There is a universal prayer we all share. A song of the collective human soul.
I wanna know what Love is.
Here we all are, I believe by choice, playing the game of not remembering. Of limitation. Of a separate, individual self. From this place of forgetting arises both the soul’s cry for freedom, and a wanting for Love. To feel it, to give It. To rest in It’s embrace, expand in It’s wholeness, and rejoice in It’s creative flow. The soul simply desires a return home to it’s true nature.
Where we look for Love has everything to do with how the experience of Life feels. We can find it in one another, to be sure, to varying degrees of consistency and depth. Yet we can only give to another the measure of what we have found within, and for, our own Self. Affection, respect, appreciation: these are wonderfully easier feelings to give and receive, but they don’t embody the whole, complete, and unconditional nature of Love.
Personally and experientially, I don’t believe the answer to this prayer for Love is complicated. At all. From it’s penchant for all things difficult, the mind may make it so, offering us the awareness of the thousands of books written on the subject, and the external evidence in our world of our past inability to inhabit this state of being as a civilization.
The endless seeking for Love, freedom, and everything else we want, is only there because we feel the effort is necessary. We couldn’t possibly be worthy without it. We couldn’t possibly have it already, someplace within.
Interestingly, most of us don’t project these notions onto a newborn, do we? Unworthiness is learned, and then shared with all but those a judging mind considers innocent.
Drop below that mind, yours and that of the collective, and it’s all there: the Love, the freedom, the peace you seek.
Right under your nose. Literally.
Breathe. Just breathe.
Feel it fill your belly and rise into chest, surrounding your heart. Follow the out breath down into your belly.
Notice the pause between breaths. Rest in the stillness there.
Draw that stillness up around your heart with your in breath. Let go.
Stay here, with your breath. With this, the most elemental, ever present aspect of your Life.
None of what follows need be learned or memorized. Notice you can do all this while reading. With practice, you can do everything below while at the same time doing anything else. This is what Life in presence feels like.
Breathe. Feel the breath gently expanding your chest. Hold your awareness with your breath as you read.
Surrounding your raw and tender emotional human heart is the spiritual heart of awareness. It never closes, never shuts down. It is the heart of All That Is, of The Universe, God, Spirit, Source or whatever you wanna call it. It is the Heart of the Moment. Breath long enough, resting your attention to the area around your heart and you will begin to feel It. You will feel It holding, in a sense, whatever your own emotion may be.
Your mind will fight for it’s place at the center of your experince. Whenever it tries to draw you back up between your ears, simply follow the out breath to it’s end. Stop. Be stopped on the inside, as you allow the breath to gently flow in again.
This rest, this stillness and the inner silence you find down at the bottom of the outbreath is your ground of being. There is an invitation waiting there for you here. To surrender the limitations of the self you perceive yourself to be. To surrender it’s beliefs, it’s judgements, and even it’s joys. Something more infinite awaits here.
Whenever you are ready, allow your awareness to follow the breath once again back to the heart. Open up. Be seen, here and Now. Of course this spiritual Heart already sees it all. But it is in the offering of ourselves that Love heals us.
Ok, friends, let me offer something powerful to deepen this process. Sound is much more expanded carrier of energy than are words, especially English words.
If you have another 20 minutes, and some earbuds or a speaker handy, great. If not, come back when you do. Just as with anything else, you will not open fully to this experience if you need be conscious of time. Just come back if now cannot be the time.
I have a long song below, for you to listen to while doing what I offered above. Simply breathing. Resting in your breath. Following the eternal journey up an down, back and forth, from our ground of Being to our spiritual Heart. I say Our on purpose. It is not mine or yours. It is the same ground of Being and the same Heart, the same Love that runs through all things. It is the Love of All That Is.
And this is what you will find as the answer to the prayer, I wanna know what love is.
It is right there, holding you Now.
I invite you to allow the powerful energy and intention of the Sanskrit language to lead you as you breathe. It will shift to English halfway through, but to keep those with a 40 plus year old mind from wondering what that familiar tune is, it is indeed I Wanna Know What Love Is, by Foreigner. Yes, there are layers of irony here.
