'If the human species has been able to make any progress, it is because of our heart of love and compassion. We need to learn from compassionate beings how to develop the practice of deep observation for the sake of others. Then others will be able to learn from us the way to live in the present. and see the impermanent and selfless nature of all that is. This insight will lighten suffering.' ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master
Without love, we cannot experience the true nature of reality. We are less aware of our thoughts, our suffering, other people and their suffering, and the lives of other beings. Compassion is a key element of love; it enables us to be witness to suffering and to transform it with our warmth and our kindness, which are its inherent qualities. Without love, it is like we are blind, we do not have our spiritual vision. We are blinded by suffering and we cannot see beyond it or how to proceed, which means we may fall into greater and greater suffering. Love is a kind of spiritual vision. It is not rose-tinted spectacles, which is a saying in English, that refers to seeing only goodness. Love sees the light and the dark in life, it sees all and is able to discern a true sense of reality, so we can navigate skillfully. Without love, we are missing one of our important senses, which is the freshness of our immediate awareness. Love is a lamp that shines its light on everything that is beneath it - neutrality, courage, pride, anger, fear, guilt, shame and apathy. When that love touches suffering, it also transforms it. It sees every experience and every living being as valuable and worth cherishing, and it sees the body and mind as worthy of care also. Love is life-giving. Love is a spiritual quality that we all have and it can not be taken away. For as long as we are alive, we will be able to have access to it. It is more beneficial than any of our other senses. Love is our self-healing mechanism, for ourselves as individuals, and for ourselves as part of humanity and Gaia. It is a direct experience of life itself at a very high level, which creates the conditions for growth, positive change, beauty, happiness and inspiration. Love is what brings true progress to humankind and to all beings, it is life-force, that illuminates and gives energy like the Sun. When spiritual vision is clouded by suffering, such as anger, fear or apathy, then we do not witness reality. Perhaps we are hurt because we feel we have lost something, or someone seems to have more of something - money, fame, power - than we do. Yet, when we love we understand that there is nothing to cling to, nothing to gain and nothing to lose because we are interconnected with everything that is. There is no lack, no way we could ever be separate from our planet Earth and from all that is in the Cosmos. Love demystifies the secrets of generosity, peace, acceptance and great joy. Love is our spiritual vision that permits awareness of the true nature of what is to be seen and experienced. If we do not concentrate on love in our hearts, it is like we are walking around with cloudy vision. This happens to all of us now and again. Yet we have the ability to spark love again, even on a foggy day, and like sunlight touching mists, eventually, the suffering clears and a beautiful garden is revealed. When we know love, we are guided in life from the inside out, and find we are compelled to live meaningfully to benefit ourselves and many others during our fleeting lives on this planet. We can heal our hearts of suffering, and enrich the world with wisdom. We can practise love in meditation, prayer and spirituality and use our vision in every aspect of our lives. When we see with eyes of love, we see the world as it truly is.