One of the most erudite, spiritually nourishing and comprehensive books on the topic of love – of self, others and the world. Encompassing romantic and platonic love, familial love, friendship and more, by one of the world’s foremost experts on Loving Kindness Meditation.
Genre: Non-Fiction, Spirituality, Psychology, Buddhism, Self-Help
Publisher: Flatiron books
Review in one word: Helpful
Written in short chapters that culminate in in-depth guided meditations, this is a book that spans vast tracts of interdisciplinary knowledge from the areas of Buddhism, Christianity, Psychology, Sociology and brings together these fields in a compelling, thought-provoking and deeply nourishing way. This is a book for the soul and spirit yes – but tempered with scientific knowledge and grounded practical advice for how to improve one’s ability to give and receive love in its variety of different forms.
I loved this book’s approachable, gentle and thought-provoking style. If only schools taught children how to love and why that is important we would all stand to benefit and live in a much better and kinder world. I suppose that this is the missed opportunity of learning from parents or school in childhood and many of us sail through life not actually understanding love, how to cultivate it, how to keep it, how to give it freely to others.
There is a reason why this book is so immensely helpful and calming, Sharon Salzberg is a leading expert in Lovingkindness meditation and throughout the book she encourages people to identify and do away with negative habits and obstacles. She helps us to analyse and break down the experience of authentic love relationships.
The only negative I will say about this book is that there is a focus in each chapter on examples to illustrate conundrums and problems around love in people’s lives, presumably gathered from Salzberg’s extensive career helping people through issues they face. These parts I found tedious and unnecessary and a lot of the time I think, many people won’t relate to the minutia of other people’s lives – or at least that was the case for me. Overall I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.