Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite American holidays. The fact
that this over-commercialized day falls around the same time as Tibetan New Year reminds me to make new year’s resolutions relating to my loved ones, and to renew my commitment to cultivating warm empathetic, altruistic compassion and unselfish goodness of heart, the very essence of authentic love. These resolutions usually involve opening my heart and mind; listening better; learning to forgive and love even those I don’t like; and coming to accept and bless the world, rather than fighting with it or trying to escape from it. Through co-meditating with everything, as it appears; through intermeditation and interbeing with it–rather than against or apart from “it”– I am learning to see thru the illusion of separateness. I also remember groups and individuals who may not feel included in this so-called lovers’ day in our country, including single people and the LGBTQ+ communities. As Zen Master Dogen says: “To study the Buddha Way is to be intimate with all things.” This is true love.
What is true love? How would Buddha love? By seeing every single being, human and otherwise, as fundamentally like himself, and thus able to treat them and love them in the way he or she would be treated. We call this infinitely benevolent, selfless love the invaluable Bodhicitta or the Awakened Heart, the very spirit and soul of enlightenment. One can find this taught elegantly in the “Loving-kindness Sutra”; in Shantideva’s classic “The Way of the Bodhisattva“; in Atisha’s “Seven Points of Mind-Training & Attitude Transformation,” and in The Good Book.
Nearly two decades of teaching Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and continuing to deeply explore its tenets has brought me to a place where I find myself living from a definition of love that is at once contemplative practice and beautiful revelation… a generous and unexpected gift springing from the discipline of NVC which, without a doubt, can profoundly impact our personal and collective lives if we apply ourselves to learning it.
By Constance Kellough, who will be presenting Innerbody Meditation at Hollyhock on July 12-16, 2017.
There are many different meditation practices originating from various spiritual and secular traditions. Most, however, stress the importance of quieting the compulsive thinking mind, which wanders on average 50 times in 5 minutes. This on-going thinking (which is often unsettling, non- productive and not related to what we are experiencing in the present moment) usually emanates from some level of egoic fear and pulls us into the past or into the future.
So instead, we may crave to experience blessed stillness. Why? Because stillness is our natural state; it’s our essential self.
Stillness rises on its own when there is no thought. Eckhart Tolle has said, “Stillness is the language God speaks.”
So how does stillness relate to love? It has been said, “Be still and know that I am God.” Because God is love, one could also say, “Be still and know that I am love.”
When two people are authentically themselves in a state of stillness (some call it “presence”) with one another, they are in a state of love.
Love is something we all want to experience, to enjoy and rest into. Yet it often seems elusive, disappointing and full of hurt and confusion.
We tend to think of love as a noun –something we need, try to get, something we have or don’t have enough of. We search outside ourselves for someone to give us the love we think we’re missing. Most of us have tried to get others to fill the place inside us that feels unloved and un-loveable. This simply doesn’t work.
Here are two ways of contemplating the mystery that we call Love.
This 2 part recording contains highlights from two special evening events covering the oft-misunderstood foundations of yogic sexuality and pleasure. This is the first time Michaela Boehm has presented this information in a structured lecture series and this recording gives a cohesive overview of pleasure practice and the foundations of intimacy. This audio is primarily a lecture with a few select answers to practice questions from the audience.
– Discover the always present pleasure in your body
– Examine the habitual closures towards deep feeling
– Learn about the foundations of pleasure
– Identify the triggers and trauma patterns
– Sensitizing the body and learning how to live with that sensitivity