Love is not just the intention to love, but the capacity to reduce suffering, and offer peace and happiness. The practice of love increases our forbearance, our capacity to be patient and embrace difficulties and pain. Forbearance does mean that we try to suppress pain.
― Thich Nhat Hanh
In light of the recent tragic events in New York and Las Vegas, we took this week as an opportunity to discuss and practice loving kindness. When we speak about loving kindness we’re talking about love in its most open and nurturing sense, a sincere desire for all beings (not just humans but all living beings) to have peace and be happy. We did this practice as a way to take care of ourselves in these distressing times and offer peace and happiness to others, specifically those who´ve recently been impacted by loss either of recent Skidmore alum Nicholas Cleve or other dear ones in their lives.
This week only the SOC IFG group met, as no one attended the All Student group, and in that session we discussed loving kindness not just as a way to bring more joy and happiness to ourselves and the world. For many communities of color the focus has only been to end pain leaving little the time or space to imagine anything beyond that. And so loving kindness is a truly revolutionary practice in that it dares to imagine a world where people of color can live not only free of pain but find happiness. We also expanded upon the previous week´s conversation on freedom to make a clear the link between the two. A sincere acknowledgement of and wish to alleviate pain as well as a desire for happiness, creates space for people to discover and explore who they are rather than unconsciously taking on the roles our racists, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic societies create for us.
Click here for more information and a simple loving kindness meditation.