Love as the Journey Towards Wholeness; Three Awareness Perspectives
There is a close relationship (ideally) between the experience of love and the practice of meditation. If we say that love is essentially the journey toward the experience of wholeness within ourselves, and define meditation as a practice that takes our mind from the experience of distraction and diversity toward a state of unity and oneness, then I think it is not difficult to see how they support and enhance each other:
Whenever we experience love (for example toward another person), our heart and mind expand, connect and unify in a way that closely resembles a relaxed, open, meditative state
Whenever we focus the mind in an un-distracted, unified state in meditation, we can begin to feel the flow of love and life-force in our body
In this article I want to look at three ways in which we can use meditation and mindfulness as a part of our journey toward wholeness and love.
Meditation as an inward journey toward love and wholeness
The first way in which we can experience love through meditation is by journeying deeper into the true nature of our own consciousness. If we go beyond the awareness of ourself as a physical body, and then beyond our awareness of oursef as a psychological collection of habitual thoughts, feelings and images, we discover the formless, timeless, witnessing dimension of self that lies beyond.
This formless, timeless self is referred to in the great wisdom traditions as the True Self, so called because it is the self within us that remains constant and unchanging through-out our life. It is also called the Universal Self, because the formless, timeless, witnessing self within me is exactly the same as the formless, timeless, witnessing self in you, in all human beings, animals, plants and indeed anything that possesses consciousness. So, by connecting to the formless, timeless self we connect to a dimension of our being that is constantly and experientially in a state of oneness, wholeness and love with everything else in the Universe.
Meditation as an outward journey toward love and wholeness
The second way in which we can experience love and wholeness through meditation is by making the effort each day to expand our circle of concern so that it becomes progressively larger and larger. We start by extending love empathy toward ourself, then our family and friends, then people we don’t know, then people we may not like, expanding ever outward to include all living beings (yep, animals and plants too).
To experience love in this way is to be mindful that everyone matters, and to make our decisions based around this recognition. Of course we can’t avoid making decisions that hurt others at times, or that will harm them one way or another, but to live in a state of love means to live in a state where everyone is included, and we make our decisions based around an awareness of this inclusivity.
Opening the heart; facilitating the ongoing giving and receiving of love in our life
The third way we can grow our love each day is to make sure that our heart is energetically open to the giving and receiving of love. You can feel whether your heart is energetically open right now by tuning into the centre of your chest-space. Is this area of your body open and dilated, allowing energy to flow? Or is it contracted and closed, unable to give or receive love or life energy? If you spend most of your time with your heart energetically closed, then you will end up like so many of us do feeling starved of loving energy and feeling isolated and alone even when surrounded by others.
Yes, when you open your heart to the world you may feel more vulnerable, and yes it does take courage (and discernment), but if you take that risk then you will feel alive each day with the energy of love, and allow your life to be informed by that love. The alternative is to live in a mental “ivory tower” heart closed, risking nothing but gaining nothing. You can deaden the pain in your life by closing your heart, but by doing so you cut yourself off from the flow of love, which is a high price to pay indeed.
One Minute Mindfulness for Practically Integrating the Three Above Techniques:
Spend a minute dropping your mental baggage and resting in the formless, timeless, witnessing dimension of your consciousness, recognize that on this level of your consciousness you are actually and literally always in a state of oneness and wholeness with all other living creatures, and the whole living universe. Rest in the love baby!
Take a minute each day to care about someone (human, animal, plant) that would normally be outside of your circle of concern. Make the effort each day to include more and more living things in your circle of love and wholeness
Through-out the day be mindful of your physical heart space. Is it energetically closed, defended and dead, or open, alive and flowing? Try and consciously increase the amount of time in your day that your heart is in a dilated, open state of giving and receiving love.
Something to ponder.
When someone tells you they love you, don't just take it for granted. Think about it and really absorb it. Don't respond just yet. Think about what they are actually saying. They are sharing something with you from the heart. Think about that feeling of love and what it does to you. If you have ever had love in your heart, you know the feeling this creates and once you register that you are loved, return that true feeling with sincerity and appreciation.
Understand this sensation that is created by the word love. When you know that this is real, you know how to return it with truthfulness and ability to share that love. It happens to all of us at one time or another but how many times do we actually think about it?
