Sutra 1.33. Meditation for overcoming hostility

As it has been said earlier, maitri – “amicability” – comes as one of the yogi’s basic features. Yet most people, especially those brought up in the post-USSR environment, have difficulties in experiencing this feeling. For several generations they were being habituated to take counter-revolutionists, Germans, Americans, capitalists and others of the kind for foes. The habit of hostility (that is a direct opposition to amicability) and aggressive attitude to the Universe has become a deep-seated feature which extirpation requires some dedicated practices.
As a matter of fact, the most effective way of reducing one’s aggressiveness is the development of Anahata that enables to take every person first of all for a man rather than for social roles attributed to him, and also facilitates the experiencing of unity with people and the Universe. Empathy, the principle feature of Anahata, alone makes a person less aggressive. Yet this is a global perspective. That is why I shall draw a couple of more simple techniques that are feasible for most practitioners. And the first thing I would like to point out is that the source of hostility often lies in… merely the habit of being hostile. So that in order to get rid of it one just needs to realize this feeling to be a fully contrived and relative one.
For this purpose the following practice can be performed: take a particular person whom you are hostile to and ask yourself a question: “Under which circumstances shall I be ready to cooperate with this person in earnest, notwithstanding my attitude to him?” For instance, in order to save someone’s life… Or, maybe, just for your personal interest or benefit… The task it to find a real answer. Having performed this technique in respect of many people you shall find out there are many things that you are willing to sacrifice your far-fetched principles for. And soon the attitude to your own hostility shall cease to be that serious.
This technique can be applied not only to people, but also to different egregors, states and so on.
A more sophisticated technique is based upon searching for current, actual common interests with a person you feel hostile to. The more strategic our vision is, the more obvious becomes the fact of having common interest even with people whom we believed to have a local conflict of interests with.