Those, who are the hardest to love, need it the most- Socrates.
According to the science of yoga we are living in Kali yuga, in other words at a time, where spiritual values are the lowest and negative powers and energies are amplified.
Personally, I understand it in this way, that people today live in a great hunger for love. In the western world, physical hunger has definitely lowered statistically as compared to our ancestor’s faith and a great part of the society does not suffer from it. However, hunger for love has increased exponentially.
I recently watched a documentary “Swedish theory about love.” At the end of the movie, they brought an example of a Swedish doctor, who had moved to Eritrea from Sweden. In his personal opinion, people in Sweden were materially wealthy, but spiritually poor and in his opinion, this suffering was worse than Eritrea’s material poverty but spiritual richness.
Spiritual or soul richness is of course not only related to love. When we talk about love, then we are talking about a level of consciousness, which is related to Anahata or the heart chakra. There are higher frequencies and levels of consciousness, but nowadays it is more practical and approachable to talk about love, because it is closer and more understandable to our level of consciousness during the kali yuga era’s and the next step, this level of consciousness, for which we could strive for on this planet Earth. Of course, once you have reached there, the journey continues, but this is not the focus here.
Love is a big word. When I talk about the lack of love, I don’t refer to whether you have a romantic partner, whether you feel, that your parents love you or whether you feel love for your children or whether you have a loving circle of friends. These are social relationships.
I’m talking about love within you. I’m talking about a state that you experience. We don’t see things like they are, but how we ourselves are. We can give only that, which we have within. If you see anger, hostility, enormity in the world, and you drop to this very same frequency and start expressing it yourself, then it is a lack of love. It is like a cry for help, it is pain, it is suffering. And here, I’m definitely also not referring to that you wear rose-tinted glasses and take a positive “keep smiling” attitude, where everything is fine. This often leads to self-deception and not to the state of love, the inner suffering continues, despite the outer smile.
A few years ago when I was sitting in a restaurant with my family, suddenly my grandfather burst out a very angry and hostile comment about my vegetarian meal, which I had ordered. I was confused, hurt, and insulted. But thanks to having practised yoga, then after being hit by the initial negative frequency, which was coming towards me and which affected me, I observed the situation. I looked at my grandfather and saw how difficult it is for him, his health was truly deteriorating, he was hurting everywhere, he felt ill and bad and he was filled with so much suffering and pain, that to ease it just a little bit, then his only strategy was to burst it out. Then he felt slightly better. Enormous compassion awoke in me towards him, and at the same time gratitude, that I have yoga in my life, which has allowed me to learn to deal with negative frequencies and sufferings in a more harmonious way. He never had that opportunity in his life.
How to react to hostility?
The first thing to keep in mind is that, how the other person acts, is their karma. How you react is yours.
I will bring a few personal inspirational stories from my life, which took place before I started my yoga studies.
I lived and studied in London during my university years. I had a partner, who was from Nigeria. As a child, he had been mistreated physically, as he didn’t have the approval of his step-mother. For the usual punishment, the step-mother cut wounds in his skin and sprinkled chilli powder on top. He still had the scars. As a teenager, his father sent him to London, but when the son wished to study music instead of accounting, his father disowned him and left the 13 year old boy alone on the streets of London cutting off any support and connections. I remember clearly a situation, where in my opinion he was treated incredibly unfairly in a work situation. My first reaction was, “Why don’t you fight against them? This is not fair! This is so wrong!” His reply was one of the most inspiring teachings in my life thus far, “Even if all the people in the world do bad, then I will still do good.”
