The Play of Love

December 21st, 2015

 

 

 


 

(The last in this informal series on love sees another revisiting of a blog from years past, now rewritten and updated)

 

“Lord Ram gave Hanuman a quizzical look and said, “What are you, a monkey or a man?” Hanuman bowed his head reverently, folded his hands and said, “When I do not know who I am, I serve You and when I do know who I am, You and I are One.”

― Tulsidas, Ramcharitmanas

 

 

 

Hanuman

 

In the classic Hindu story, the Ramayana, the most powerful, loving, yet playful creature was a white monkey called Hanuman. In the drama between Rama (an incarnation of the god Vishnu on earth) and Ravana (the King of the demon race) it is actually the mischievous, loving Hanuman who rises beyond all the dangers of Ravana’s demon kingdom to save Rama’s kidnapped wife, Sita; restore life to Rama’s vanquished army; and generally save the day.

 

He does all this with such apparent casualness that it misleads one of Rama’s generals to accuse Hanuman of disrespect to Lord Rama. In response, Hanuman rips open his own fur to reveal his ribs and heart beneath. On each rib and in his heart is written the word ‘Rama’ over and over again. Contrary to outward appearances, he and Rama are really one through the devotion of love.

 

 

Love and play
Hanuman’s mastery of the many different forces he encounters lies in his playful, loving nature. Only when we have risen above the outward drama of life can we begin to play with it. Only when we have risen above fear can we truly express love in its creative, playful form. We are not afraid of dark forces because we reside steadfastly in our own light.

 

We are not hypnotized by the illusion of loss or gain in the material world and the fear that such an illusion creates. We become free to play creatively within and beyond these illusions. We do not need to appear serious to be a serious person. We just need to remember who we truly are: We are love.

 

 

Kär-lek

 

 

In the Swedish language, the word for love is ‘kärlek’ – literally: ‘the play of love’. It has been my observation that all evolved species, having risen above fear-based survival needs, express love and joy in the form of creative play.

 

From the mischievous monkey to dolphins blowing beautiful underwater air rings and playing with them or simply going surfing together for the joy of it, there is a higher intelligence that expresses in play. It is the root of our creative arts and elevates us above the fear-survival response and into the realm of the heart.

 

Children, who for the most part have yet to learn about fear, find it easy to play and create. This suggests that we have this quality as a natural, innate part of ourselves. If we lose it, temporarily at least, it is because we have been taught to focus on fear instead. Love and fear do not make good bedfellows however. Where love exists, fear cannot – and visa-versa.

 

Love and tantra

 

Tantra is another play of love. It is a firey energy that can be used to raise our awareness to the heart and beyond. Most people who have heard the term may associate it with sexual practices. In one sense it can be a form of sexual yoga. In a wider sense however, tantric practice is about transmuting every energy through and into love.

 

tantra pic

 

The fire of this energy can even heal physical blockages in the body. Old traumas, previous physical limitations and dysfunction can all be transmuted in the fire of tantra. Between lovers, it inspires a sense of playfulness and love over the cooling satiation of orgasm. Its purpose is union – the original meaning of the word ‘Yoga’.

 

While sexual union may be a part of it, every energy centre (chakra) can experience union. We can experience sexual union; the union of family and our social ‘tribes’; a wider sense of union in our community and nationhood; a meeting of hearts; a meeting of minds; a union of the spirit.

 

The experience of union at any level is joy. Joy is an expression of love. To experience love we must be open to union – both with ourselves and others. If we cannot feel love and connection to our Self there is only so far we can go along the path of union with another before we will be forced to turn back inward once more.

 

 

Love and the body in health and disease

 

The heart energy system is the one most associated with love and joy. It’s meridian stretches internally from the heart centre itself out into the arms and hands. It forms the surface that makes contact with others when we hug them. Sometimes we may choose to shut down our own heart energy in an attempt to dampen emotional pain. The trouble with this strategy is that we equally dampen our responses to love – both within ourselves and with others.

 

This is why medications that dampen or repress our emotional responses are potentially harmful. They reduce both our capacity to understand and heal our emotional selves and our chances of connecting with love internally or externally. For those suffering emotional pain I would only remind them that it is a good thing that we feel. It is the drift into (seemingly) comfortable numbness, signaling a divorce from our heart, that should give us true cause for concern.

 


As energy must do work, our unexpressed emotional energy will now have to find other, more destructive work to do in our physical body instead. Typical manifestations of this can be:

 

  • Panic attacks and heart distress
  • A rise in blood pressure
  • Thyroid and throat issues
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Skin diseases (not arising from infection from an external source)
  • Stomach and digestive issues including irritable bowel syndrome
  • Reduced immunity and chronic, low-grade infections (colds, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, ear, nose and throat problems)
  • Chronic fatigue due to an energy sapping, internal struggle for control

 

 

The meditation of Loving Kindness

 

 

heart-meditation-by-jen-gouvea

heart-meditation-by-jen-gouvea

 

In Theravadan Buddhism there is a practice called ‘Meta’ meditation – the meditation of ‘loving kindness’ – unconditional love. In this practice we view ourselves and others as essentially beings of love. By such a simple act we eliminate the separating properties of fear and feel the intense joy and connection behind the dramatic facade of life. There are many versions of this practice. Here is one we can practice to recalibrate our heart to its natural frequency of unconditional love:

 

  • Sit comfortably in a relaxed, quiet space
  • Envision love pouring down through us like sunlight from the top of our head to our heart center then spreading throughout our whole body.
  • Realize that, behind all our daily dramas, tragedies and comedies, this is our true loving state.
  • Extend that feeling beyond the borders of our physical body out into the world. Feel the heart center of other living creatures – humans, animals, birds, sea-life – all distracted by the outward necessities of life yet behind this, a calm center of love. Remember this for them. Feel this quality in and around them like a warm cloak of light.
  • Expand this energy as far and wide as we wish, as deep down in the Earth’s crystal core to beyond our planet and star system. Wherever there is the shimmer of vibration, there is love.

 

heart in space

 

  • Begin to slowly return back through each stage to our individual self, see how there is really no separation between all forms of life. In this loving heart space we are one.

 

 

Love into the new year

 

This is the final Monday Conscious Health blog for 2015. I wish everyone a deeper connection to themselves and each other in love for the coming year, and every year. To re-member the state of love in ourselves is a very healing act – both for ourselves and for every connected being. Just as fear or anger can spread and cause damage so too can love spread its gentle healing across any distance and any time. It is only a loving, playful thought away.

 

 

Till the love for another Monday manifests…

 

 

PS: (Oh and those playful dolphins? Play is the joyful essence of our heart. Who’s heart cannot be touched by this?:

 

 

PPS: There is a subscription link on the front page. By clicking on it you can receive these blogs automatically every Monday in your email. Cost?: Zero dinero. Nada. Nix. Nuffin’.


 

© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

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