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Meditations on love

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

Yesterday I was inspired to move away from analysis and knowledge, and instead pay attention to my experience of love. So I have spent some time visiting in my mind the things that move me to affection and love, and gently dwelled on them, letting my thoughts drift from one thing to another.

I considered…

  • The love of my father, a man I greatly respect and admire, and love for his unexpected generosity, his silliness, his clean living
  • The love of my mother, a woman who is artistic and dedicated and caring
  • The love of dogs, their enthusiasm, running around and jumping into lakes chasing sticks, the sniffing of other dogs
  • The love of nature, I enjoy the feeling of trees, of green, of birds flitting through the sky, grasses and flowers scenting the breeze
  • The love of a friend, being good mates, eating soup together on the beach, going for a long walk

In a way science and analysis is a destructive process and a search without end. Sometime you have to let it go and meditate on what truly moves and inspires you.

A few images came to my mind, a humorous aside of a rather large man making a pass at a woman in a playful, rather clumsy way, but she responded and was grateful for the attention, and I thought, this is love too. My mind wandered to the subject of a soulmate, something I had once encountered in dreams, and I thought, this is love too. All other passions are reflections of this.

We find things in our lives to feel passionate about, but often these are dreams. The people we love, the animals we love, that ultimately leads us to kindness and compassion. We need to feed these things, with humor, courage, aesthetics, we bring our love to the surface.



  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I completed a metta meditation retreat a few weeks ago that focused on a particular type of metta meditation that I’ve found very enjoyable ever since.

    Worth a try if you have a spare 30 mins.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited May 2021

    The love in your life is made up of all the things you really love. Everything that speaks to you and fills your heart with joy is an incarnation of your love. I love cherry blossom trees in bloom. I love squirrels. I love cat videos. I love bicycling. I love Macintosh computers. I love typography. I love a delicious, juicy quiche. I love roses. I love the feeling of a clean cotton sheet. I love the beach. I love windy cloud-strewn skies. I love mountain tops. I love a good Trappist beer. I love the sight of an attractive lady. I love seeing babies. I love laughter.

    Remembering these things and the joy they gave makes me feel happy. It is more than just pleasure, it makes you catch your breath, it gives you pause, it motivates the internal sources, it speaks to the deep parts of you. It is divine spirit, the breath of god that flows through man. And at the same time is the simple things that speak to us.

    The wonders of love are with us in disguise, we are naturally attracted to them. It is elegance, it is cleanliness, it is a sense of freedom, it is gusto, it is life, it is love, it is sharing.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited May 2021

    I don’t think any set of contemplations on love is complete without talking about women. And I don’t mean any disrespect to men as romantic partners, but women have a special connection to and understanding of love. They give their love to a man, sometimes for a night, sometimes for years, and what was two becomes one, a partnership born in physical closeness becomes alive for a while.

    A woman brings you into the world, teaches you your first experience of love, your first smile mimicking hers. I think that is the essence of their special relationship with love, as well as a woman being amongst many other things a huntress of men. But men are essentially quite stupid, and often have to be hit over the head and ensnared into love.

    It is only in time that love truly finds a way, provides a path for the man to grow in loving a woman, and the woman to grow into loving a man. It’s not just a tantric thing. A part of it is loving the small details, the infatuation with the shape of the neck, the hands. Another part of it is the mystery, the falling in and out of love, being with a lover.

    The women in our lives are our muses, they give us strength. They become a channel to the ineffable, the beyond, and in a way their face and mind is but a mask for the breath of god, blowing on us like a reed. At the end there is often a love-hate relationship. Osho frequently talked about this.

    I will return to this another time, I think.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    It is odd, the things that you loved as a child still carry a special charge in middle age. I remember playing with my Lego, my comic books, marbles, making toys out of bits of wire and broken vinyl records, our vegetable garden where we grew strawberries and carrots. It still brings a smile to my face today to remember those days.

    What it teaches you about love is that the heart-warming quality of our past loves stays with us. If you look carefully at your memories, life is an accumulation of loves. We slowly learn to know ourselves, our tastes and the things that speak to us, over the course of a life’s worth of experiences, and if we cherish them and care for them well they enrich us and help fill our heart with wholesome things.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited May 2021

    I should talk a little about the glance, the first look. That look in which something responds inside you that says, you appeal to me, you I would like to know better. The male gaze, and the female gaze, which speaks of attraction, which sometimes happens when your eyes meet and in that meeting there can be many things. Sometimes a smashing physical coming together, sometimes a bond, a recognition.

    I also wanted to say something about love’s first kiss. Stolen almost-kisses when visiting girls at home, when you are still young, before you even know what it all means. Teenage kisses with long admiration from afar first, the anticipation, the sweet moment of touching lips. Mature kisses which are knowing and take pleasure in being drawn out.

    They say a man’s love is through the stomach, but I wonder if it isn’t so for women as well. A good meal shared in warm surroundings often sets the tone for a pleasant evening for both parties.

    These things touch on the sensual side of love, but only peripherally. I find it more pleasant to look at the approaches to love, how they move us, rather than the zesty enterprise of sex itself.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Love … mmm … don't you just Luv it?

    I love:

    • The Broken
    • The repairing
    • The dead (includes zombies)
    • The broke, the rich and the dog without a name
    • Me

    When the heart expands, the wise make way

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited June 2021

    I know you @lobster, you are a joker and don’t take anything seriously. But I’m glad to see you joining in and talking about the things you love and your understanding of love. The english often have a love of the odd and the curious.

    Zombie movies have never been my style, I like more looking at old holiday photo’s of beaches and cloud strewn skies…

    A walk along the sea wall in Dawlish, Devon, on 1 May 2017 at 15.04, at high tide.

