Last night we had a beautiful Awakin sit here in Manhattan, where we shared our reflections on our daily life and on the heart-opening passage, ‘Micro Moments of Love’. Through each sit I attend, my heart fills with gratitude for the group wisdom, the buddha, that emerges through powerful reflections from the heart. This latest jewel of collective wisdom of the sangha is what I wish to share with the community today.
Bah, as described to the group, is a Japanese word that describes the energy that exists in the physical and energetic space between two people vibrating at a high frequency. It is the magical electric current of love that comes alive between two people as they share a joyful, love-filled connection. What is it, and how does it manifest in everyday life?
Self-love and self-acceptance seem to form the basis of being able to fill our hearts with the ability to share love-connections with others. As we process our positive feelings, or even difficult human emotions of anxiety, anger, stress, confusion, amongst others, are we able to observe them mindfully, to accept them as part of who we are? To empathize with and have compassion for the different parts of us, and to surrender and accept what is, helps create a sense of peace and equanimity, a sense of contentment; a place from where the heart can start flowing, like sap oozing from a tree. When we love ourselves, and engage in contemplative practices such as sending gratitude to different parts of our body, we begin to take better care of ourselves – eating better, working out, taking care of our spiritual body through meditation and yoga, amongst other examples. We begin to cherish our unique gifts and want to share these with the world, no matter what we perceive the return is, as our hearts begin to sing with love and joy.
Compassionate listening is another form of sharing love with someone – it generates the possibility of creating deeper connections and a transformation in our thinking. As we begin to lovingly listen to others, even in moments of stress and agitation, taking a few deep breaths and mindfully observing our feelings and emotions, we begin to have greater awareness for ourselves and others. We fill the space in between us with a loving, patient energy as we listen; creating a soft cushion for healing and transformation. Acceptance and forgiveness become easier to practice in this state of listening.
Loving speech, the other side of the coin of compassionate listening, leads to a deeper connection between people, and can be seen as gifts or jewels which has the effect of transforming a difficult situation, bringing love, joy and a sense of communion and understanding.
We have the opportunity to share physical love with a total stranger, even if they seem foreign or potentially threatening to us. A friend shared how her friend was sittng in a packed subway car, and a daunting person came asking for money from each passenger. This person came and squeezed himself into a tiny space right next to the friend, and put out his hand, demanding money. Instead of recoiling in frustration or fear, she took a brave step – she held his hand, looked him straight in the eyes, and with firmness and kindness, said, “I love you”. He was shocked, and yet, he melted with love and joy, as did the others around them.
When we are feeling lonely and disconnected, no matter where we are in the world, the quickest fix is to share joyful, love-filled moments, even with total strangers. In the train, airport, grocery store, office – each moment is ripe with opportunity to make a connection with another person. Acts of kindness, sharing a gift with a new friend, or even a joke – each brief exchange of love makes each part of the day more special, exciting and meaningful.
Perhaps another form of love is that which transcends human love – it is the deep-found respect for all beings, an understanding of the sacredness in even the tiniest form of life. A friend shared how he mindfully observed two large bees that were stuck in an AC vent in his apartment – they were buzzing around, making many attempts of finding an exit for their survival. He patiently waited for over twenty minutes to help the bees out, despite his own slight fear of bees. They finally made it out with his help, and he had a private moment of rejoicing their flight to freedom.
As I sat in the room, a thought came to me – we are each honeybees, being fed and loved in these beautiful, sacred spaces such as yesterday’s sit – these hives of sweet nectar and nourishment. It is our job to go out into the world, pollinating each person, each being, with love, compassion, joy and kindness – sharing one micro-moment of love, at a time. When we share these micro-moments of love, we are making our own lives richer, longer, healthier and happier – and do the same for others, creating ripples of bah wherever we go 🙂