Discovering Love — Advanced Guided Meditation

March 25, 2008

I’m calling our latest podcast episode “advanced” because to experience the love that the meditation points to requires that your mind be settled enough to notice some subtle experiences. The meditation prompts you to become aware of tendencies to resist what is happening in your thoughts and emotions, and even further to the feeling that underlies those tendencies — a sense of things being not quite right. It’s a sense of not being alright as you are. It’s a sense of life not being alright. It’s at the core of the suffering which is part of the human condition.

Of course, we all like some feelings and experiences more than others. That’s natural. But suffering results when we feel that things should be different, that we should be different — that we should feel differently than we do. When we are able to let go of the resistance to how we feel and stop trying to make ourselves be or feel something else, then what is left is love.

I’m not talking about love in the way we usually think of it. When we say love, we are usually referring to a sentiment or feeling. The feeling of love can be mixed with affection, respect, gratitude, infatuation, passion, all sorts of things. What we usually identify as love is something we feel in response to someone or some thing. The love I am talking about is not an emotion, and it is not dependent on anything. It is the very essence of our existence and reveals itself when we let go of resistance and attempts to manipulate our experience. It is the natural state of our own awareness, of our “beingness”, which is always there in the background but is largely ignored. My hope is that with this meditation, you will be able to recognize and enjoy it.

You may need to use this meditation a number of times before this love is clearly experienced. If you are new to meditation, it might help to try the podcast episode one (Relaxation Break) or the Breath Awareness Meditation until you are able to settle down enough for this meditation.

I’d love to hear your experiences with this meditation. The feedback we’ve received here and at the website has been really helpful. And, as always, we welcome your questions.


15 Responses to “Discovering Love — Advanced Guided Meditation”

  1. Bilingual Blogger on March 29th, 2008 2:18 am

    Excellent. Thank you for elaborating on how you defined love. That was a big help in doing this meditation.

  2. Mary on March 29th, 2008 3:52 pm

    You’re welcome. I did feel this meditation needed some explanation, but I prefer not to talk too much on the podcast before the meditations begin. I know this is not how people would usually think of love…

  3. Rick Salmon on March 31st, 2008 4:15 am

    Thanks Mary. Just wanted to send a short note to thank you for all your generous meditation mp3 files. I have had you on my iPod for months now and you have led me during many quiet moments. Your work has ripple effects that stretch much, much farther than you ever could realize. I recently visited a relative who is suffering from a chronic illness. I was struck at the moment by her need for peace, so I put one of your meditations on the stereo and we listened together. It was a magic moment for us both. Thank you for the healing that you have facilitated. Be blessed, RICK

  4. Mary on March 31st, 2008 8:39 am

    Richard and I are both so touched by your comment. Thank you for sharing this story with us. Hearing reports like these are magic moments for us! Warmest blessings, Mary

  5. Anonymous on April 3rd, 2008 9:55 pm

    Hello, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful meditations. I have been suffering from disabling panic attacks for the past few months, which no medications have eased. I decided to throw away the medications and have been practicing your meditations a few times per week, and also every time I feel a panic attack approaching. To my amazement, after the first meditation there was instant improvement. Lately, I have been able to get back to my life and am no longer set back by panic attacks. These have also drastically improved the quality of sleep and ability to focus.
    I studied Buddhism for 6 months and I had actually given up on meditation because I did not find it effective. I was sent a link to your website and was skeptical but desperate for relief so I thankfully gave it one more try! Something about your meditations just “clicks”. You have truly helped me to heal and I will be forever grateful!

  6. Mary on April 4th, 2008 8:57 am

    It’s so moving to hear this! I really don’t know what to say. Sometimes I’m in awe at the effects the meditations have for some people. I’m so happy for you and feel very grateful myself. Meditation has been a lifesaver for us and in some mysterious way our experience is getting transmitted to others. Life has given us all a great gift! Thank you for sharing your experience. Richard and I wish you the very best.

