness the Dalai Lama helps us to open our hearts and minds to the experience of unlimited love, transforming every relationship in our lives and guiding us ever closer to wisdom and enlightenment.
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June 13, 2005
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Excerpt from How to Expand Love by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
If the internal enemy of hatred is not tamed,
When one tries to tame external enemies, they increase.
Therefore, it is a practice of the wise to tame themselves
By means of the forces of love and compassion.
--BODHISATTVA TOKMAY SANGPO
When I speak about love and compassion, I do so not as a Buddhist, nor as a Tibetan, nor as the Dalai Lama. I do so as one human being speaking with another. I hope that you at this moment will think of yourself as a human being rather than as an American, Asian, European, African, or member of any particular country. These loyalties are secondary. If you and I find common ground as human beings, we will communicate on a basic level. If I say, "I am a monk," or "I am a Buddhist," these are, in comparison to my nature as a human being, temporary. To be human is basic, the foundation from which we all arise. You are born as a human being, and that cannot change until death. All else --whether you are educated or uneducated, young or old, rich or poor --is secondary.