To live kindness is to express the essential Buddhist wisdom of selflessness
Through stories from the ancient Pali canon of Buddhism and personal reflections on modern life, Dharma teacher Kevin Griffin reveals the richness and multifaceted nature of loving-kindness or metta on the Buddhist path. Along with the other brahmaviharas or “divine abodes” of compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity, the practice of loving-kindness is not only a meditation technique—it’s a radical way of life based in wisdom, ethics, and compassion for all beings. As one friend on the spiritual path speaking to another, Griffin explores the human dimension of what can sometimes seem like lofty philosophy. What would it mean to be completely free of ill will? How do we love without clinging? Can we expand our loving-kindness beyond the human realm to encompass the Earth itself? And how does loving-kindness relate to the ultimate Buddhist goal of enlightenment? Through guided practices and illuminating explorations of classical texts like the Metta Sutta, readers are invited to deepen their understanding of a core Buddhist teaching.
About the Author
KEVIN GRIFFIN, a leader in the mindful recovery movement and a Community Dharma Leader at Spirit Rock Meditation Center since 2000, is the author of five previous books, including the best-selling Buddhist recovery book One Breath at a Time. He has studied with the leading Western vipassana teachers, including Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, and Ajahn Amaro. He lives in the Bay Area and regularly teaches and leads retreats in the Insight Meditation community.
“A clear and well-sourced reflection on the classical Buddhist teachings on loving-kindness practice. Skillfully contextualizing these teachings for our current time, Kevin shows that they are as alive and relevant today as they were when they were first taught 2,600 years ago.”—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
“Kevin Griffin has written a practical and accessible guide on how to take loving-kindness and transform it from an idea into something we can truly live with and live by. This is a great support for practitioners in negotiating their experience of living in this world.”—Ajahn Pasanno, abbot Abhayagiri Monastery and author of Abundant, Exalted, Immeasurable
“Living Kindness is a liberating book, both for the intellect and the heart. Kevin Griffin is grounded in a deep understanding of what the Buddha taught, and he makes those teachings come alive with his personal stories and insights. Living Kindness is not just a guide to the spiritual path; it is also a companion.”—Wes Nisker, author of The Essential Crazy Wisdom and Buddha’s Nature
“Living Kindness is a delightful, inspiring, and profound book on one of the primary forms of love taught by the Buddha. Kevin Griffin’s decades of living with these teachings come through in these honest and insightful reflections.”—Gil Fronsdal, author of The Buddha before Buddhism: Wisdom from the Early Teachings
“The lucid analysis of Buddhist texts and the jargon-free examination of metta make this an ideal primer on a core element of Buddhist thought and practice.”—Publishers Weekly
“Aims to move metta from the feel-good realm to a lived experience off the cushion.”—Tricycle