“Living together is an art.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Spring is the season of emergence, the sprouting of the seed, the renewal of life.
A similar cycle is operative in all of us. Spring comes as we access the truth and bring it into a fuller expression within ourselves. Emerging from the gestation season of winter comes expanding awareness, bursting forth, flooding all dimensions of our being.
Hibernating animals awaken in spring. Likewise, humanity has been asleep, mired in illusion, and it is now awakening. We glimpsed this truth in our winter dream; now millions of us stir, awaken, and begin to build our truthful experience. Awakening is the metaphor in all wisdom traditions, then developing the dominance of truth over illusion, changing the primary experience from fear to love.
Meditation, in all its forms, is our best ally in this transition. First things first, and that means balance and expanding awareness within the midst of our busy lives. Life accelerates in spring—all the more reason to be deliberate about attending to our inner experience, to continue building the dominance of love over fear, of truth over illusion.
The First Priority In Our Awakening
The first priority in our awakening is to learn to love ourselves. This is what enables us to love others. We must love ourselves first, before we can experience the same love with anyone or anything else.
That’s “easier said than done” for most of us, who’ve survived abused childhoods and disempowering programming, who battle inner demons and try to ignore those inner voices that tell us how unlovable we really are. Nevertheless, we are dismantling an illusory identity, so we can relinquish trying to make what is counterfeit into who we already are.
This lovability challenge afflicts us all. Everyone is experiencing the same illusory self-negation that decimates self-worth, self-acceptance, and self-love. Meditation is not an escape—it’s a portal, an opening into a deeper exploration of what is fundamentally true about the self. As you awaken and stretch your spring self, take the first step: love yourself.
Love yourself, not because you are suddenly free of all you feared that made you feel unworthy but because you embrace the truth of yourself beyond that illusory identity... and because you expand your awareness of what love really is.
Can you love the life that empowers you? Can you embrace the experience of life that gives you everything? Can you get in touch with being alive and loving the experience of life that makes all this possible?
Strip away the distractions and go to the source. This is the real point of meditation. This is what it means to love yourself. You learn that love is your very nature and open to the loving energy that already empowers you, the love that you already are. Once you experience that, illusions of self-worth begin to crumble. And, not surprisingly, your experience of love with others expands. You begin to live together in love. How could it be otherwise?
The Difference Between Illusion And Truth
Most relationships are based in the illusion of separation. They are subject/object relationships. From an egocentric perspective, all of these are exploitative. When you look at relationships from a truthful perspective and shift to subject/subject relationships, they become respectful. The difference between illusion and truth is profound.
This change promotes an increased amplitude of personal power, much more than you are accustomed to, and it impacts all aspects of your life, every relationship. The expanding influence of your love expression ripples through every level of your multidimensional being. When it encounters that which is incongruent (a limited experience of love and identity), it will appear “in your face” so you can look at it, see it for what it is, and discard it.
Illumination, spiritual evolution, and personal transformation are as inevitable as this turning of the seasons.
Love Is A Choice
“We’re going to have to be serious to add enough
of the feminine into the patriarchy
so that what emerges is neither a patriarchy
nor a matriarchy, but a human–archy.
And not even that. What we need is a being–archy,
where all beings are granted
mutual respect and where decisions are made
with the whole circle of life in mind.”
- Elizabeth Lesser
The crisis of our times is calling for an individual and species-wide shift into a more love-based, compassionate expression of consciousness. This involves becoming more sensitive to every aspect and detail of our lives, such as nature around us, the food we eat, our exercise, what we read, what we watch, our relationships, our occupation and how we work.
When any person chooses to make this shift a priority, they automatically become more selective. They become a “conscious” individual, and that’s how society becomes more discriminating, one person at a time.
Of course, “one person” only becomes a real force for change when that one person is “me.” Here in the 21st century we are witnessing a virtual tsunami of personal accountability, as more and more individuals do step up and commit themselves to “me-first” activism.
To work, this must lead to balance. What any individual does to improve their own lives or communities or the world at large is done in alignment with—not independent of—all beings in the living environment. Personal actions reveal a balance of masculine and feminine, focus and flow, being and doing.
This is what love is, really—the balanced and lively interaction of yin and yang everywhere in human experience and throughout the cosmos. That we have ignored love and steamrollered through the environment with macho achievement attitudes is obvious and shameful. Look at what we have done to the world.
Love (experiencing love) is a choice. Living in the balance of masculine and feminine—and in respectful relationship with all beings—is a choice. It’s one that increasing numbers of individuals are making, swept along by what I call the Awakening Impulse. This is the evolutionary tide that is moving humanity.
The Transforming of Humanity 1.0 to Humanity 2.0
Our species is transforming. Humanity 1.0 is becoming as obsolete as the dinosaurs that once ruled the world. They went extinct. Suddenly. Will that be our fate? Will Humanity 1.0 be the only version, or are we upgrading to Humanity 2.0? If so, what might that look like?
The more consciously awake we become, the more willing we are to share with each other. Note the explosion of networking through social media. That’s a sign. But something deeper than talking about what we had for lunch and posting pictures of our pets is called for.
The Awakening Impulse is stirring us to go deeper and, when we honor it, the choice to love propels us into new relationships with all who yearn in the same ways we do.
What if you became “conscious” and chose true love in your relationships?
We are part of the circle of life, which includes all beings.
I am one, in love, with all beings everywhere.
Introduce more depth into your interactions on social media.
Be a thought leader, inviting and facilitating conversations that matter.
Celebrate your courage.
©2016 by Master Charles Cannon and Synchronicity Foundation, Inc.
Reprinted with permission of the author. All Rights Reserved.
Living An Awakened Life: The Lessons Of Love
by Master Charles Cannon with Will Wilkinson.
About the Author
Master Charles Cannon is the Spiritual Director of Synchronicity Foundation for Modern Spirituality. His other books include: Living An Awakened Life: The Lessons of Love; Forgiving the Unforgivable; Awakening from the American Dream; The Bliss of Freedom; Modern Spirituality; and The Meditation Toolbox. For more information contact Synchronicity Foundation. Visit the website: www.Synchronicity.org