How can we develop a practice of love that starts with ourselves and extends into the world?
This time on the Sufi Heart Podcast, Omid looks at love as an action that begins from the inside out and shares the sequence of practice necessary for extending our love equally into the world.
Love in Action (Opening) – We begin by looking at love in the same context as the Sufi mystics of the past – as a verb. How does our perception of love change when we understand it as an action that can be practiced? Omid offers another perspective on understanding the importance of community and ritual in our regular practice.
“All too often we speak about love as if it is a feeling, an emotion, something we experience. The mystics that we are spending our time with speak about love, to begin with, as a verb. You DO love. You BURN in love. You SHARE love. We are TRANSFORMED in love.” – Dr. Omid Safi
Where We Are At (8:00) – We can only start the journey with a first step, and we can only start the first step where we are at. Omid shares the base practices for opening ourselves to the love all around us. He looks at the need to begin our practice of love with a focus on ourselves before we can begin practicing in the larger world.
“So many of us are filled with a kind of dread, even hatred, for ourselves. Sometimes, for many of us that are racial minorities, we are taught to literally hate the color of our own skin. Some of us are taught to hate the shape of our bodies. Can we learn to look with love at our own self?” – Dr. Omid Safi
Overflowing with Love (20:00) – Omid looks at the cascading effect that practicing love towards ourselves has as it begins to spill outwards and begins to move towards those closest to us. How does our impact in our environment change as we remove our ego from the equation?
“Love reorients you. You let the circle of the love of self become filled to the rim and spill over. You spill over in relationship to an other. That is the begining of enlightenment, to direct ones self in love towards an other, but we cannot stop there.” – Dr. Omid Safi
Learn more about practicing love on ourselves and others in the Buddhist tradition on the Metta Hour Podcast with Sharon Salzberg, here on the Be Here Now Network
Love Without Borders (35:55) – Once we have begun to practice love for ourselves and our family we cannot stop there. Omid looks at the final layers of practicing love, bringing it into our local community and across boarders into the world at large. He speaks about why it is we cannot just start with the bigger picture and must put in the work at a personal level first.