Meditation for Busy Women Series: Part III – Love
“He that made all things for love, by the same love keepeth them, and shall keep them without end.” – Julian of Norwich, 14th century British Christian anchoress
“Live in joy, in love, even among those who hate.” – from the Dhammapada, words of the Buddha
“I do not want to worship from fear of punishment or for the promise of reward, but simply for the love of God.” – Rabia Basri, 7th century Islamic Sufi
“I am mad with love…for the divine.” – Mirabai, 16th century Hindu Indian Saint
“I do this act…in awe and in love, to unite the holy letters…of the holy name into complete unity” – mystic Jewish candle-lighting incantation
“It is love alone that gives worth to all things.” – Theresa of Avila, 16th century Spanish Catholic Saint
These quotes (four by women) pretty much sum up the spiritual purpose and source of all the major religions – LOVE. Although countless religious wars throughout history are testament to how often the world’s faiths have gone awry on this score, the mystics that have sprung up in spite of such turmoil have always served to remind us that LOVE is what it’s really all about.
Meditations on love are a key component of the devotional arms of every spiritual tradition. I have written a bit about this in my posts on mommy devotion (Part I and Part II), so I won’t go into it more here. We all have people in our lives that we love (and creatures – pets count!). The issue from a spiritual perspective is how, in our busy lives, can we FEEL that love more often, instead of getting bogged down in the day-to-day muck of interacting? And then, how can we transform that personal love for one being or creature into a wider, more universal love that links us to a higher power or force within ourselves?
Here’s one idea, based on the ‘bhakti’ yoga concept of devotional visualization:
Choose someone (or some creature) in your life that you have a fairly uncomplicated love for. Take a moment out of your busy day to visualize him/her with your eyes closed – if you have kids, doing this right outside their door after you put them to bed is great. Visualize them until you feel a swell of affection in your heart (if you’ve had a rough day with the person and can’t feel that love, don’t worry, just pick someone else for now!). Once you are feeling your love for that person (or pet), drop your visualization of them, and see if you can just FEEL the love, apart from that trigger. If you can, then imagine that feeling of love expanding larger and larger, until it takes over your entire body. If you can keep the feeling and visualization going, imagine that love emanating out from you, until you are just a little dot in a giant field of love.
Like all visualizations, this one can take a few attempts to login to. But it is something you can do for even just a few minutes to shift yourself, and open that magical doorway to all spirituality – yes, LOVE.