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 Yoga and Relationships
 A feeble attempt to define love
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450 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  1:01:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
I'm brand new to yoga, meditation, and your forum. There's an overwhelming amount of knowledge being passed on here, but I'm really enjoying the learning.

I see a lot in this forum about the feeling of love and of being in love, and I view love a little differently, I think. So I decided to throw my ideas out there to see what others have to say.

I guess it's easiest to start a definition by defining what a thing is not. And, from my point of view, love is not a feeling at all. Love is something we do. The word itself is not a noun; it's a verb. So we might feel affection for someone or incredible longing or lust or all three or more, but those feelings are not love.

Love is what we do. It's changing the colicky baby's poopy diaper at 2 in the morning and rocking her until she falls back to sleep. It's massaging the hubby's sore back every night to make living with a herniated disk a little easier. (The touching is nice too. ) It's visiting a loved one in prison because you know how important those visits really are. (Oh, the stories I could tell about prisons!) It's spending time with someone and sharing thoughts and feelings. And I think loving with our bodies (sex) is one of the most profound expressions of love available to us humans. I think that's why sex changes things in a relationship, but that's a whole 'nother topic...

Anyway, viewing love as a verb allows us to actively love others without having to feel any kind of affection for them whatsoever. It's all about what we do for others (and for ourselves), and it's independent of how we feel. But I also know that the practice of love can be horribly draining, especially if the people you love have big problems. My personal experience came in the form of a kind of hormone crash. I wound up in the doctor's office devoid of energy and bleeding profusely mid-cycle. It's the experience that drove me to search out meditation as a possible way to keep myself from circling the drain.

And I found much more than I expected! I now know from reading the AYP book and from my few days' meditation practice that the capacity to sustain love has been in me all along. I just didn't know how to tap it. And I can tell already that the meditation is having a profound effect. I can tell that one of my twins needs extra hugs, and I can tell that my oldest daughter has a lot on her mind and needs someone to really listen to her. I can tell my hubby is upset about his back condition, and I have it in me to give them what they need. It's no effort anymore!

So I think it's incredibly smart to put the meditation practice first before anything else in yoga. (Not that Yogani needs affirmation from a newbie like me! ) We tap the well (get the inner love making going) within ourselves and go out and love others. It's exiting to think about. If I'm getting this from 20 minutes of meditation twice a day for about a week, I wonder what will happen on down the road. Good things, I imagaine.


3189 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  1:20:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi lizmoran and welcome to the AYP forums!

Sounds like good things are happening for you already, that's fantastic!

I am in total agreement with you that love is not a "thing," a noun. It's easy to get attached to definitions and to confuse words with that which is being described, but I too feel Love is more of an "ing" then a static sensation/emotion/feeling. Essentially, for me, Love is service.

Again, welcome to the forums and I look forward to reading more from you in the future.


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United Kingdom
84 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  4:41:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit BuddhiHermit's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Liz, and welcome.

So wonderful that you are finding ways of actualising love in your life.

To me, Love is a force that draws things together, like gravity. Some might say that Mother Earth is loving us as she draws us closer to her.

Love draws us closer to our inner selves, and it is when we are at home in ourselves, that it overflows into the world.

Love as a verb seems more like "love in action", and "expressions of love" rather than how I see Love itself.
It is a wonderful way to lead life, opening us to service with empathy, or service with heart.
It is easy to sacrifice our sense of dislike, or difficulty, when Love is present.

When I sit silently in deep meditation, Love sits with me, an enrichment more like a scented mist, than a desire for action.

The more we trust in love to guide us when to act, and when to stop, the more our lives seem to find a satisfying balance;

And the better our meditation, the clearer our perception of Love, and the easier it is to open to it.

I wish you many deep and enriching moments.

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821 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  7:25:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome lizmoran

I'm happy you're having good results with meditation. Beautiful things are in store for you!

To me, Love is who we are. At the core of our being, when you strip everything else away. It can seem like a doing because we express it in our words, thoughts, and actions. It flows from us because we express what we are.

Thank you for your presence here. Hope you will continue to share your journey and best wishes with practices.

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847 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  8:08:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi lizmoran,

Welcome, and a lovely post you gave

The most freeing thing we can always do is to love whatever is here in the most non-discriminative way we know.

Love to you
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450 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2011 :  9:18:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you all for spending time and sharing your own ideas! It's so encouraging, and you've given me much to think about. Writing is a process of discovery for me. I don't always know where I'm going to end up when I start. And the journey continues thanks to you.

Much gratitude to you all!
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2333 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2011 :  03:35:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
thank you Liz for your beautiful sharing
Love is giving in a spontaneous is very self liberating
all the best
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2333 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2011 :  03:59:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
but also Love is not restricted to "my" son,"my" hubby is universal unconditional giving
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56 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2011 :  08:30:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit WoodDragon's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
We are Love. All is Love. It is both noun and verb and yet it is neither. It is the Truth, it is all that is. In all of its forms, in all of its ways in its purest of expressions coming from deep within. We are all Love and all that we do is Love.
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