If you could only choose one spiritual practice, a lot could be said for the cultivation of loving kindness toward yourself. Learn to cultivate a sense of great tenderness and compassion toward yourself. Embrace even your weaknesses and defects with this feeling. Let it penetrate and saturate your entire body and mind. Bathe yourself in the warmth and radiance of this feeling. Don’t be in a hurry to move past this, but when you have a sense that this feeling is naturally overflowing, then spread these thoughts of kindness toward those you love, toward those you don’t know, and even toward those who upset you.
When you do this, you will notice a great lightness of spirit. Loving others is no longer a should, an oppressive duty, but something that flows naturally out of the tenderness of your heart. Any sense of craving or lacking of someone or something outside yourself disappears, and you are at peace.
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