It’s been fascinating to see who pops into my head when I practice lovingkindess meditation. When I conjure up a teacher, I find that it’s not just Pema Chodron who comes to mind. It’s my friend Barbara, who’s taught me about fighting for one’s life with courage, dignity and a sense of humor. Or Jimmy, who I’ve been known to deride sometimes, but whose judgment I admire. How did he acquire it? “By making mistakes,” he once told me. And when I call to mind people who are suffering, it can be anyone from a stranger in Haiti to someone whose heart has been broken in a relationship gone awry, to a man whose brave medical story I just read about in The New York Times.