Ayurveda Day 42: What is Love?

What is love? Baby don’t hurt me…

Just kidding. But seriously, what is love? How does it look? How do we practice it?

How can I attain love?

We often equate love with happiness. In today’s society, we also believe that happiness is a product of our successes – the person we marry, the kids we have, the job we work at, the money we earn, the things we buy, etc.

But love is not something to be attained through any “thing”. Love is the end result of cultivating that which will counteract the Rajasic and Tamasic ways of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

Okay, I will admit, that sounds pretty clinical and dull. Who do I think I am, putting love into these compartments?

“You can’t categorize love man, it’s a feeling beyond words”

Look, the thing is, we need practical ways to increase love. Our capacity to love and be loved, along with the quality of that love, are super important. But we all have biases. We all have faults. We all have doshas, and are human. We confuse love for attachment, when it should be about appreciation. We confuse love for passion when it’s about compassion. We have many confusions and it’s easy to get confused.

There are only three real things we need to remember to cultivate:
Faith, non-judgment, and non-attachment.
If you are not cultivating those things, then you will have:
Fear, judgment, and attachment.

Fear causes anxiety and worry over that which we cannot control. Having faith that everything is exactly as it should be will create peace.
Judgement causes anger, hatred, jealousy. Being non-judgmental, accepting that everything is exactly as it should be and doesn’t need fixing will create compassion.
Attachment causes conditions, attaches strings to your love. Not being attached will allow you to love things unconditionally.

Practicing all of these higher virtues will slowly clear the muddied lake we all have in us. It will smooth out the ripples and disturbances, bringing clarity and stillness to the water for depth and reflection. All of these things will wind up creating space for love to enter.

Love is bliss. But not the bliss that comes from ignorance or the ego. It is not the bliss that comes from feeling unique, separate, somehow different or special. It is the bliss that comes from seeing everything as a drama playing itself out, and that we are all connected. It sees the divine in everything and everyone. True love is seeing yourself in everyone and everyone in yourself. It’s not about you, or her, or him, or this or that. It’s about love. And you and him and her and this and that are love.

All of creation is something that is deserving of love. No exceptions. This means even YOU are deserving of it. Cultivate your faith, your non-judgment, and your non-attachment. You truly are worthy of it. Love yourself. It is the highest form of healing. Indeed, if you practiced love in this manner, you would transcend the need for healing. It is this misunderstanding of love, that we are somehow separate from everything, that is the root cause of all suffering. We are all just hurting ourselves needlessly.

So trust me when I say to you, as a student of Ayurveda:

Love is the best medicine.

With gratitude,

S

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