After three years of meditation I was beginning to gain insights into this idea known as Love. The insights came subtly, one by one. Gaining the insights was a little bewildering, and applying them and integrating them is even more so. A lifelong practice, I am sure.
I’ve always been a romantic. I believe I have an unrelenting thirst for experience and stimulation—adventures of all kinds beckon to my personality. I’ve always enjoyed the extremes of emotion. I like the movies I make for myself to act in. I used to think love was something to be earned. Love was something only given to those deserving, and my standards were simply impossible.
Looking back now, I had constructed a fortress barricading myself from love. Relevant Rumi says our work is not to find love but to destroy our personal barriers against it. I played judge, jury, and executioner in my head and gave out nothing but skulls. Once in a while I found someone who deserved love and would then give it, only to soon find the person could not maintain the bar of perfection I demanded. Love was something precious—and you only have so much to give away, right? I feared I would run out of love. Better hold on tight!
As I applied truthful contemplation and meditation, my personal relationship to this grand idea called love began to
transform. Slowly I discovered that Love is to be given freely. Love is vast and limitless when I ALLOW it to be. When I find the courage to give Love without fear, I feel inner peace. When I can give without the fear of not receiving in return, I find that I receive more than I ever thought possible.
The universe responds to the vibrations I emit, and when I am able to let go of my personal idea of how things should be an awe-inspiring harmony begins to spiral into reality. How do we do this, though? How do we really live in this state? How do we actively progress to this point? How do we even see that this is a better way? Because, to be honest with you, if I had read something like this four years ago I would have cursed at the cheesiness and seemingly blindly optimistic words of this piece of writing.
As my meditation practice progressed, so did my level of self-awareness. I watched myself with great tenacity. I began to entertain the thoughts in my head without necessarily accepting them. “I woke up from the hell of unquestioned thinking,” as Byron Katie says. Taking time to direct my energy inward, I began to notice patterns and conditionings that were not serving me. Every time I withheld Love, my ego would grin and revel in a sort of immature pleasure. This satisfaction never lasted and along with it came a sense of craving afterward. A sense
of grasping for more would arise often after such actions.
Even if I felt like I was in the right, a hollowness followed. Righteousness is a golden chain. I am not one to demonize the ego, as it does serve a purpose. However, the more I practiced meditation, the more I resonated with a craving to expand myself out of the insignificant insecurities of such a false center of thought and action. Meditation gave me the strength to explore this idea of Love without abandon and without limit.
As I polished and cultivated my personal lenses of perception, I began to see love in a mandalic way. Love was no longer on a spectrum. It wasn’t the opposite of fear or hatred or even indifference. Love was an ever-expanding mandala of life force that made up the substratum of our existence. I saw that the universe loved me in a very transcendent way. The world gives me the freedom and abundance to believe anything I want. If I wanted to create an abundance of lack, judgment, and insecurity, I was given it.
Love began to flower in my life. Love for the sick. Love for the demented. Love for the evil. Love for the unjust. Love for the malicious and ignorant alike. Brief flashes of insight and clarity illustrated that Love was an ever-expanding sphere of energy that I could empower if I chose to.
It wasn’t easy. I fell often. But if I fell seven times, I committed to standing up eight. I wanted nothing more than to fully explore and dive into this idea of Love. How sacred is it? How transcendent is it? How transformative can this force be? Step by step, breath by breath, intention by intention, thought by thought, moment by moment, I intend to find out.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
Written by Larry Li from his book ‘Meditation Swerve‘
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