|JULY/AUGUST 2009 --
The summer has come and is half-way gone already. Let us take time to pause and think about our emotions. Numerous emotions go through our minds each day, but among the great traditions, there’s unanimity that one emotion is to be valued above others, and that emotion is love.
Love has been the subject of myth and poetry, the object of study and sages, and the source of meaning and purpose for countless lives. Millions have lived and died for it.
But what is love? The great religions point to something much more profound, a love that is vaster, more stable, more encompassing, a love that Saint Paul said, “bears all things, believes all things, endures all things.” This spiritual love, then is something far deeper, far more profound than the romantic love.
Reducing barriers to love, such as fear and greed and anger and jealousy and pride, are seen to be incompatible with tlove. Anger can take us over. But how do we reduce anger? Reflect on how it feels when youa re angry. Stop be mindful; be aware of what it feels like; it does not feel so good.
Alternatively, reflect on your life and the nature of life itself, and recall that you are mortal and the person you are angry with is mortal. if you are really angry and you wish the person you are angry with were dead, be patient, they will be and so will you. Then it will not be so important. Another strategy is to reflect on your own mistakes. I am humbled whenever I am angry with others if I take a moment to reflect. Then I realize that is not that long ago that I just did the very same thing I am angry at them for doing. You can practice forgiveness, letting go of anger.
Cultivate love directly through prayer, contemplation, or meditation. Close your eyes for a moment, take a couple of breaths and relax. Now bring to mind someone who is loving and kind. Bring your awareness back to the room. Isn’t the difference remarkable. By meditating on loving people, one cultivates love itself. What we meditate on we become.