Enemies, real and imagined, are all around us and inside us, preventing us from finding inner freedom and true happiness.
In their new book, Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier, Robert Thurman and Sharon Salzberg offer a practical guide, inspired by Buddhist philosophy, on how to identify our enemies and transform our relationship to them.
Thurman and Salzberg draw from ancient spiritual wisdom as well as modern psychology in order to present tools and meditation methods such as lovingkindness, or the understanding that other people aren’t just looking to cause us harm, they want to be happy too.
If this seems too mushy for you, the authors argue that “there is nothing weak or defeatist about not confronting our enemies directly.” Rather, you need to look for ways to avoid being trapped in the role of victim or aggressor: “We are so conditioned to relating to others in adversarial terms,” the authors write, “that we seldom think of how futile that is as an everyday code of conduct.”
Thurman and Salzberg will be sharing the lessons of their book on Big Think, and you can submit your questions for our consideration in the comments below.
And for those of you who think you’re happy enough as it is, consider the video below, in which Thurman, a professor of Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, contends that true happiness occurs when we’re least aware of it.
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