When I use the phrase “unconditional love” I’m not sure everyone understands. I’m not sure everyone understands because frankly, for a long time, I didn’t understand. It’s hard to explain. After all, what in life is unconditional? When could a person FEEL unconditional love? Is it even possible?
Going through life it would be easy to think not. “No. There are always conditions.” That is a logical conclusion. After all, how else could it be? Someone always wants something. There’s always a deal-breaker for a relationship – something that gets in the way and prevents love. Maybe it’s cigarettes. It could be too much or too little weight. Maybe it’s the fourth cat. Or it could be much, much, worse.
Yes. There are conditions in life – in this world. That said, there is also a way to experience unconditional love.
Experiencing Unconditional Love – A.K.A. Bliss
The first week of November in 2015, I had a glorious moment. It was a moment that I’ve had before, but it had been a long time since the last experience [Note: This experience was at the beginning of my spiritual transformation and since that time, I’ve had many such experiences.].
The best word for what I felt would be ecstasy.
I don’t mean that drugs were involved – or even sex. I mean something much more transcendent.
This was a mystical experience. It was an experience that Sufis and students of Kabbalah work for. It’s something that is hinted at in religious texts the world over. Yogis promise it in moksha. Perhaps you could find it in Buddhist nirvana.
I’m talking about an experience of unconditional love and it happened, quite by accident, through meditation.
My Accidental Love Meditation Process
At first, I thought about foster care kids. Lying in my bed, I thought about the experience of rejection or abandonment by a parent. I thought about being shuffled from one home to another, from an institution to a stranger and back. I imagined how that must feel for a child. I thought about my experience as a sibling to foster children. I thought about my brother. I thought about my students who I watched enter foster care.
In my mind, I took them close, wrapping them in my arms. I kissed their foreheads and cheeks and whispered in their ears, “I love you. You are loved. You are precious. Someone cares about you.”
Then I thought about homeless wandering down the street, the eyes of others sliding over and ignoring. I thought of the daily rejection and apathy they experience. So I wrapped my arms around them, and whispered in their ears, “I love you. You are loved. I think of you everyday.”
Then I thought about prisoners. I thought about the wrongly imprisoned. My heart broke at their suffering and I wished them hope. I thought about psychopaths, murders, and rapists. I saw their brokenness. I saw a violent cycle beginning before they were born. I took their hands, looked into their eyes and said, “I’m here with you. You are not forgotten. I forgive you. You are loved despite.”
That was when I saw broken and neglected rich youth – lost and angry. I looked into their eyes, and I took their hands, and I said, “I see you. You have a purpose. I care about you.”
In my mind’s eye, I witnessed the suffering of the world and wrapped my arms around it. I cried, forgave, and kissed it, bathing it in love. There was so much – this sensation of energetic empathy – I couldn’t hold it in my body. It was overwhelming, bubbling over, pouring out of me into the world. So I sent it, directing as I was able.
In that moment, I knew spreading this energy – love – was all that was required. Everything else was so much dust.
I don’t know if anyone felt a little brighter. Did someone feel a surge of hope or strength? I don’t know if it did anything for anyone else, but it did something for me.
I write about this because this is a part of what it means to thrive – to be a member of the human community sharing and living together. It is a state of being, of emotive service. While this kind of meditation isn’t possible to maintain continuously, the intention is.
We may not be able to stay in this kind of emotive state permanently, but we can come close. We can be loving through our daily actions and focus on spreading more love in every aspect of our lives.
Your Love Meditation
You can have a similar meditation to mine and experience that sense of overwhelming love.
Here is what I recommend:
- Get in a comfortable position.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
- Think about a situation or group of people who deeply need love.
- See your heart opening with love for them. Imagine yourself wrapping them in a huge hug.
- Say aloud or to yourself, “I love you. You are loved. You are precious. Someone cares about you.”
- Repeat as you feel led.
- When finished, imagine your arms back at your side. Slowly come back to the room.
Please note: This exercise requires DEEP empathy and a willingness to open one’s heart to the full depth of emotion. There is an initial sense of vulnerability in this experience because you open yourself to another’s pain. That said, you almost immediately transform the situation with your love and care, which neutralizes the vulnerability. It is a perfectly safe exercise, though don’t be surprised by tears or other physical sensations.
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