Friday, August 12, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 245

This is the daily exploration for Thursday, September 1, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF HEAVENLINESS
+ Continuing with the 12 styles of the Mandala process, we are exploring the style of Love and  Compassion.

+ Here is the Spirituality & Practice  Introduction to The Practice of Love:
Love of self, love of neighbors, and love of God are the foundational stones of the world's religions. Spiraling out from the core of our being, our other loves are also cobblestones on the spiritual path: love of family, of partner, of friends, of community, of animals, of nature, of country, of things, of hobbies, of work. Love is not something that you just fall into, as the romantic songs suggest. Love is a spiritual practice. You can get better at it over time.

Begin by recognizing that you can't love others until you truly love yourself — body, mind, and soul. As you move through a day, be aware of love's expressions emerging from you or coming toward you — attraction, focus, absorption, desire, adoration, security, trust, empathy, caring, harmony, contentment, communion. Practice extending the reach of these feelings. It is through loving that we experience the love of God.

Fear always trips us up on the spiritual path, and it surfaces most often around the practice of love. We are afraid to love and worry that nobody will love us back. We are apprehensive about the quality of our love relationships: are they strong enough, good enough, durable enough? Whereas we don't usually question the quality of our acts of kindness, say, we put performance measurements on our loving.

Love and intimacy go together, but if we have been disappointed by love, we worry that intimacy is beyond our reach. We fear that we have lost the ability to feel love, or that we are just not loveable, or that we will be hurt again. Sometimes we even fear that love will change us. 

Hearing all this fretful thinking, God the Beloved writes one prescription over and over: Fear not! I love you.

+ Love can be hard to define or describe.  Sometimes words fail to match the deep meaning of Love.  We are now exploring Love for a while with the intention that we can be transformed into better lovers than we already are.  I think Mary Ann & Fred definitely have it right when they say “Begin by recognizing that you can't love others until you truly love yourself — body, mind, and soul.”  You are wonderful.  Yes, YOU.  Give yourself a hug.  I would hug you if you were here.

+ Spirituality & Practice offers abundant resources on the practices of Love & Compassion: The Practice of Love | The 12s Gallery on Love | The Practice of Compassion | The 12s Gallery on Compassion  

+ The 12 styles of Mandala: Creating An Authentic Spiritual Path: An InterSpiritual Process by Edward Bastian are listed in SE206.

+ The 7 steps of InterSpiritual Meditation by Edward Bastian are listed in SE21 and SE213.  They are described fully in his book, InterSpiritual Meditation.

+ To get inspired and illuminated by Ed Bastian, I invite you to set aside some time for these videos:  Seven Steps of InterSpiritual Meditation (11 minutes) | 15 minute introduction to InterSpiritual Meditation and the Mandala Process | 2 hour lecture & conversation

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Heavenliness page.  Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Heavenliness” or “Love” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

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