Love as a Practice

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We’ve heard the cliché many times, “love conquers all.”  Most people miss the true significance of this phrase.  Just saying it in passing to someone who is suffering doesn’t provide much consolation.  But there are amazing practices that can be brought to bear for those who can find a little bit of dedication.

Lester Levenson was diagnosed with a terminal condition.  His doctor sent him home to await his own death.  After the initial anger with this prognosis ebbed, Lester did something remarkable.  He asked himself, “what is the feeling that I crave most?”  And of course, the answer was love.  He thought of his doctor…  “the man is in his vocation because he genuinely wants to heal.”  That got him over the hump of his initial anger.  Then he began cultivating love towards this man in his heart.  Eventually he could genuinely say that he did love him.  But Lester didn’t stop there.  He thought of others in his life that he had issues with, and in what turned into a sitting practice, he would nurture love for them in his heart as well.  This practice became known as Lester’s Love Technique.  Lester went on to develop other contemplative practices such as the Releasing Method and The Sedona Method, which are known throughout the world.

Lester isn’t unique in putting a loving heart to healing work.  There is the Buddhist loving kindness meditation, and there are many on-line guided meditations for loving self-compassion.  The whole Sufi tradition is a love affair with the divine – you need look no further than Rumi’s poems.  And in Christian traditions there is of course God’s love.

To be effective, Lester’s Love Technique needs a certain amount of commitment over time.  Like any other meditation, there should be a quiet and comfortable sitting session lasting close to an hour, if not more.  Begin with a subject that is easy to cultivate love for, and really get intimate with how that feels within your mind and body.  You will likely feel some flow in your chest or heart areas, and perhaps a certain opening and expansiveness in your perspective and outlook.  Focus more on these sensations than on the object of your love.  You want to get to a place where you can initiate these sensations at will, irrespective of the object.  Once you are well familiar with this territory of abiding love, begin applying it to what troubles you.  Only pick one object to focus on in any given sitting and repeat that for a period of a week before moving on to another issue.  The objects you choose to focus on are unlimited.  They can be people, life issues, traumatic events from the past, etc.  Remember, it’s not about trying to solve anything.  You simply nurture a loving environment, then bring that issue in there, simply sitting with it without mental analysis or judgements.  Thoughts will inevitably arise but just let them go and come back to this space filled with love that is unconditional.

Love really does conquer all.

If you are interested in learning more about Lester Levenson and his methods, visit:

https://lesterlevenson.org/

https://www.sedona.com/How-It-Works

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