Love Abundantly

Love Abundantly: The Divine Meeting of Heart and Mind

Love abundantly is consciously living in and being guided by divine Love.  Spiritual realization opens the heart, purifies the mind, and empowers our visionary capacity. This intuitive, visioning power is what we need now to heal, both individually and globally.

 

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MESSAGE FROM YOGACHARYA

These three universal approaches to the spiritually conscious life are great support: Live Simply, Love Abundantly, Awaken Fully

Sages from many traditions call us to live spiritual priorities:

Vivekananda: Arise, Awake, stop not till the goal is reached

Rumi: Don’t go back to sleep! You must ask for what you really want.

Laotzu: The great way is easy, yet people prefer the side paths. Be aware when things are out of balance. Stay centered within the Tao.

The first approach to spiritually conscious living that I spoke about in this series, “Live Simply,” can be summed up as: Avoid the side paths; stay focused on what truly matters.

The simple life is anchored in awareness of Spirit or God as our life. This awareness is realized through divine communion or direct connection with Ultimate Reality, whether through meditation, prayer, or mindful moments throughout the day. That experience of Spirit is the organizing principle that simplifies our life.

Divine communion calms our restless thoughts, discernment becomes clear, and intuition awakens. We see what is essential. We can more readily spot the side paths— unnecessary or unskillful diversions—and avoid them. We discern what brings peace and lasting happiness and what leads to sorrow. Choices become clearer. We choose the “great way,” a life in balance, where the heart (the divine Self) and mind meet. Now we can lead a life guided by Love.

The first important question that arises when speaking about a life of Love is what? What do we mean by Love?

What Does Love Abundantly Mean?

I mean that which connects us (everyone and everything) to the Reality of God. Loving abundantly is consciously living in and being guided by divine Love.

Jesus taught that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength. Then, love your neighbor as yourself. Scripture from the Christian Bible elaborates further:

If you do not love, you don’t know God, for God is Love. (1 John 8)

And light from the East, from the great sage Ramana Maharshi, echoes this teaching.

A student came to the great sage Ramana Maharshi and said: Love postulates duality. How can the Self be the object of love?

Ramana replied: Love is not different from the Self. Love of an object is of a lower type and cannot endure, whereas the Self is Love. God is Love. [1]

That sounds pretty good, but it doesn’t do much for us unless we experience it and realize it ourselves.

Love is conscious participation in the Reality of God

A group of moths went on a camping trip and fell in love with a nearby campfire. They’re all talking about its beauty and how attracted they are to it. The leader of the moth group says we need to know more about this! So he sends one of the moths to check it out. The moth comes back and describes the flame as a multicolored moving dance of bright red-orange with a golden center and an aura of light surrounding it. The leader says we need to know more! Then he sends the second moth for a closer look. That one goes right up to the flame and singes his wings. He comes back bedraggled and reports that it’s hot and it burns. Aware that there was still more to learn, the third moth takes off, dives right into the flames, experiences complete union, and disappears in the fire. The leader says to the group: Well, that one really knows, but he can’t say anything about it.

Paramahansa Yogananda wrote:

Just as oil is present in every part of the olive, so love permeates every part of creation. But to define love is very difficult, for the same reason that words cannot fully describe the flavor of an orange. You have to taste the fruit to know its flavor. So with love.

In the universal sense, love is the divine power of attraction in creation that harmonizes, unites, binds together. Those who live in tune with the attractive force of love achieve harmony with nature and their fellow beings. [2]

Another way to speak of it, or point to it, is this:

Love is the realization that the Creator and creation are not separate. Love is conscious participation in the Reality of God.

Kriya Yoga Teachings on Love

In Kriya Yoga, we learn that God is Sat-Chit-Ananda—Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss. God is Pure Existence, Supreme Consciousness, and Unconditional Bliss. Love is the shared experience of that Reality.

The shared experience is knowing that God’s existence is our existence—that we live, move, have our being in that. God is our life. We are inseparable from the Source. Supreme Consciousness is our consciousness, our ability to be aware. Our mind is a portion of Universal Mind, the mind of God. God’s blissful nature is the blissful nature of the Self, our soul or essence.

Realizing that God is our life is realizing that God is the life of all, permeating all of creation.

This teaching is expressed beautifully in the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 18, verse 61:

The Lord dwells in the heart of every being.

The mystic poet Kabir expressed it this way:

The universe is shot through in all parts by a single sort of love.

We are Life loving Itself, consciousness becoming aware of itself.

Yesterday, as I contemplated how I could speak about that, which is ultimately beyond words, I had that odd feeling that someone was looking at me. When I turned to look out the window, I saw a young hawk sitting on the deck a few feet from me and looking in at me. Hawks coming so close in a suburban backyard are not an ordinary event. As I stared at him and he looked back at me, I experienced a moment of just what I wanted to communicate—a single Consciousness, a single sort of Love pervades the entire universe.

Just before our satsang began this morning at the Center, I went to sit in the silent area of the ashram garden for a few minutes of contemplation and meditation. I was filled with a sense of peace and inspired by the beauty of nature surrounding me. I noticed a bird alight on the garden wall in front of me. When it flew down to drink from the little pool in front of me, I could see it was a dove. My mind soared and retrieved the memory of a quote from Paramahansa Yogananda. “In the silence of your soul and in every phase of life, when you turn within and say, ‘God, I have not forgotten you,’ God comes to drink from the fountain of your love.”

Our first duty is to awaken to the truth of our being, then love and serve by beholding the One in all.

The fulfillment of our nature requires it. It is the blossoming of our being—just as an apple tree must bear apples to fulfill its potential, so divine love is our obligation of becoming.

Awakening to love is a high demand. It requires us to forgive; it insists on putting others first; tells us we will be happier giving than receiving; says worry is a waste of time and that we must trust life. This divine love is not emotion—it is an open-hearted awareness, the flowering of Self-knowledge. [3]

We turn our thoughts to God, intending to live in harmony with divine love, the law of our being. Then it is a matter of simply being present.

Love will guide us. Love arranges the meeting of heart and mind and reveals right action.

Love itself introduces us to Supreme Love.

 


[1] Talks with Sri Ramana Maharishi, in The Teachings of Yoga, trans. and ed. Georg Feuerstein (Boston: Shambhala, 1997), 139.

[2] From  https://yogananda.org/Love-Human-And-Divine  (accessed 09192021)

[3] Ellen Grace O’Brian, Living for the Sake of the Soul (CSE Press: San Jose, 2016), 160.

 

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