There's a style of meditation that could have come right from the pages of fantasy.
It's the closest thing we Muggles have to magic.
And, in the world beyond Diagon Alley, it's the fuel for the most powerful magic there is.
It keeps people safe from things that should harm them. It even blocks unblockable spells – the ultimate power.
I am, of course, talking about love.
But not just any love. After all, that's an emotion felt across the human species. If all a wizard needed was to feel something, everyone could use it.
Yet in the books, love-based magic is ancient and mysterious.
Intriguing, isn't it?
And what does this have to do with meditation?
There's a style of meditation called metta, also known as loving-kindness meditation. As the name suggests, you reflect on love. Not greedy love or possessive love, but kind love.
It's a wholesome and pure emotion.
Most people feel this at times. There are those in your life who invoke something deeper than infatuation or admiration. We call these people our soulmates or brother / sister. And, because we know the words can't convey it, we inject so much energy into the label.
There are "brothers" and then there are brothers.
You can practice this state of mind. Like any other thought, it gets stronger with time and attention.
It's easy to start with the people who inspire you to feel this way about them.
Then you move onto people who know but don't think about much. When you practice loving-kindness towards them, it frees you from the barriers you erect towards other people.
Once you can do that, you practice with strangers. Think of unknown people in distant lands who you'll never meet. When you experience loving-kindness for a person who's as much an idea as reality, it opens you up even more.
Then, the final stage. Feeling love and kindness to your enemies. Genuinely wishing people well, even those who have done you wrong.
Now, some people get offended by this idea. There are people who have done horrible, unforgivable things. They think that to wish love and kindness on them downplays every wrong thing they did.
Except, I assure you, it does not.
This isn't about saying that what they did was okay. It isn't about welcoming cruel and evil people back into your life.
You forgive them for you, not for them. If they are the sort of people who would exploit that, then you can never let them know. Wish them love and kindness in the privacy of your thoughts.
This makes you strong.
Because when you can forgive someone even as you cut them from your life, it releases their power over you.
It makes you impervious to the little things that other people can do. Would you even notice a moment of rudeness from a stranger if you're capable of this much compassion?
A weak person curses their enemies. A strong person never wastes a thought or emotion on them ever again.