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Guest Blog by Ram Dass

Imagine feeling more love from someone than you have ever known. You’re being loved even more than your mother loved you when you were an infant, more than you were ever loved by your father, your child, or your most intimate lover–anyone. This lover doesn’t need anything from you, isn’t looking for personal gratification, and only wants your complete fulfillment.

100313_lede_love.jpgYou are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don’t have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success– none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.

Imagine that being in this love is like relaxing endlessly into a warm bath that surrounds and supports your every movement, so that every thought and feeling is permeated by it. You feel as though you are dissolving into love.

This love is actually part of you; it is always flowing through you. It’s like the subatomic texture of the universe, the dark matter that connects everything. When you tune in to that flow, you will feel it in your own heart–not your physical heart or your emotional heart, but your spiritual heart, the place you point to in your chest when you say, “I am.”

This is your deeper heart, your intuitive heart. It is the place where the higher mind, pure awareness, the subtler emotions, and your soul identity all come together and you connect to the universe, where presence and love are.

Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not “I love you” for this or that reason, not “I love you if you love me.” It’s love for no reason, love without an object. It’s just sitting in love, a love that incorporates the chair and the room and permeates everything around. The thinking mind is extinguished in love.

If I go into the place in myself that is love and you go into the place in yourself that is love, we are together in love. Then you and I are truly in love, the state of being love. That’s the entrance to Oneness.

Welcome to the path of the heart! Believe it or not, this can be your reality, to be loved unconditionally and to begin to become that love. This path of love doesn’t go anywhere. It just brings you more here, into the present moment, into the reality of who you already are. This path takes you out of your mind and into your heart.

Love is a natural human inclination. People in other times and places have found this path in many different cultural situations. In India it’s called bhakti yoga, finding ultimate union through love, a tradition that stretches back many centuries. Bhakti yoga practices are a way to enter into unconditional love, into the radiant heart, to dissolve oneself in the ocean of love, in the One. Later in the book you will meet a few of the Indian “saints” who have become that love. We will look at ways you can also tread on that path. There’s no formula. Each of us has our own key to unlock the reality of our heart.

Falling into Love

The first time you experience unconditional love as an adult, it may be a gentle melting of a glacier. Or it may be more of a cataclysm, like a giant earthquake that shakes you to your inner core. You are falling in love, but the act of receiving love that intense and all-encompassing changes your conception of yourself. You can’t swim in such a vast ocean and remain entirely in the small pond of your limited self. Even if that opening is only for an instant, even if it goes away and is apparently forgotten, that moment of realization, of the heart opening, colors the rest of a lifetime. There’s no going back. The lingering taste of that ultimate sweetness remains and won’t be denied.

Unconditional love dissolves any rational hesitation as we become drunk on its sweetness. We are like moths circling a candle flame, immolating ourselves in a fire of living love.

Excerpted with permission from BE LOVE NOW by Ram Dass. Copyright © 2010 by Love Serve Remember Foundation.  Used with permission of HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.

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