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Monday, February 14, 2011

What is Love?

Fascinating that we use one word for the vast concept called “love.” Casually tossed around, we use it to end a letter, the equivalent of “goodbye.” Or it can be whispered with quiet determination into your ear by someone you feel a deep connection to, and instantly the mind stops, and your entire universe shifts.

Same word.

We talk a lot about love. Think a lot about love. Have major expectations about love. But really, what is love?

For many people love is attachment; duty; something that comes with a lot of baggage and loads of fine print. (“I love you if” . . . “I love you when” . . . .) My spiritual teacher uses a different word – “prem” -- a Sanskrit term that means Divine love. Love with no opposite.

This world is a place of opposites – hot and cold, up and down, right and wrong, love and hate.

Real love has no opposite.

Unfortunately, many people twist love to mean absolute obedience; love without question or reason; love in the face of abuse and neglect. Complete surrender to another person’s personality. This is absolutely wrong. Allowing yourself to be harmed or demeaned doesn’t teach you anything. And it also creates negativity for the person mistreating you. Suffering is not noble, nor helpful. Real love doesn’t ask you to become a doormat.

How do you find and experience real love? Like most things, the journey begins within you.

You must first fall in love with yourself. Not through massive ego pumping; not from a sense of self-importance or conceit. And certainly not through external things, like how much you weigh, or if you’re having a good hair day.
Love of the self begins with the knowledge that there is a part of you that is connected to something vast and eternal. It comes from being an honorable person, and making choices that allow you to be your best self, both on the inner plane and in the outer world.

It comes from being really honest. Becoming aware of when you are telling yourself untruths about your choices and circumstances.

Love comes from forgiving yourself ; recognizing you are human, and not perfect. And yet, holding yourself to a standard. Finding that space between mentally battering yourself for mistakes, or always making excuses.

Who do you believe you love and honor the most in your life? Ask yourself; is it “prem?” The love of the Divine, with no caveats, no contracts? And then, you must turn the question around and look at yourself. Do you treat yourself as well as you treat this other person? Do you love yourself as well and as true?

Be willing to see the truth within yourself and recognize that no matter how many love relationships you have experienced, no matter how connected to yourself you thought you were -- you may only be at the beginning of your journey to discovering real love.



Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I am certain you have heard the expression, “timing is everything.” Well; it sorta is.

You could work very hard to till the soil; amend it with compost; erect a sturdy fence; etc., etc.; but if you plant your tomatoes here in Roanoke in November, you will not be harvesting come February; they are going to die. Do the same thing in May, and by August you will find your tomato bliss.

The only difference? Timing.

Today, Wednesday, February 2, is a New Moon (in Aquarius). The most auspicious time for starting anything; for creating. Whether it is planting a new thought, a new venture; or simply hitting your personal “reset” button.

And as the dark Moon slowly grows with each passing day, what we have seeded; in our consciousness, in our lives, comes to fruition at the Full Moon. Maybe not completion, though in some cases, yes. Look to the symbols that will develop around that Full Moon (Friday, February 18, as the Sun moves into Pisces) to see what you have planted.

And, again – remember. As Goswami Kriyananda reminds us, this is the Garden of God. Whatsoever we sow is what we reap. If you don’t like what you have been harvesting lately, don’t curse the bounty. Whatever it is, you earned it, be it positive or negative from your point of view.

If you wish to receive something different, you must begin at the planting stage; remembering to nurture and feed that which you wish to grow.

Still not sure what to plant? Maybe you want THIS or maybe you want THAT? Stop flipping through the seed catalogs and looking at the pretty pictures; turn your attention inward; and discern: what do I REALLY want to do; to create?

Look at the world around you; look at the world at large; things are getting crazy, and will get crazier; find your inner peace, your inner balance, your inner strength NOW.

Turn, Turn, Turn
[words-adapted from The Bible, book of Ecclesiastes
music-Pete Seeger]

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late
Uttara Yoga Studio, LLC. Blog design by Jessica Hedrick