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Buddhadharma : Spring 2017
spring 2 0 1 7 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 39 provokes, to learn we can stand next to all events and people and befriend them. Metta swims against the tide of one of the prevailing ideologies of our time that tells us that how we feel about something is the ultimate authority that guides how we speak, act, and relate. The myth of authenticity asserts that if we feel good about something, like some- thing, or are flattered by someone or something, it is worth pursuing, staying close to, investing in, and befriending. The myth that reifies feeling as an authentic guide in our moment-to-moment relation- ships equally asserts that if we don’t feel good about something, dislike, or are threatened by someone or something, then it is only human and reasonable that we push it away, abandon, or ignore it and do our best to distance ourselves from it. Looking at our lives, we see how many of our choices, strate- gies, and actions are guided by this myth—at times it is referred to as “being true to ourselves.” If we investigate this pattern without judgment, we may instead discover we are “being true” to emotional habits that do not serve us well. Both mindfulness and metta invite us to question this mythology, to begin to understand that, rather than representing authenticity, it may be describ- ing a life in which we agree to being governed by PHotoJonathanGreet|courtesyoctoberGallery,london La Vie, 1995