Tomorrow is the feast of Saint Valentine in the Western Christian tradition, a day which commemorates his death, and often focuses on romantic relationships and notions of courtly love.
Valentine’s Day has become fraught with meaning and can be a day of both celebrating significant relationships based in love and a day of recognizing the lack or loss of such relationships as well as the companioning grief, loneliness, and pain. Whatever it is for you, I invite you to allow it to bring you into an awareness of conscious love and conscious relationships. Remember that we can choose to walk a path of conscious love and be in conscious relationship with ourself, other humans, living and non living ancestors or spiritual guides, God, non human creatures, animals, the earth, plants, and places.
Conscious love is at the root of Jesus’ teaching and conscious relationships are an embodied spiritual practice we can live out. In that aim, I find it interesting that the name “Valentine,” deriving from the Roman family name Valentinus which derived from the Latin word valens, means worthy, strong, and healthy. What an invitation to ponder.
As we enter the feast tomorrow, we can reflect on all of our relationships and especially those that are most meaningful to us. We can bring some consciousness to this aspect of our lives. We can ask ourselves how we might contribute to these relationships being worthy, strong and healthy. Perhaps you may even choose to commit to the following.
Worthy: I will do all that I can through words, actions and presence to honor and value those with whom I am in an important relationship. I will commit to bringing that which will give the relational energy exchange its best chance of being fit, safe and coherent.
Strong: I will be an active agent of cultivating that which brings strength and steadiness to my relationships. I will work toward a well established foundation that is not easily disturbed or upset and can endure hardship and challenges.
Healthy: I will bring forth that which is beneficial to the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual well-being of my relationships. I will feed my relationships good nourishment through my words, actions, and presence.
If you didn’t get a chance you may even want to listen to this podcast about conscious relationships, you can find it here.
In Conscious Love,
Here most of the Readings from this week's pauses:
“Jesus invited us all to infuse our physical form with spiritual radiance. In the Gospel of John he said, "I have come to bring you life, and more abundantly... what I give will become a wellspring inside you, pouring out eternal life." In the Gospel of Matthew he taught that "the inner eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is one, your whole body will be filled with light." The inner eye is the witness, pure consciousness, the silent atman beyond thought. From the atmic splendor, light pours into matter and transforms human physiology. Jesus as "Word made flesh" saw no distinction between spirit and matter.
Like the Buddha, Jesus did not come to be worshiped. He came as our Elder Brother to teach the Yogic/Shamanic processes that will transform his siblings into beings of glory just like him. At this moment in our history, the time is ripe for this evolutionary leap, raising humanity's collective vibration. Many feel the quickening.
Therefor, the greatest service one could perform for humanity is the practice of meditation, awakening the heart and opening its fountain of glory.”
— Alfred K. LaMotte
“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.
If we love things, we become a thing.
If we love nothing, we become nothing.
Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ; rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation.
This means we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others."
— St. Clare of Assisi
Secret dwelling, I AM is there.
Inmost being, I AM is there.
No place above, no place below,
no place within, no place without,
the Fullness beyond all place.
“When you act on behalf
of something greater than yourself,
to feel it acting through you
with a power that is greater than your own.
This is Grace.
Today, as we take risks
for the sake of something greater
than our separate, individual lives,
we are feeling graced
by other beings and by Earth itself.
Those with whom and on whose behalf we act
give us strength
and staying power
we didn’t know we had.
We just need to practice knowing that
and remembering that we are sustained
by each other
in the web of life.
Our true power comes as a gift, like grace,
because in truth it is sustained by others.
If we practice drawing on the wisdom
of our fellow human beings
and our fellow species
we can go into any situation
that the courage and intelligence required
will be supplied."
— poem edited into verse by Tom Atlee based on an interview with Joanna Macy
“Prayer is not primarily saying words or thinking thoughts. It is, rather, a life stance. It’s a way of living in the Presence, living in awareness of the Presence, and even of enjoying the Presence. Fully contemplative people are more than aware of Divine Presence; they trust, allow, and delight in it. They “stand” on it!
The contemplative secret is learning to live in such a now. The now is not as empty as it might appear to be or that we fear it may be. Try to realize that everything is right here, right now. When we’re doing life right, it means nothing more than it is right now, because God is in this moment in a non-blaming way. When we are able to experience that, taste and enjoy it, we don’t need to hold on to it. The next moment will have its own taste and enjoyment.
. . . For Jesus, prayer seems to be a matter of waiting in love.Returning to love. Trusting that love is the deepest stream of reality. That’s why prayer isn’t primarily words; it’s primarily an attitude, a stance, a modus operandi. That’s why Paul could say, “Pray always.” “Pray unceasingly.” If we read that as requiring words, it is surely impossible. We’ve got a lot of other things to do. We can pray unceasingly, however, if we find the stream and know how to wade in its waters. The stream will flow through us, and all we have to do is keep choosing to stay there.”
— Richard Rohr Daily Meditation