The Luminosity of Love
Recently one of the course participants at Lifeflow said to me, “What I have found really striking about the Lifeflow teachers is that they literally seem to glow. It is so inspiring to come to the courses – it’s such a contrast to the environment I work in.”
The glow she is referring to is called ‘luminosity’ or ‘clear light’ in the meditation tradition, and is the natural state of our being. It opens up when our minds, emotions and bodies are balanced and so completely united. When you realise this and are able to hold it no matter what you are doing, your life literally lights up, and this is the essence of what is meant by enlightenment. Your life becomes luminous.
One of the reasons for this is that you no longer have to hide anything from yourself, and so there are no dark areas in your life where you fear to look. You are able to accept everything about yourself.
And this also translates to the world around you. Even if you don’t understand or agree with everything that is happening you don’t have to ignore it or pretend it is not happening. This is a great relief because you no longer have to use up your energy keeping it hidden from view.
Love is the ability to be open
Being open to everything, being receptive to everything in yourself and the world, is the essence of love. You discover that love is actually a decision – not just a feeling. It is something you can practice, and so you can learn to sustain a state of love in the same way that you can learn anything else. It doesn’t have to be left to chance.
Through knowing how to keep your senses and your mind open, you discover the rich and vivid experience we call life. Your experience everything through your whole body and mind, and so you feel connected with your whole body and the people and life around you.
Meditations on love are designed to take you beyond the boundaries of your view of yourself and your world. They become increasingly inclusive, until you can hold in your mind people, places and other forms of life way beyond your own immediate experience.
By meditating on love you can consciously create feelings of acceptance, warmth, understanding, compassion and joy. In this way you are opening yourself to states of mind and feelings without any boundaries, and literally strengthen yourself emotionally.
Love begins with being kind to yourself
From our point of view meditations on love all start from an unfamiliar place, because they all start with ourselves. Again this makes perfect sense once you think about it. How is it possible to truly love someone else if we aren’t able to like or be kind to ourselves?
Kindness itself is based on the word ‘kin’ and so a meditation on kindness brings to mind our kinship with other human beings and with everything that lives – that we’re all in it together. We all share the same home.
Open-hearted kindness was the state of mind which Francis of Assisi realized and to which he dedicated his life. His song to ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon’ is based on the realisation that we can never be separate from the Universe for we are an integral part of it.
Both the meditation tradition, along with our own indigenous Australian tradition, have always shared this view. Because they have never viewed human-kind as separate in any way from any other form of life, they see us as embedded in the natural world, as an integral part of it and dependent on it.
Nature is not seen as an enemy to be conquered or simply as a resource to be exploited – it is, in a very real sense, our mother, and so every form of life, which is also a child of nature, is related to us in an intimate way.
A classic meditation on kindness
Here is a meditation which is taught at Lifeflow which helps to open and strengthen the heart centre. Firstly you imagine a flower, for example a red rose, or a sphere of light in your heart centre, in the centre of your chest. From this you imagine a soft pastel-coloured, almost white light, spreading through your whole body. With this light you bring feelings of warmth, kindness and acceptance to your whole body and your life.
You then open to the parts of your body you find comfortable and which you like, and focus the light into them. Then, as best you can, bring the light to those parts of your body you find difficult and which cause pain and tension, and then to the parts which you take for granted and generally don’t notice. You finish by resting with the light and these feelings of acceptance, warmth and kindness through your entire body.
Kindness is the simple acceptance of the fact that we are all here together, that our bodies all live within the same limits, that we are totally dependent on the earth for our survival, and that all other people and living creatures share this with us. It is a state where you see yourself and the world from the heart, opening to the feeling of kinship with all of life.