An Invitation to Practice Loving Awareness

Just love!

Sounds easy, right?

But it’s not always so.  At least not for me.  We have a lifetime of emotional habits to erode away to be able to be present in love all throughout the day.

Nevertheless, take heart!  We can change our habits. Practice does make perfect!

So it helps to have a simple practice in our bag of tricks to help us be love now whatever arises around us.  If you feel like love is lacking in your life, this is the perfect practice for you.

Sunday Reflection:  I Am Loving Awareness

For this week’s reflection, I’ve chosen a quote from Be Love Now, The Path of the Heart by Ram Dass, which explains the simple practice of “I am loving awareness.”  I appreciate this practice in particular because it marries the recognition of our pure awareness with its natural manifestation of love and compassion.

Instead of identifying with our transitory thoughts and emotions, in this practice you are softly cognizant of our pure awareness and love.   You identify with the awareness of the thoughts instead of the thoughts.  You just let the thoughts and emotions glide by like clouds passing in the sky and rest in loving awareness.

“I have a practice in which I say to myself, I am loving awareness.  To begin with I focus my attention in the middle of my chest, on the heart-mind.  I may take a few deep breaths into my diaphragm to help me identify with it.  I breathe in love and breathe out love.  I watch all the thoughts that create the stuff of my mind, and I love everything, love everything I can be aware of.  I just love, just love, just love.”

“It’s simple.  I start with the fact that I’m aware, and then I love everything.  But that’s all in the mind, that’s a thought, and loving awareness is not a thought.  Or if it’s a thought, it’s pointing to a place that’s not a thought.  It’s pointing at a state of being the way the concept of emptiness is pointing at emptiness, which is really fullness.” – Be Love Now, The Path of the Heart by Ram Dass

You can practice in a brief session at home each day to establish the practice.  If time is a challenge for you, just begin with 5 minutes a day and slowly expand your practice.

Then you can carry the practice with you wherever we go and simply call it to mind throughout the day.  Whenever untoward situations and difficult emotions arise – like impatience, anger, frustration, intolerance, judgment – you can counter them with this simple practice of loving awareness.

Isn’t it funny that we spend so much time on exercising to strengthen muscles, but we sometimes forget the most important muscle of all – our heart!  With this simple practice, we can make our heart our strongest suit.

Do you have any thoughts to share about reflecting upon and practicing, “I am loving awareness?”

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Comments

    • says

      Hi Alex,

      “Practice” and “Intent” are such key words in transforming our habits. As always, with your sharp mind, you point out the crucial points! Thanks so very much.

  1. says

    Sandra,
    I love this – it’s so simple, and yet so, so good (as I just tried it, and I literally felt an extra warmth in my heart). And isn’t that how it can be with working out our other muscles, too – simple is sometimes the best.

    Thank you for sharing this, Sandra. I’m just loving how it makes me feel…

    • says

      Lance,

      Your such a radiant love bug, I can’t imagine there is anything in the realm of pure love that you haven’t tried! So glad this speaks to you. Yes, simplicity is fabulous!

  2. says

    Hi Sandra, meditation seems too hard for me but I think I could try this one. :)

    On a related note, I actually have a friend who is a novice in a Buddhist temple/monastery in Arizona. He plans to serve for a few months, and then return to his family (who is very supportive). It’s quite an interesting story in that he is in his 50s and he’s been generally non-religious and angry most of his life. He also went sober a few years ago after a few decades on and off drugs/alcohol. I’ve seen pictures of him and he’s never looked so happy.

    • says

      Hi Jennifer,

      I’m so happy to hear that you think you could try this one! I hope you enjoy it.

      Thanks for sharing the story from your friend. I love hearing this kind of new. The kinds of turnarounds people can make when they commit to working with their own mind are inspiring indeed.

  3. says

    Hi Sandra,
    Love, love love the exercise. I also read Ram’s book and found the first half interesting and barely finished the second. I felt the first part was all about being love…and then some where it drifted off. Did you read and enjoy the book?

  4. says

    Hi Tess,

    Glad you love the exercise. Yes, I read Be Love Now and reviewed it in my last post. Thanks for sharing your take on the book. I can understand why it might not resonate with everyone, especially if the idea of working with a guru is a completely foreign idea. I enjoyed the entire book although my training is in Buddhism, not Hinduism. I found it to be a good guide to the spiritual path and appreciated the discussion of obstacles on the path, delusion, and so forth. We are all different and drawn to different approaches. The funny thing is that someone can have no interest in Hinduism and pick up a book like this and suddenly feel a strong connection. Just like Ram Dass disliked the idea of a guru, but was overpowered, in a good way, by his connection upon meeting Neem Karoli Baba. Teachers work in mysterious ways!

  5. says

    BEAUTIFUL little exercise. Thank you Ram Dass, thank you Sandra. This makes me want to recover my copy of Be Here Now from a friend and dust off this guy’s wisdom. By the way, I am sticking this phrase up somewhere I can prominently see it:

    “Isn’t it funny that we spend so much time on exercising to strengthen muscles, but we sometimes forget the most important muscle of all – our heart! With this simple practice, we can make our heart our strongest suit.”

    Duly noted.

    • says

      Hi Travis,

      So happy you like the exercise. Sticking the phrase up somewhere you can prominently see it is such a great way to remind ourselves!

      Here’s a blog of 7 individuals who have dusted off their copies of Be Here Now and are
      “…mindfully working their way through 108 sacred pages of BE HERE NOW, in just as many days. This is where they come to share their thoughts and experiences. Ram Dass will participate on a regular basis, responding to the participants, his readers, his community, and his friends.”

      http://www.ramdassnow.com/

      Just in case you want to check it out. I don’t know if Ram Dass actually participates or not.

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