We all yearn for connection, yet often feel trapped by our sense of isolation, anger, envy, and other forms of aversion. Ultimately, our minds get in the way of this yearning, as we spin stories and assumptions around in our heads that keep us feeling alienated from one another. However, in Real Love, bestselling author and meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg will teach you to redefine and open up the limited definitions of "love" and experience it in a more essential way.
This book provides a pathway towards a more sustainable and authentic model of love by offering a creative toolkit of mindfulness exercises, meditation techniques, and interactive applications that will guide readers through the process of stripping away layers of habit to find a truer meaning of love, to "real love."
The book is divided into four sections, each addressing a distinct experience of "real love": love for the self, love for another individual, love for all beings, and love for life itself
Working from the inside out, the first step on the journey is to learn to love yourself; only then will you be able to share your love with the rest of the world. As you work through each layer you will become more present and adapt to things as they actually are. And it is only when we are truly engaged with present experiences that we not only are able to feel more connected to our own core selves, but also to those around us.
"If I had to describe Sharon Salzberg’s work in only two words, they might be: 'only connect.' If there were only one word, that would be even easier: 'love.' In Real Love, one of the world’s leading authorities on love tells us how to find it, how to nurture it, how to honor it—and most of all how to rethink it. Salzberg shows us how to experience love not as an emotion, not as the byproduct of a particular romantic or familial relationship, but as an ability, that all of us can cultivate. This book has the power to set your heart at peace.” —Susan Cain, author of Quiet
"Sharon Salzberg is an amazing teacher, and her words and inspiration in Real Love illuminate the way to love wisely, a treasure for your heart." —Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart
"This expert's guidebook cuts deftly through layers of modern confusion to the core of what it means to love and be loved. Salzberg has penned a treasure-house of practical tools and rituals mined from her own tenure mending wounded hearts in the trenches of human relationships. This book offers up frank practical stories and wisdom about love, communication, and relationships indispensable to all." —Amanda Palmer
"Writing with compassion and keen insight Real Love opens the heart, helping everyone understand love as revolutionary spiritual practice." —bell hooks
"In a most lively and inspiring way Sharon Salzberg shows that unconditional love—for ourselves, for our dear ones, for all sentient beings—is naturally present within our hearts. Even when love from others and to others seems out of reach, what we really need to do is to let it come to the surface and express itself inexhaustibly. Real Love is a precious guide to experience the most supreme of all emotions." —Matthieu Ricard, author of Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World
"In Real Love, Sharon Salzberg combines the brilliance of her understanding, the depth of her compassion, and the incisive friendliness of her writing skills to create a book that illuminates the many subtleties and nuances of love. Real love is not an abstraction, and Sharon brings it to life in ways that can uplift us all." —Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening
"Sharon Salzberg's Real Love is a genuine offering of love that immediately befriends the reader. It is a practical, how-to guide for unearthing the love within oneself, no matter how buried. It's also a gentle but insistent invitation, both clear-eyed and kind, to find the real love in others and in our world at a time when it is most urgently needed." —Sarah Jones, Tony- and Obie-award winning playwright and actress
"Sharon Salzberg is the superstar of lovingkindness meditation. No one has done more to spread this powerful method for kindling universal love in our hearts." —Daniel Goleman
"Sharon's teachings on awakening a loving heart have touched students and readers around the world. In addition to her wonderful wisdom, Sharon's very presence inspires: She is generous and kind, through and through." —Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha