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    Living for Love...

          ... Living for The Beloved

What would it be like to be continually-loving, able to love everyone no matter what, always being kind and attentive?

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Matthew 22:37-40

That's it. That's all there really is to do in this life. Everything else is just preparation. Simply love your Lord, love your neighbor, and from that love will arise such power, such strength and such glory that nothing else is needed. Oh what a delightfully simple message!!

Certainly such a manner of loving sounds like a wonderful idea, but what does it mean to love with all thy heart, and all thy soul and all thy mind? Sadly, in today's' world, we often lack role-models that could show us and help us to understand such glorious love.

As a role-model, consider this shepherd that Moses encountered one day:

Once Moses was walking near the bank of a river, and he saw a shepherd boy speaking to himself. Moses was interested and halted there to listen to what he was saying. The shepherd boy was saying, 'O God, I have heard so much of You. You are so beautiful, You are so lovely, You are so kind, that if You ever came to me I would clothe You with my mantle, and I would guard You night and day. I would protect You from the cruel animals of this forest, and bathe You in this river, and bring to You all good things, milk and buttermilk. I would bring You a special bread. I love You so much. I would not let anyone cast his glance upon You. I would be all the time near You. I love You so much! If only I could see You once, God, I would give all I have.'

The Alchemy of Happiness, Hazrat Inayat Khan
        (see also Mathnawi II:1720, Jalaluddin Rumi)

Such a love! Such tenderness, such compassion! A love that asks naught for itself, but only seeks the pleasure and comfort of the beloved.

The unabashed love of that shepherd is the exact same kind of love that we too must have for our Beloved, and also for one another... not in just pleasant circumstances, but even in the midst of the most difficult situations.

Take a moment and see if you can honestly make such a heartfelt prayer to your own Beloved. In the depths of your own heart, discover what it feels like to have such overflowing love, reverence and humility, without any thought of any return whatsoever, loving purely for the delight of loving.

As a spiritual practice, try devoting a little bit of time, even just a minute or two, each day in a quiet relaxed moment, to meditate on the experience of the rock-splitting, ice-melting love that the shepherd was enraptured by. And then, as it becomes easier to experience that unbounded, endless, ever-flowing love, begin to offer that same love to every person that you encounter.

Imagine if you will, a world where your initial response to every person in every situation is to feel those loving words of the shepherd "You are so beautiful, you are so lovely, I will clothe you with my own coat, I will guard you, and bring you all good things...", and the more vividly one imagines this situation, the more easily it will be put into practice.

Interestingly, the subconscious mind does not know the difference between events that we vividly imagine and those which have really happened. Therefore, the subconscious mind can be reprogrammed by our own visualizations. If, for example, you are having a problem with a certain person, then with all of your heart, all of your sincerity, imagine yourself with that person and saying so kindly, so lovingly, so compassionately "You are so beautiful, you are so lovely, I will clothe you with my own coat, I will guard you, and bring you all good things..." and if you are truly sincere in your feelings, you will now find that your relationship with that person will be blessed with a newfound depth and clarity. Try it. The results are limited only by the depth of your own sincerity.

All of the strife and suffering of this world arise from the selfish, self-centered concepts of  "I", "me" and "mine", but when the self-centered viewpoint is dropped, all that is left is the wondrous glory of "What Is"; and as one lovingly embraces all of life with the love of an open-hearted shepherd, life becomes a sublime adventure in the immanence of the Almighty, where every need is filled and every moment is joyful.

God wants to see
More love and playfulness in your eyes
For that is your greatest witness to him.

The Gift, Hafiz, rendering by Ladinsky


Wishing you love, harmony and beauty,

posted June 06, 2005