While we might not directly love what is, there is a pathway to this inner freedom. As we explore in this meditation, we begin with allowing the changing sensations and emotions to move through us, just as they are. As this allowing presence deepens, it becomes suffused with the tenderness of love.
In this choiceless, never ending flow of life There is an infinite array of choices One alone brings happiness To love what is..
Radical love sees and cherishes the sacred that lives through all beings. In this talk, we’ll look at the barrier to loving the life that is right here—what we call self—and how we can call on the light and warmth of awareness to awaken that love.
“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” ~ James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
“Through love all pain will turn to medicine.” ~ Rumi, Look! This Is Love
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Radical love arises from the purity of our awake awareness, and cuts through the delusion of being separate and not OK. It comes from and brings out our intrinsic goodness.
These talks explore the barriers to this embodied, inclusive and active loving, and include reflections that can help us to free our own hearts and bring true healing to our world.
I love everybody, I love everybody in my heart. And you can’t make me hate you. You can’t make me hate you in my heart. Because I have love in my heart, I am going to treat everybody right. ~ Ruby Sales
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~ Rumi
Starting with scanning through the body and awakening the senses, we then rest in presence, with the breath as a home base. The meditation invites an openness to whatever arises, and a gentle kind attention if we encounter physical or emotional pain. We end with a prayer that includes our own being and all beings (from the 2017 archives).
As individuals and societies, we are pulled by both the insecurity of our evolutionary past, and by our awake heart, our capacity for mindfulness and compassion. This talk explores the ways we can listen to and respond to the call of our awake heart, by training ourselves to open to vulnerability (our own and others) and widen the circles of compassion (a favorite from the 2017 archives).
This short version of the Tibetan Tonglen practice guides us in courageously opening to the suffering within us and all beings, and allowing that suffering to be held in the formless heartspace that is our true belonging.
This meditation begins by guiding us through a scan: opening to inner space and aliveness, then to outer space, and then continuous space, filled with the light of awareness. We explore how every experience belongs to this infinite awake space of our Being, and can be held with tenderness and love.
In the moments when we either resist or get possessed by our strong emotions, we are in a trance, and cut off from openhearted awareness. This talk explores the truth that “it’s not what’s happening, it’s how we’re relating.” We look at three key trainings that help us relate to difficult emotions with a wise and compassionate presence.
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
Being at war with ourselves blocks us from evolving our consciousness and living from our hearts. This talk distinguishes between toxic and healthy shame, as well as shame about our individual self and our group identity. We explore how, with self-compassion and courageous honesty, we can respond to negative, painful feelings about ourselves in a way that serves awakening and alignment with our deepest values.
Spiritual hope opens us to possibility and energizes us to manifest our potential for love and wisdom. In contrast to attachment or egoic hope, which is the grasping for what will benefit a separate self, spiritual hope arises from trust in the openhearted awareness (bodhichitta) that is always and already within us. This talk explores how, as individuals and as a society, we can nourish spiritual hope, and create the grounds for healing and radical transformation.
“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness.”