Real Love


Love is a capacity that can be developed

with extraordinary results.


 

Join beloved meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg for an exploration of Real Love. Far from being an idealistic, sentimental, or romantic emotion, genuine love is an ability and capacity within us—an inner resource we can grow. Drawing from timeless Buddhist wisdom and lovingkindness practice, we'll train in cultivating unconditional love for ourselves, those close to us, and ultimately for all beings.

Choose a Pricing Option

$129

Standard enrollment

One-time payment includes unlimited access to the course.

$159

Pay-it-forward enrollment

Standard enrollment plus a $30 contribution to our scholarship fund.

Your additional support goes toward our scholarship fund to provide course access to students with limited financial means.

We are told many stories about love. Our culture tells us that romantic love will make us happy. Advertisers imply that certain products will make us feel content. We’re conditioned to believe that we will finally be loveable once we’ve achieved certain goals or when our projects of self-improvement come to fruition. What if we could let go of these stories? What would it be like to love ourselves for who we are and to extend that love to those around us? And what if we were to extend unconditional love to all beings? 

In this course, Sharon Salzberg shows us how we can deconstruct the myths that keep us from authentic love.

An expert teacher

Sharon Salzberg is a renowned expert on lovingkindness meditation. Her down-to-earth teaching style and friendly wisdom come across beautifully in Real Love.

A journey of the heart

We'll start by strengthening love for ourselves, then see how we can bring this love into relationships, and finally into an open-hearted attitude towards life.

Guidance for your practice

8 guided meditations provide skillful guidance for your personal practice. Each meditation focuses on a specific aspect of the practice of kindness to ourselves and others.

Downloadable guided meditations

Practice where you are, wherever you are.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fine-tune your practice with Sharon's expert guidance on common misconceptions and roadblocks.

Key themes


  • Recognizing that self-love is important. We start with ourselves because we are worthy of love and because self-sufficiency supports us in sustaining love for others.
  • Working with the inner critic. Perfectionism and self-criticism will not help us to grow or make us happy. Mindfulness can help.
  • Finding authenticity and balance. We'll explore the balancing point between our needs and the needs of others, and learn about the benefits of joy for others' good fortune and forgiveness of their mistakes.
  • Communicating with others. Even when we are close to another person, there is always a space between us. We can respect these boundaries and at the same time be curious and willing to listen.
  • Extending love to all beings. We can move beyond the barriers of race, class, religion, gender identity, and sexuality while respecting difference.
  • Saying yes to life. The practice of lovingkindness makes us stronger, more sincere versions of ourselves. Big or small kindnesses we do for others improve our own lives.

What's in the Course?


You are invited to study at your own pace. Once enrolled, you retain unlimited access to the course. Each lesson will offer roughly one hour of material to work with, including weekly video teachings, prompts for reflection, optional quizzes, and a communal discussion board. There will also be suggested take-home practices, including guided meditations, for you to explore throughout the week.




Unit 1 | Recognizing the Importance of Self-Love

We start with ourselves because we are worthy of love and because self-sufficiency supports us in sustaining love for others. We don't have to be totally at peace with ourselves to start loving others, however. We can start from where we are.

Unit 2 | Working with the Inner Critic

Perfectionism and self-criticism will not help us to grow or make us happy. Sharon shows how mindfulness allows us to question stories and assumptions from the past. We'll practice being kind to ourselves in meditation and learn to recognize the inner critic.

Unit 3 | Finding Authenticity and Balance

We shift to exploring love in relationship to others. Real love is not dramatic, romantic love. It is being part of something beyond ourselves. We'll explore the balancing point between our needs and the needs of others and learn about the benefits of joy for others' good fortune and forgiveness of their mistakes.

Unit 4 | Communicating with Others

Even when we are close to another person, there is always a space between us. We can respect these boundaries and at the same time be curious and willing to listen. This fosters openness and receptivity. Can we see others from a different perspective? Who are they outside of the ways in which we usually relate to them?

Unit 5 | Loving All Beings

We expand our exploration of real love to include those at the periphery of our lives. We can move beyond the barriers of race, class, religion, gender identity, and sexuality while respecting difference. We'll practice stretching our capacity for lovingkindness and compassion by offering a real love that's truly inclusive.

Unit 6 | Saying Yes to Life

The practice of lovingkindness doesn't make us pushovers. It makes us stronger, more sincere versions of ourselves. Big or small kindnesses we do for others improve our own lives. We step out of self-preoccupation and become connected to something larger. There is a sense of interconnection and embeddedness in both the everyday and the universal.

About Sharon


Sharon Salzberg is a central figure in the field of meditation, a world-renowned teacher, and New York Times bestselling author. She has played a crucial role in bringing meditation and mindfulness practice to the West and into mainstream culture since 1974, when she first began teaching. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts and the author of nine books including New York Times bestseller Real Happiness; her seminal work Lovingkindness; and most recently, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection

Known for her down-to-earth teaching style, Sharon offers a secular, modern approach to Buddhist teachings, making them instantly accessible. She is a regular columnist for On Being, a contributor to the Huffington Post, and hosts her own podcast, The Metta Hour. For more information, visit www.SharonSalzberg.com.

Testimonials


"It was excellent and will be a wonderful resource. I got so much from it."

"Sharon does a great job explaining the many aspects of love, lovingkindness. It's great to be able to return to the lessons from time to time, to get a better understanding of the complexities, relearn, and learn things I didn't get the first time around."

"Really enjoyed this course. Once again, Tricycle has enlightened my mind to a higher reality and I'm really grateful. This course was great!"

"Just want to send my gratitude to Sharon Salzberg. Her style is easy to listen to and I listen as I make my breakfast and eat. It helps me as I get ready for a day out in the working world that can be quite challenging."

"I loved this course! As I live in Australia, it is amazing to be able to access teachers like Sharon who I would never be able to see usually."

"The Real Love course was incredible. Sharon has a vast and deep understanding of lovingkindness and compassion, and she is very eloquent in how she conveys this important work of the heart, for ourselves and others."

"Thank you very much! The course was well organized and easy to navigate! The content was touching and profound... a wonderful complement to the Real Love book!"

"This is an expertly put together course and I appreciated both the spoken and written elements. Our discussions gave me a broad sense of how others related to the topic, and this was helpful in bringing out my own thoughts. Much appreciated introduction to the practice of Metta with a mindful awareness of the importance of self compassion."

Course Curriculum

  Unit 1: Recognizing the Importance of Self-Love
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  Unit 2: Working with Inner Critic
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  Unit 3: Finding Authenticity and Balance
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  Unit 4: Communication and Action
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  Unit 5: Loving All Beings
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  Unit 6: Saying Yes to Life
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  Resources
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