This is from a note I recently sent to a friend who was asking for ways to increase their appreciation for humanity. Sometimes this can be a tall order, but it is a wonderful thing for everyone to do. We are all one, and our suffering can all be traced back to our ignorance of this truth. The little visualization below is something I practice daily and it has helped me immensely. I hope you find it useful.
Do whatever you can to awaken the love in your heart. Use a memory or some deep appreciation you have. Then try to feel it inside your chest as something real, like an energy -deeper or more subtle than an emotion. Then think of all the people in this world who are lonely, scared, confused, and so busy doing things that are not working for them. They are your very own, like your children or mom and dad. They are a part of you.
See their eyes full of hope and freedom. See them weeping with tears of joy. Then send the love you feel inside out to them. Allow it to slowly expand like a soft and gentle light to embrace them. Ask the Universe, or God to bless them through your life and the channel of your love and understanding. Learn to feel the light flowing through you toward all souls like a river. Offer yourself in this moment as an instrument for healing.
If you end your meditation each day in this fashion you will grow in the right way. Never allow yourself to look down on another. They really are trying their best all of the time.
I think true love is beyond the duality implied in “love and hate” and rarely experienced by many because they are too distracted or too “closed” to feel what is really a major aspect of their own inner reality.
When Jesus prayed “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34) he had already been nailed to the cross and was thinking of the suffering that his captors and killers would face later on. He was not thinking of himself at all. I think this is love.
When I can feel my connection with all of life or whomever is before me in an impersonal but thrilling inward way, I think this is love.
When I have meditated and felt an indescribable love and joy “for no reason” that comes from inside and expands to fill me with a love for everyone and everything as well as the source of it all, I think this is love.
I have heard Swami Kriyananda tell of a dream he had a few years ago where he clearly saw that all people no matter what they are doing are all seeking the same exact thing -Joy that is everlasting. He weeps with joy when he remembers that dream because in that moment he felt his soul connection with everyone and everything in a deeper way than he had before. I think this is love.
When on 9/11 some people consciously gave their own lives to help others survive, even knowing they would never see their own families again. I think this is love.
Maybe you have seen this. I just watched it for the first time and think it’s so beautiful.
I think Love and gratitude are very similar. I don’t know. I just think Love makes it all worthwhile. No matter how busy or tough our lives may be, there just has to be someone we can give some love to right now.