“Love is its own merit and its own reward. Love needs no cause, no fruit besides itself; its enjoyment is its practice. I love because I love; I love that I may love. Love is a great thing; as long as it returns to its beginning, goes back to its origin, turns again to its source, it will always draw afresh from it and flow freely."
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
12th century France
One of the most creative aspects of love is the ability to cherish - as a worthy end in itself - the magnetic energy that occurs between ourselves and others as we move throughout the day. In its more unenlightened moments, our culture believes that the only way to deal with this kind of energy - which the Greeks called "eros" - is either to suppress it or to act on it. Because of this uninspired mindset, all of us miss out on the lovely sense of connection that occurs whenever we compliment one another, offer a brief knowing gaze, or touch the other on the shoulder as we point their attention to something beautiful in the natural world.
When we take a sacred stance toward one another, we act from a Namaste' perspective in which the Divine in us highlights and appreciates the Divine in the other, and vice versa. Rather than act from a "grasping" kind of energy in which the other person senses we want something from them - or some kind of response - we instead let ourselves diffuse and become transparent to the beauty and sacredness of their presence. Here, it is as through a compliment is offered, yet with NO ONE giving it! How amazing is THAT!
Photo: Columbines, Grand Teton National Park, WY
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.