  7. dan on April 13th, 2008 7:26 pm

    Like everyone else, I want to thank you for sharing your gift for relaying the healing properties of meditation. I’ve had insomnia problems for months now (at 25, thats not good). Just wanted to share that after listening to your wonderful podcasts (and quick relaxation almost daily), I downloaded Sleep Easy and had the best nights sleep in several months. Your voice is so soothing. Thank you again. 😀

  8. Mary on April 14th, 2008 8:24 am

    I’m so glad Sleep Easy worked for you. It’s horrible to not be able to sleep well and so many people have that problem. Hopefully by using Sleep Easy regularly, your sleep will continue to improve.

    You are very welcome. We’re inspired by hearing this kind of feedback, so thank YOU for taking the time to comment!

    All the best to you from both of us, Mary

  9. matches on May 16th, 2008 8:45 am

    Thank you for this podcast. I didn’t make it through it. It is difficult for me to make it through this one without crying…

    Thank you. Beautiful.

  10. matches on May 16th, 2008 8:46 am

    i understand the implications of your word is different, but it is still a tough one …

  11. Mary on May 16th, 2008 2:31 pm

    This meditation came from a deep place and I guess it struck a deep chord for you, matches. You are very welcome…

    I’d love to know more what you mean by “it is still a tough one”.

  12. matches on May 20th, 2008 12:36 pm

    Accepting self-love. That’s the tough one. You said something great. When you take away all restrictions, all rejections…all judgments…what you are left with is love. It stuck like a lump in my throat. The statement did, not the love.

    It’s a difficult thing to flow into. I never did remove the restrictions. I felt them the entire time. the best I could do was move them into my fist and leave them there.

    I will try again.

  13. Mary on May 21st, 2008 11:48 am

    Matches, thank you for getting back on this. Self-love is difficult for so many of us — true self-love which is unconditional. It’s painful when we come face to face with a lack of it, when we feel the pain of self-rejection. This meditation can be “tough” in a sense in that it invites you to notice the feeling of “things being not quite right” that is part of our trying to make ourselves different. At the same time, unless we can settle down enough to experience what’s under all of the efforts to make ourselves lovable and worthy, we can never experience that unconditional love.

    In this meditation, you are not required to “remove the restrictions”. As with all of our meditations, you are not required to do anything! There’s no right or wrong experience. Whatever happens is part of your process at that moment and is just perfect. Simply notice what’s happening. There is no goal. When you notice restrictions, let them be — let yourself be. As you listen, just let the words and music wash over you. They are just gentle prompts to help the mind let go. It will happen naturally.

    You might also want to try the Effortless Meditation or some of the others. The Discovering Love meditation is the most “tricky” on the podcast and isn’t going to “work” for everyone.

    Let me know how it goes if you do listen to this or any of the others. You bring up such good points, and you are willing and able to share experiences which are common to us all and that we all struggle with!

  14. Melissa on May 18th, 2014 7:02 am

    Thank you for your beautiful music and guided mediations. They are instruments of healing to me. I am a thinker, a problem solver… analytical and compassionate person. Yet over the last few years, anxiety, depression and a bout with Bells Palsy have been immense struggles for me. Meditation was difficult because I didn’t know how to calm my racing mind. Your guided mediations and smartphone apps have been so helpful. In this process, I am learning to be more compassionate to myself. Since I have years of putting others first as a habit, this is unfamiliar and tricky. I will try this meditation again. I recognized the inner struggle and the feeling of ‘things being not quite right’. I see the lack of self love but in this I did not feel it wash over me yet.

  15. Mary on May 19th, 2014 10:45 am

    Melissa, you are very welcome, and thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Usually we do have to see clearly and feel the “inner struggle” before it can be released (or in the process of release). Repeating a meditation definitely helps. You can also try some of the other meditations that appeal to you as each has a somewhat different angle which may help.

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