Did you know that unconditional love and meditation are one and the same?
Unconditional love is an all-encompassing and detached type of love. It is an expanding love that seeks to understand. It does not seek to categorize things just to make the universe feel a little bit simpler. When you are engaged in unconditional love, you become deeply present with the object of love in the most detached way without judging how he/she/it makes you feel.
In the same way, meditation is the art of detached presence. Meditation techniques usually begin with an object of focus. An object of focus can be a word or phrase, a visualized image, your own breath, a line of an inspiring song, sensations in your body and many other things. It is generally something that you can easily “fall in love with”.
There is a merging process when you are meditating on a chosen object. Lovers of Jesus or Krishna pray to their Beloved and even say that they take on some of his qualities. This is meditation. Lovers tend to merge with one another. It is as true in meditation as it is in relationships.
The art of merging and being present with an object of focus is called concentration meditation. You become more and more present with the object of focus on deeper and deeper levels without judging any of its qualities or labeling it in any way.
Some meditation practitioners stop at this point. In such a case, anything other than the object of focus is a distraction. Every time the mind wanders, the attention goes back to the object of focus.
There is another element to meditation called Mindfulness or Vipassana. “Vipassana” is a Sanskrit word which means “seeing things as they really are”. The mind naturally wanders in cycles. When the mind wanders from its chosen object during meditation, the Mindfulness practitioner takes note that thought is occurring in the present moment. If emotions come up, he/she takes note that emotions are occurring. These processes are allowed to be. Then, the mind goes right back to the object of focus.
The cultivation of mindfulness trains the mind for unconditional love. When experiences occur, the meditation practitioner learns how to be deeply present with these moment-to-moment experiences in the most detached way and without judgment. Instead of labeling, he/she just observes what is and gets to know life more deeply.
The ego is trained for conditional love. It pushes away and buries uncomfortable experience, often through breath restriction and other processes. It also clings to comfortable and exciting experience. This process creates all of our stress. It tangles up the mind and distorts the ability to perceive life clearly. Is this unconditional love?
Meditation is the antidote to the processes of the overactive ego. When you are deeply present with experiences without condition, you are practicing unconditional love.
When you practice unconditional love through meditation, you receive many rewards. Things that bother you now will not bother you so much after long term meditation training. Your health will improve. You will also gain deep insight into the causes of suffering and happiness. The root of happiness is the cultivation of unconditional love. Meditation will help you get to this place where happiness and love is the norm.
Tom Von Deck is an international corporate employee meditation trainer, stress management speaker and author of Oceanic Mind – The Deeper Meditation Training Course. Tom specializes in “absolutely foolproof meditation for busy people” and making meditation a much easier and more customized process for people of all religions, temperaments and hectic time schedules. His website is www.DeeperMeditation.Net.