“Love is neither sentiment nor emotion. Love is energy.” – Sathya Sai Baba
Some of my best and greatest teachers have been embodiments of love. They teach through example. My grandmother, Eva, gave me good lessons. Regardless of my childish and often egocentric ways she’d always wrap me in her thick, warm arms and give me absolute and total unconditional love. I’d bury my head in her flower print cotton dress and whatever troubled my heart would fade in an instant. She may have taught me some of the greatest lessons about how to put love into action. They came through her in waves of loving energy that I will never forget.
When I lived in the South of France, I often attended satsang (being in company of the spiritual-minded), with Tibetan Buddhist Lama, Sogyal Rinpoche. His gentle humor and warmth represented another kind of love. He could speak to compassion and entice my heart to open and expand. The big leap came on a trip to India, the first time I saw Sathya Sai Baba. Baba was an elevated soul who could melt the hardest hearts with the love that emanated from him. He never sought publicity and yet millions of people from around the world traveled to the remote village where he lived in India for his darshan (vision of a holy one).
When he died recently, he received a funeral with state honors and the Dalai Lama along with representatives of other major world religions paid tribute to his works of service. Baba built state-of-the-art hospitals, schools and canals that carry drinking water to villages that previously had none. The health care and education in the institutions is provided entirely for free. His love in action helped millions in India and around the world.
The greater the love, the greater the power to effect change and bring a positive influence to the world. Many people think of speaking of Love as a cliché. But real Love as a practice is hard work – and worth every iota of effort. It transcends romantic notions and unites us with deep feelings of Oneness. To me this type of Love means making an effort to help others even when there is no reward; thinking kind and loving thoughts; giving back to the community in small ways and in big ways when possible. Sometimes a smile to someone at the right time or an inspired gift of food can be the love needed in the moment that will change someone’s heart and lift them from despair.
What does Love mean to you and how will you consciously Love today? What quality of Love will you put into your work, your relationships and your life? The energy of Love that we bring into our actions, projects and words today add up over the long term to bring meaning and beauty.
Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.