Tag Archives: love

Lived by Love

by Rick Hanson via The Huffington Post

What’s carrying you?
The Practice:
Lived by love.
Why?

Feeling both the world and myself these days, one phrase keeps calling: lived by love.

Explicitly, this means coming from love in a broad sense, from compassion, good intentions, self-control, warmth, finding what’s to like, caring, connecting, and kindness.

Implicitly, and more fundamentally, this practice means a relaxed opening into the love — in a very very broad sense — that is the actual nature of everything. Moment by moment, the world and the mind reliably carry you along. This isn’t airy-fairy, it’s real. Our physical selves are woven in the tapestry of materiality, whose particles and energies never fail. The supplies — the light and air, the furniture and flowers — that are present this instant are here, available, whatever the future may hold. So too is the caring and goodwill that others have for you, and the momentum of your own accomplishments, and the healthy workings of your body. Meanwhile, your mind goes on being, while dependably weaving this thought, this sound, this moment of consciousness.

It’s hard to sustain a felt knowing of this nature of everything. The brain evolved to keep our ancestors afraid to keep them alive. But if you look, and look again, you can see directly that right now, and in every now you’re alive, you’re cradled by the world and the mind like a child carried to bed by her mother. This cradling is a kind of love, and when you trust it enough to soften and fall back into it, there’s an untangling of the knots of fear and separation. Then comes both an undoing of the craving that drives suffering and harm, and a freeing and fueling love living through you and as you out into the world.

Imagine a single day in which you were often — not continuously, not perfectly — lived by love. When I try this myself, the events of the day don’t change much -but my experience of them, and their effects, improve dramatically. Consider this as a practice for a day, a week — or the year altogether.

More widely, imagine a world in which many people, enough people — known and unknown, the low and the mighty — were lived by love. As our world teeters on the edge of a sword — and could tip either into realistic prosperity, justice, and peace, or into growing resource wars, despotism, or fundamentalism — it seems to me that it’s not just possible for a critical mass of human hearts to be lived by love. It’s necessary.

How?

The essence of this practice is a yielding into all that lives you. This is a paradigm shift from the typical top-down, subtly contracted, moving-out-from-a-unified-center-of-view-and-action way of operating… to a relaxed receptive abiding, feeling supported by the ocean of causes creating each momentary wave of awareness. Then on this basis, there is an encouraging of love in all its forms to flow through you. The suggestions that follow are different ways to do this, and you can also find your own.

Soften and open in the heart. Notice that you are alright right now: Listen to your body telling your brain that you are basically OK. Feel the fullness that is already here, all the perceptions and thoughts and feelings pop-pop-popping in this moment of consciousness. Feel the buoying currents of nature and life, waves of gifts from over 3 billion years of evolution on our blue and green pebble. Look around and see objects, including your own hands and body, and consider the unfailing generosity of the material realm, blossoming for over 12 billion years from a seed of light.

Be aware of the warmth and good will from others toward you. Sense your connecting to others, how you are supported by a net of relationships. They don’t have to be perfect. Some people do care about you. You are almost certainly loved.

Feel carried by consciousness, the effortless knowing of perception and thought. When stress, worry, pressure, or pain appear in the mind, see that the fabric of this suffering — the underlying operating of the mind — is itself fine, is always already fine.

Again and again making this little but profound shift, this giving over to the carrying cradling of mind and matter, you can afford to let your own love flow freely. Bring this down to earth: If you lived from love in your first encounter with another person today, how would you be, what would you do, how would you speak? What would a week, a year, be like in which you lived by love? How about trying this? Who knows, if enough people share in this practice, the world could become a much better place.

Let love’s currents glide you home.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist and New York Times best-selling author. His books include Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence (in 4 languages), Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (in 25 languages), Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time (in 12 languages), and Mother Nurture: A Mother’s Guide to Health in Body, Mind, and Intimate Relationships. Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and on the Advisory Board of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, his work has been featured on the BBC, NPR, CBC, FoxBusiness, Consumer Reports Health, U.S. News and World Report, and O Magazine and he has several audio programs with Sounds True. His weekly e-newsletter – Just One Thing – has over 96,000 subscribers, and also appears on Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and other major websites.

For more information, please see his full profile at www.RickHanson.net.

Rick Hanson is coming to Vancouver, BC February 2014. Join him and learn about Buddha’s Brain: The Neuroscience of Inner Peace. More info and tickets here.

 

Rekindle Your Love

Video interview with Judith and Robert Gass

A retreat for couples who want to move beyond the existing boundaries of what seems possible in their primary relationship, into greater intimacy, spiritual connection, and joy. The potential magic and aliveness of our loving connection is too often lost in deadening habits and the pressures of daily life. By embracing our relationship as a vehicle for our own awakening, and by learning the attitudes, skills and practices of conscious relationship, our love and partnership can be rekindled and profoundly deepened.

Judith and Robert weave a safe yet intensive experiential journey of transformation, working with practices of

  • authenticity
  • personal responsibility
  • empathy
  • appropriate boundaries
  • sacred sexuality
  • skillful communication

Most couples experience breakthroughs into deeper intimate connection, healing old wounds, and learning new skills to support their ongoing path of relationship. Suitable for old & new couples, those in love and those in need of healing. Same-sex couples warmly welcomed.

Join Judith Ansara and Robert Gass  August 9-14 for Sharing the Path: For Couples at Hollyhock on Cortes Island.

Please Tame Me!

by Rachelle Lamb

One of my all time favourite stories is The Little Prince. Such a gorgeous book that aims straight for the heart and contains a wealth of wisdom from beginning to end. My favourite part is where the little prince meets the fox and the very pretty fox asks to be tamed. In the French version the word “apprivoiser” is used which I much prefer over the English translation. Tame means to dominate, subdue, win over or “break”. Sadly it’s often how we are with each other and with nature. When asked what “tame” means, the fox replies to the little prince, “It is an act too often neglected. It means to establish ties.” What would our world be like I wonder if we truly established ties, if we learned the language of another, if we would take the time, stand back and observe with soft eyes, if we opened our hearts to care, if we tended the space between us as we would a precious garden, if we fell deeply in love and then wrestled with what it means to need and be needed once the bonds were forged realizing that nothing lasts forever and that our hearts can do no other than break. “What a bargain!” as Rumi would say.

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time. ‘Please-tame me!’ he said.

‘I want to, very much,’ the little prince replied. ‘But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.’The Little Prince

‘One only understands the things that one tames,’ said the fox. ‘Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me.’

‘What must I do, to tame you?’ asked the little prince.

‘You must be very patient,’ replied the fox. ‘First you will sit down at a little distance from me-like that-in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day…”

~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

 

Rachelle Lamb is an author and speaker and is president of Mindful Communication. She has shown thousands how to courageously and skillfully navigate interpersonal tension and conflict, leading toward breakthrough. rachellelamb.com

Raise the bar in personal and professional communication, develop your toolkit to improve trust, understanding and cooperation in all of your relationships.  Join Rachelle for her workshop, Mindful Communication, at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, May 26 – 31, 2013