Long back I tried to find some yoga posture for back pain for a friend of mine.I got come rare book. I do not remember the name as it was not given as a standard name of yoga posture. It is somewhat similar to karnapidasan(ear pressure posture) and it is more relaxing. keep your lower legs on a sit of a chair.Your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your torso and the back of your head are on the floor. you can keep your hands along with your torso or spread wide in line with your head. This is more relaxing to spinal column.I may explain this posture in a different manner. Visualize chair lying on a floor , back rest on the floor. two back legs of chair are removed. we look like this chair when we are in a posture.
Traditional yoga postures are designed to strengthen spinal column.Strong spinal column is needed to sit for a longer period for meditation without moving your body.
I too came across some rare books 20 years ago on Yoga that now cannot find at all.....made copies of some of the poses but my library is not a user friendly area at all....it now cohabits space with cameras, beads, jewelry making supplies, sewing machines and fabrics. clay statues i made and little villages i build with antique toys.....If i ever find those pages i made copies of i will post them in my journal here at MedHelp.....If you don't hear from me, i got lost in my art room and can't find a way out.......Hahaha....
My library is also not user friendly. When I try to organize it, I go up to 10 or 15 books, and then start just glancing at the pages and then I recollect something of the book and start reading. Organizing work stops and start reading the book till I complete.Old books are like old friends, you don't want to leave them unless you hear old stories again. So library-organization will remain unorganized. I am sure the same thing will be happening with you.
oh dalubaba, that is so how it is for me......I start looking for my yoga books and then see a book from my childhood that has such colorful images and then I have to reread it and the cycle goes on.....I have always been fond of the photos of famous artists and writiers who are shown sitting in their libraries or in their offices and most of the time the rooms look like a ticker tape explosion happened there with books and papers and journals hither and yon....I would look at those photos and think, " see, they are famous and their rooms are totally disordered, maybe there is something in it for the rest of us then...."
I did go to a well known psychiatrist 1 time and his office and library was so pristine, so well ordered, so anal retentive that I never went back. I needed a professional in my life that would know what my brain looked like and be able to help me sort it out a bit and not be a judge or jury to my imperfections....I did then find a psychiatrist and stayed with him for 5 years and oftentimes knew where a book was in his library before he did....
I think that many many times we have a sense about the people we come into contact with or maybe its just a womans intuition sort of thing....I am only one woman so I cannot say that this is a proven theory, but even on the internet there are certain people who make the hair on my neck prickle up and even though I do offer my suggestions and best wishes to them I do not take any steps to make a relationship out of it.
You sir have a very calming aura about you. I always enjoy coming here and reading what you have written or thought about. Thank you ever so much
here is something to think about sparked by the following from M:
"even on the internet there are certain people who make the hair on my neck prickle up".....
Now....what if you were to discover that this "person" is computer generated and runs a program that mimics a compassionate and wise sage-like being who inspires all by what is printed on a page! Just what effect would that have. Would it make any difference at all and if so why?
Or this "wise one" is an eleven yr. old just fooling around?
Will it change how you feel? Or felt? Or will feel in the future?
Yes I read your comment in the thread. These are pros and cons of internet. I gave advice to a person on yoga. Even we talked about urine therapy.After few comments I found that she was world famous Yogin and quite busy.She remained on MH for few months.Anything is possible. I do not know why you feel this question so important.I think this is the way one express oneself. If we start analyzing each ward, I do not know where we will end.
hello beliteweight and welcome to our comfy couch where you can please join our ongoing conversation.
And u are so right about Love. It can encompass all. Have you see a puppy's loving cuddly soft wiggly "love"? Ok. So maybe sometimes it is the "opening the can now" love-----but then............
What a wonder-full mystery is Love!
I love it.
In affirmation of Reiki, before one give treatment, he remembers, four affirmation. One of them is I love every living being. It includes even animals.This divine love or universal love makes you immensely happy.Learning and developing this type of attitude is a continual process with different type of spiritual practice. Some lucky person may have universal love as natural instinct.It is difficult to acheive, however effort to develop this attitude give us a reference point for the right direction.
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