What is Love... Be Here Now.

“You are loved just for Being who you are, just for existing. 

You don’t have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success- none of that matters. 

No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.”
-Ram Dass

Today I wish to talk about LOVE.

Well of course here in the west on Wednesday 14th February, we take this day as one where we tell those that we care for, that we Love them. We do nice things together, we kiss, we hug, we share in good times. We also may well be alone, but does that mean that there is no love? I mean, what is love anyway? Why and how do we feel it and where does it come from? This idea to celebrate on one day, I find to be both brilliant and totally unnecessary. But yet, do you tell those everyday that you love them, do you tell yourself? I raise my kids to say I love you everyday and most of all, I tell them to say it to themselves. They often list and recite to me who they love. It's poetic and joyful, raw and true. There are no inhibitions in the land of a child. they are honest. 

So this week as i pondered Love, I returned to Ram Dass and his incredible words on the Entrance to Oneness. And I include some excerpts here for you that I gained much pleasure from reading... 

If I go into the place in myself that is love and you go into the place in yourself that is love, we are together in love. Then you and I are truly in love, the state of being love. That’s the entrance to Oneness. That’s the space I entered when I met my guru.
This love is like sunshine, a natural force, a completion of what is, a bliss that permeates every particle of existence. In Sanskrit it’s called sat-cit-ananda, “truth-consciousness-bliss,” the bliss of consciousness of existence. That vibrational field of ananda love permeates everything; everything in that vibration is in love. It’s a different state of being beyond the mind.
Unconditional love is so hard to describe, and why the best descriptions come from mystic poets. Most of our descriptions are from the point of view of conditional love, from an interpersonal standpoint that just dissolves in that unconditioned place.

So I welcome to the path of the heart! Believe it or not, this can be your reality, to be loved unconditionally and to begin to become that love. This path of love doesn’t go anywhere. It just brings you more here, into the present moment, into the reality of who you already are. This path takes you out of your mind and into your heart.

Between the love that we seek and the love that is already there. 

Take a listen to this lovely track. As it sings, the work is never done. Soon as the moon falls, here comes the sun. Give us a balance on the path, there is no need to ask for more. Let THIS soften our soul and focus our stare. 

"Don't let your soul get lonely Child it's only time, it will go by Don't look for love in faces, places It's in you that's where you will find kindness."

One of my dearest friends said to me, that even those that you think are the most loyal can let you down. You can let yourself down. But don't loose your faith. 

If we look to the Yogic Scriptures of The Upanishads, Tejobindu Upanishad reminds us of the 'beyondness' of reality. It tells us how one must move beyond ordinary experience and ordinary responses to be at one with it; beyond the guidance of texts themselves. This rang true to me in Love. In matters of the heart, there is no right or wrong, there is no way of describing your experience or even normalising it. Your experience is directly what it is. What it helps us to know is how we must transcend scripture itself in search for ones destiny. Do not look at another experience and wish for it, don't look at your own and or follow a way of living that is written in a text. Love is written in the stars and all you have to do is to allow it to manifest just how its meant to in you. You are pure love. The I am 'Atman'

The realization of Atman.

(...) I am of the nature of consciousness.
I am made of consciousness and bliss.
I am nondual, pure in form, absolute knowledge, absolute love.
I am changeless, devoid of desire or anger, I am detached.
I am One Essence, unlimitedness, utter consciousness.
I am boundless Bliss, existence and transcendent Bliss.
I am the Atman, that revels in itself.
I am the Sacchidananda that is eternal, enlightened and pure.

— Tejobindu Upanishad, 3.1-3.12 (Abridged)[33][34]

As the mystic poet Kabir says... 

Love Stories Are Sweet

"Akath Kahani Prem Ki, Kuch Kahi Na Jaye, Goonge Keri Sarkara, Baithe Muskae." Meaning: "Inexpressible is the story of love, no one can fully describe what it feels like, Similar to the dumb guy who has eaten sweet sugar, he can only smile to show his pleasure."

So eat sugar or chocolate is my preference and smile in the face of Love this week. 

In class, let's move in breath and in Asana and feel the heart open up with contentment this night and this week, as we practice Yoga together, we will explore Vishnu, the Lord of Love.

Ananta, a word meaning “unending” or “infinite,” describes what is timeless, beyond birth, growth, death, and all modifications—a limitless state of joy and contentment. This sweet, natural state of ours, beyond the things of the senses, is embodied by the vast mythological serpent, Ananta, whose coils support the universe and who serves as Vishnu's couch when Vishnu rests between avataric incarnations. If you add -asana to Ananta, you have the name of a yoga pose which can help us cultivate this innate sense of contentment, equanimity, and timelessness. 

Yoga i-D anantasana.jpg

Vishnu is the Lord of Love and preservation. The asana Anantasana is used to symbolise Vishnu resting on a cosmic-serpent couch as he dreams the world into existence, he looks calm and effortlessly equanimous.

It should be noted that losing your balance is not a bad thing in this posture; as it brings the edges of extremes to light and shows you where you need more physical or mental support. Lord Vishnu pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, groin and pelvis. It also tones the abdominals and increases hip mobility. 

Anantasana encourages us to drop deep inside. By staying sensitive, clear, and courageous in all of your poses, you can become more aware of the tiny adjustments that you need to make in order to stay stable in Anantasana.

These are the qualities in acton that I believe we need when facing matters of Love. Love doesn't always work out how we hope, it can challenge us and even sustaining self love is hard. What we are doing is learning to create stability on the razors edge in a constant sea of change. That is the love, that is the work that is never done!

Patanjali says in Yoga Sutra 2.47, “By relaxing effort and fixing the mind on the infinite [ananta], asana is perfected.” How does it feel to embody this sutra in your practice?

Lets see as we move, love and let life be here and now.

Namaste all you lovers of mine. Sending you all an abundance of love. x