    Love is a deeper subject than many realise, it is about what fills our hearts with joy. The things that gladden us, that make us shine inside, we should care for them and cherish them. We instinctively recognise them, and they fire up our passions, wanting us to become photographers, artists, creators.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited June 2021

    Tiredness can be a consequence of exertions made, but it can also be a lack of passion and enthusiasm. Often depression is of that sort. It is good then to return to the things we love, to be fed by impressions that make us come alive, and allow us to lift up the things that burden us with energy and liveliness, and realise that they weren’t so heavy after all.

    It is a path to a well balanced life, where we care for our inner self and our outer self, taking rest when we should, and listening to our inner sources so that we don’t end up back in depression.

    I love to sing when I feel lively, it is an expression of my joy and passion. These things just come out, I spontaneously burst into song, and sometimes it is silly, sometimes it pokes a little fun, but it is always meant to communicate my sheer joy of being alive.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    I realised today that I love getting compliments for the work I have done. In a way I don’t allow myself to feel that, I’m a little afraid of justly being called a glory hound. But I love it anyway, those compliments I have had for my work I have treasured.

    It’s good to be careful, because close to love there is jealousy. You feel love for beautiful paintings, your passion is ignited to make paintings, you go to an art gallery, and you are inflamed with jealousy by all the great paintings you see, and your passion turns against you. Something to be aware of, that you give credit with a kind heart where it is due.

    Love and passion are not quite the same though they are related. Love is more difficult to typify or put into words. It’s a question of slowly letting the right words come.

  • Well done @Kerome ;);)

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    I wanted to talk a little about Osho and the way his sannyasins loved him. I myself was aged six when I sent my letter to Poona, India to ask for initiation, sannyas, and got back a letter with my new name and a mala. There I was, a six year old boy dressed all in orange after the fashion of the retiring sannyasins of ancient Hindu tradition, which was Osho rather taking the piss out of the Hindu’s. But for me it was the warmest of colours.

    I was asked a question by Osho only once, which was during our visit to the Ashram when I was seven years old. He said, is there any question you would like to ask? And I answered, no. There was a lot of laughter. The atmosphere around Osho was always quite joyful, people were energised in his presence. Many sannyasins did therapy groups, meditations, encounter sessions. It was a wholesome atmosphere in which people flourished.

    In later life I came to know Osho more through his discourse tapes. The relationship began to live for me, I enjoyed his anecdotes, his jokes, his care with words. He was for me the spiritual friend, the master of the esoteric. His takes on things were usually kind, insightful, refreshingly original. There was a kind of freedom to be found in his words.

    So, accepting sannyas, initiation. There were no vows of obedience or obligations, just light airy robes and discourses to free the mind. I still take it seriously.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    The beach in Zandvoort, the Netherlands, where I lived up until recently.

    These were taken on a walk on 8 October, 2016 at around 18.10. I loved the dramatic skies and the long view lines, and used to take many photos on these walks.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I love coffee <3

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    One thing Osho often said about romantic love is that it had a beginning and an end, and that one shouldn’t hang on after it was finished. Which is quite a Buddhist concept come to think of it.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I love coffee

    Does coffee love you?
    Do cigarettes, alcohol, drugs etc love us?

    The Buddhas love us with maitri power

  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran
    edited June 2021

    Meditations on love

    According to Thay Understanding is Love's other name....

    So meditation on 'anatta' is to understand one self better (warts & all) that is, what makes one tick and or become ticked off, and the more one understands about what makes one tick on and off, the more one will come to understand how other's tick... and in doing so one can adapt one's actions towards others in a more appropriate & beneficial way...

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    The wellsprings of love in our lives are important to us. When we lose the things that make us passionate or introspective or enthusiastic, that unique energy that moves us, then we must go and find inspiration again. Often it is a woman who moves us, a muse.

    And sometimes it is a sour relationship that makes life impossible, and we need to separate. There is a continuous going apart and coming back together.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    A single palm tree at a bar in Zandvoort… I loved this beach while I lived in my top floor appartment with a view of the sea.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    It strikes me that there are a lot of power dynamics in our practice of romantic love. Wanting to keep relationships exclusive and monogamous is very much a process of controlling and exercising power through a mutual agreement. There is sometimes jealousy over preventing the partner from making contacts which could result in sexual temptation. Personally I am not fond of these things, I believe love should be free, not constrained by bargains.

    The monogamous relationship is often a disguised attack of mutual possessiveness, and allows an extension of my-making to start seeing the other as an element of self. True love, that quality where we are inspired, admiring, worshipful, intoxicated, almost carried away often doesn’t last as long.

    Love comes and goes. We are struck by the charms of a lady and fall for her like the proverbial block, and try to give expression to that with as much courage and elegance as we can muster. It lasts weeks, months or years, but it usually departs sooner or later. And when it leaves, we mustn’t stop it from ending, but rather treat it with dignity and compassion.

    In the end a lot of people settle, not for the heady heights of love but for the relationship that is comfortable like a worn-in shoe, where you know each other’s ins and outs in detail.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    Love is about sharing, too. Anyone with whom you share a lot, time, wisdom, you will come to care for. Even if it is only online.

  • Tee Hee!

    We haz wise moderators!
    In the dervish tradition, the woke are described as 'Friends' …

    Group hug!

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    It strikes me that there are very few things that are really built into us, but love is one of the most important ones. All future generations are built from our instinct to make love, it is where we come from and how we propagate ourselves. If you look at what we do in our lives, most of our efforts are dedicated to finding someone to love, making a family and providing for them. It’s something to consider.

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