Skip the ads and enjoy. Again, ear buds or a good speaker will add to the depth and resonance of this experience. Keep breathing through the experience of the song. If afterwards you need more time to process what arises, there is another link for another powerful and healing song.
Breathe. Open up to right Now.
You are beloved on this Earth.
I recently shared a video on Facebook in which a prominent astrophysicist speaks eloquently about how we are made of the same elements as the stars. Not only are we in the Universe, but the Universe is in us. This sparked the following conversation about the nature of God with a Christian friend.
My friend: “Nice. Completely compatible with faith in God.”
“Everything is compatible with faith in God, (my friend). Glad it so happens to fit with your perception of God. Not everyone allows a 1800 yr old book, put together by men, 300 years after Jesus, that portrays a God no less egotistical any of us and far more judging than most of us, to dictate their perceptions. I understand that perspective but see God as so much more than that now, my friend.”
“Todd, somewhere along the line buddy, your concept of God got really screwed up. That is not at all the way I see God or the scriptures. God is my friend. Jesus is my friend. He died for my sins, my failures, my selfishness. He died so that I could have life. Is that not a friend? Who died for you? I know the answer bro. I wish you remembered.”
“What exactly do you want me to remember? I have a deeper connection to the Love that is God than I ever did within the construct of Christianity. Because you only allow your mind to consider God through the lens of the Bible, you mistake my opinion of God for my opinion of Christianity.
I do not see God as egotistical or judgmental at all….that is exactly my point. I see the notion of God as depicted in the Bible as that, for sure, and that is all I was saying. I see all you are asking me to see in the Bible, I really do. There is love there, and friendship, and grace. But to just look at that and ignore the very foundation is impossible for me.
The first commandment is to love God with all your heart. “Love me.” “Obey me.” “Fear me.” Are these not all statements of the ego? How does that reconcile with the description of Love as defined, ironically, in 1 Cor. 13? And what if, just for a moment, you allowed yourself to entertain the idea that no one needed to die for you, as Love “keeps no record of wrongs“?
I think you would agree the crux of Christianity is the Cross, no? The need to be reconciled to God, to Love, because of your unworthiness. Why??? How does being a higher consciousness, a more pure Love, necessitate separation due to “sin”?
You answer would be God is holy, and can’t abide anything but righteousness, would it not? It was mine back in the day. And I believed it. How is that possible?
How can a God that is more loving than you or I create a dynamic you could not possibly ever create with either of your children? What could (your daughters) ever do to cause you to tell them they no longer were worthy of a relationship with you, and they were gonna need outside help to get back in? Nothing. So how is it you are capable of a greater level of love than the God of the Bible?”
“To believe this means to somehow believe the notion that ‘Holiness” or perfection dictates judgement. It’s like we believe God doesn’t want to judge you, but he has to…because he is holy and righteous. What??? Is he bound by rules he didn’t make? Of course not.
The greatest and highest state of being is Love, as the Bible states, again, in 1 Cor 13. How is it possible that a Consciousness that embodies that, is that, can be made to be angry, and wrathful? There are over 2 million deaths recorded in the Bible, (mostly OT) attributed to either the hand of God or ordered by him and carried out by his servants/kings/whatever.
How can God be a loving God and a jealous God and still be without fear? How can God/Love have any fear? This is impossible.
You are a smart man, (my friend), and you would see this clearly if your mind was able to entertain the idea that perhaps the Bible isn’t all Divinely inspired, and man messed with it.
Sigh…..so, my friend, if it makes you feel any better, know that I DO NOT see God not as angry old man in the sky, or any of what I inferred the Bible depicts him to be some of the time. What saddens you is that is that I have left a faith you see as necessary to my salvation. That is, if you still take the Bible literally.
Know that I am happier and more whole than I have ever been, free of the notion that my soul or yours needs saving, and both empowered and awestruck by the knowing that the Love that flows through my heart is in fact God, the Conscious Energy that is in all Life. Do yourself a favor and open your mind to the possibility that the Bible hasn’t cornered the market on God, and reread these thoughts. In any case, my friend, I appreciate the joy and humor you bring to the table…you always have. Love ya.” ***
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” – Marianne Williamson
You are in the Universe, and the Universe is in you.