I moved to Spain after university. First I went there through a voluntary project, then worked a little bit and then started voluntary internship in the United Nations Refugee Agency, which was completely uncompensated. So at some point I reached a situation, where I didn’t have any money left. I just had a credit card, where I hadn’t reached my limit, so I could still go further into debt. At that point I met with a Cuban man, who was perfectly aware, that I do voluntary work and that I live from the little bit of credit, which the bank still allows. One day he called me up and asked, that I would lend him money, as his father died and urgently needed to fly to the funeral. I took everything that I had out from my card and gave it all to him. I was left with 5 euros in my wallet. He promised to return the money on the next day. I didn’t receive it the next day, nor in a month, never actually. For months he just kept on promising, that he will return it. I believed him, I told all my friends, you know, deep inside he is a good person, I know it. Everybody is. Really. My friends looked at my naivete. After about half a year I discovered, that actually he is a thief, he regularly tells this story to deceive money. Countless times he had promised to meet with me and constantly when I had planned it to my schedule, he never showed up. At some point I felt disappointed, is it really possible that there exists a person with such bad intentions? I felt negative emotions arising in my and I wished for revenge.
I ended up at one healer and I said to her, I don’t know how to deal with the negative emotions towards this person. This healer replied, “Do you comprehend, how big is the lack of love within this young man, for him to behave this way?” I was filled with gratitude towards life, towards my parents, that my life had been filled with so much love and it had been so wonderful, that I don’t have to make such choices, which cause suffering to others. I left the healer filled with compassion towards the young man, I wanted to hug him, to hold him, to give him all this love, that he was missing. He was suffering much more than me.
Forgiving is one of the most powerful and important practices, which is highlighted by many great masters. Buddha has said, that every time we forgive, then this bit of evil disappears from the Earth. Therefore it is our responsibility to forgive. One of the very powerful healing practices from the Hawaiian tradition „Ho’oponopono“ brings forth four main ideas “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I thank you and I love you.”
A powerful teaching here comes also from Jesus:
“But to you who are listening, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.(Lk 6:27-36)
Milarepa is acknowledged as one of the highest enlightened masters in Tibet. He was born into a great wealthy family, but when his father died, his relatives took away all and lowered him together with his mother and siblings to slave status. Milarepa’s mother longed for revenge and asked her son to make it happen. Milarepa went to learn black magic and through it killed 35 relatives. He then realized deeply his misconduct and devoted himself completely to the spiritual path. As he had made such a grave action in his life, he had to suffer a lot to purify his karma. Milarepa has however said, that out of all the teachers and gurus on his path, he is the most grateful to his relatives, who mistreated them while he was young, because through this difficult incident he got such a powerful and insistent wish to reach enlightenment.
How to reach to love in your heart?
I’m grateful, that yoga and tantra teachings have supported my path to be able to experience a state of love. Sometimes I have been asked, whether I think that all the people in the world should do yoga? My answer is no, definitely not. But everyone could find their own way to awaken their heart to relieve suffering.
The important part is to find the state within. If you are in a state of love, then suffering becomes compassion. It is always good to be able to take constructive criticism, but definitely, it is not your responsibility to take in other people’s low energies such as anger, fear, hostility. This is their lack of love, this needs to be understood, to feel compassion and send them love. Ask for a blessing. Pray, that they would get relief.
At the same time, we need to be very honest to ourselves and vigilant on the spiritual path, that it wouldn’t be fake positivity or self-deceit. A tree is known by its fruits. If you have a challenging situation, do you react like any other, dropping into anger, hostility and revenge? Has your chosen spiritual practice really reached deep within and woken love?
Therefore it is important to find this state within. On the spiritual path at first we may make some significant changes in our lifestyle, white sugar is replaced with raw chocolate, alcohol with kombucha, a nightclub with ecstatic dance, pop-music with devotional songs, common sexual activity with tao or tantric sexuality…Yes, from a health perspective these choices are definitely more harmonious and at some point, we might feel happier and healthier. But please notice, our mind’s mechanism to search for happiness from outside is exactly the same. You are still dependent on the outside, just that in a healthier way, but still, basically, your state of being is the same. Has there been a shift to a higher frequency within? Notice, be honest to yourself and if you can’t see yourself, then ask someone else, someone you trust and who can give you an objective feedback.
My morning practice
I awake in the mornings to Snatam Kaur’s song “Servant of Peace”, and also this St Francis’s peace prayer is on my altar, which says the following:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
As a yoga teacher, you are a servant of Higher Consciousness, servant to the people. That’s why I say to each and every reader, sincerely, from my heart, “You are wonderful, I’m nobody.”
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be well.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be free from suffering.