In these days of all the concerns we have facing our global society, ranging from pollution of all sorts to bloodshed through wars and human rights violations, we must look at the underlying cause for what is happening -- the lack of love.
True, there are many pockets of people who respect one another - their territories, their beliefs, their religions, their needs, and rights. But I feel on the whole that our human society has become insensitive to the expression and feelings of true love, much less unconditional love.
However, I also feel that we as a collective consciousness are beginning to look more at our inner Selves, and in this action we are finding a heart that has become cold and unfulfilled, in need of the warmth that only love can provide. It will be this discovery and realization that will cause people to become more loving of both themselves and of others. Living love and being able to share this experience with each other has to start with oneself.
Love itself can be demonstrated and shared in many ways; it does not need to be some major expression or event that captures the attention of thousands of people. For individuals, this expression can be as simple as a friendly, warm and meaningful smile, or a genuine hello to everyone they meet, or a hug and a kiss from a parent or spouse to their loved one.
The expression of love can be such a simple thing. Yet, how often do we find ourselves acting out of fear? Are we afraid of the vulnerability that love creates, afraid to appear weak and not strong enough to be "the man of the house?" Afraid that we might appear as the "overly sensitive boss", or the "weak political leader?" We, as a people, must recognize and experience the true strength that is gained by opening ourselves up to the vulnerability that is created by living love.
Living Love Starts With Accepting Who and What We Are
Living love and being able to share this experience with each other has to start with one self. It starts with an acceptance of who and what we are, realizing that at our core we are all perfect and beautiful, a small part of the One. It starts with knowing that how we act and what we do, no matter how small, does have an impact and that all of the combined small acts of loving, work to create a positive synergetic energy.
Personally, this path of living love has meant looking at my childhood, forgiving and accepting actions that were not as good as they could have been, and expanding on those things that brought joy and learning from both. As an adult it has meant sometimes dancing to a different drummer, making a conscious effort to express kindness and compassion, and doing those things that make the Higher Self feel good.
Everyone can think of actions that they have done that have brought about a warm feeling in the heart. It is these sort of actions that we need to remember and continue to integrate into our daily lives, regardless of whether it is the "acceptable" way or not. Even though it is a way of life for me now, there are still days and times when my actions do not reflect love. It is then that I appreciate why it is right to live love.
Making A Conscious Effort Every Day To Incorporate Love Into Our Actions
As simple as it may sound to express love in all that we do, the reality of forcing our egos to accept this is sometimes quite the opposite. However, by making a conscious effort every day to incorporate love into our actions, it can eventually become our daily nature. As it becomes our daily nature, it stimulates our True Nature. It is this stimulation that leads to our feeling of Bliss, of being one with the All. It is through these feelings of satisfaction and joy that we will realize the truth that love always had to offer us.
The responsibility we all have to our Higher Self, to express love in all that we do, is the single greatest power that we all share. It has the energy to turn our current state of global concerns into experiences from which we can learn and grow. We will then naturally turn away from the negative influences of fear and learn to express the love that we innately share for one another.
To live love always, in all ways, is the greatest expression or appreciation to our Life's Force. It may be the sole purpose for our soul's being; and if it is, then we owe it to our Creator to express it as completely and frequently as is possible. To go beyond the conditioning that our society and childhood has placed upon us, and to recognize that this change into loving, caring and kind human beings is more than our responsibility, is our soul's goal.
Live Love... Always! And in All Ways!
First published in Pathfinder Newspaper (July-August 1993).
Reprinted with permission in InnerSelf Magazine.
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Joseph Sidell, LMT is the Founder/President of Integrative Bodywork Inc. in the Cincinnati, Ohio Area.
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So begins this most beloved of all American Zen books. Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as has this famous opening line. In a single stroke, the simple sentence cuts through the pervasive tendency students have of getting so close to Zen as to completely miss what it's all about. An instant teaching on the first page. And that's just the beginning.
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Meditation, in its highest state, is pure awareness. It is about becoming the witness rather than the actor in the drama of life. From such a detached perspective, the practitioner begins to get a completely different view of life. Problems which previously evoked strong emotional and physiological reactions can now be witnessed from a third person’s perspective and, therefore, it becomes easier to come up with solutions for all problems.
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A beginners guide to the amazing World of Zen!
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