What Is love?
We tend to think of love as something that can be attained, something that comes and goes, something limited that we can have or lose. But when we speak of love in spirituality, we ultimately recognize love as who we are, the essence of our being. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are all searching for the same experience – that of love. We may have different words for it – happiness, joy, abundance, connection, or truth. But if we look deeply inside, there is a common longing of the soul – for love.
If there is a piece of you that is unsatisfied with life, you might ask – how can I be more happy, how can I bring more happiness to others, how can we experience more love in this world? Before we act outwardly, I ask you to look within.
Do you have a fear inside that prevents you from opening to love in its fullest expression? Are we aware of the infinite potential of love? There is no justified reason to close down to love. No fear is necessary, and often it is simply a matter of shifting perspective that helps us improve our experience of life.
It can be helpful to cultivate an inner attitude that we are responsible for our emotions, that we can choose our feelings and reactions. Is our experience of love as vast and as beautiful as it can be? Do I love myself fully, and is this the same love I feel for others? Try to imagine someone that you love very much. Do you want anything in return from them? Is your love unconditional, free of expectations? Does it fluctuate according to situations or from person to person?
In its highest Truth, love is an experience of shared being – to experience every being as love, and every moment as love. It does not want anything in return, it does not fluctuate. It does not require a subjective reason, but becomes a continuous beautiful reality.
The common experience of all realized masters, regardless of religious tradition or spiritual practice, is that of love. To experience all beings as yourself, a consciousness of oneness, love is beyond the personal domain, a universal grace embracing all that is. Whether we feel open to acknowledge the possibility of enlightenment, we can agree that there is a shared question between all of us – what is the Truth behind this life?
Why are we here, who am I? Love in itself is a path to realization.
To experience true love as the truth of our being is something that is beyond words. It does not require a thought process of the mind; rather it refers to going beyond the mind.
What is love? In Hridaya Yoga we speak of “living with an open heart”. The being is free of tension, full of compassion, open to the glory of life, pure awareness. Love cannot be provided by another, it flows through us rather than from us. It is not limited, but rather is simply a matter of opening to this reality. Sat, Chit, Ananda- pure consciousness, pure existence, pure bliss.
It is important to understand that love is not an experience you need to seek, or a goal to be chased. It is a Divine presence that is with us in every moment, and we do not need anything from anyone. A simple awareness – as much as possible, beginning with small moments throughout the day, gradually deepening to an ongoing pure consciousness, existing As love. Love is not outside of you; it is not dependent on any other individual or behavior. Simply open to this… you don’t need love.
Because you are Love.
The consciousness in you
and the consciousness in me
and that is called love.
–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj