Reflections for February – The Ocean of Love and the Thirsty Fish

There is a deep longing in us for something more, for a totally fulfilling love. Even if we are pleased with our life and have satisfying relationships and fruitful work, we still at times feel a desire for something more. Ultimately, we want a deep, all absorbing love that never ceases. Ironically, we don’t realize that what we seek is already present, both inside and around us. We are like a thirsty fish who is unaware of the water all around.

The 13th century Sufi poet, Rumi, expresses it well.

There is a milk fountain inside you.
Don’t walk around like an empty bucket.

There is a basket of fresh bread on your head
And yet you go door to door, asking for crusts.
Knock on your inner door, no other.

If this is true, you might ask: “How do I become aware of what’s already around and within me because I certainly don’t feel it?” Moving from a place of not knowing to an experience of everlasting love is, in fact, the spiritual journey.

One way to hasten this journey is to take some time each day to observe how love does surround you, even if it’s not the love you seek.  Perhaps it is a person’s smile, a kind gesture, a loving pet, unexpected help, a parking space, a beautiful scene, a child’s laughter or the face of a dear one. What happens to your heart when you contemplate how love appears each day?

You might say, this is all well and good, but I’m longing for a life partner, spiritual awakening, or totally fulfilling love!

In truth, the more you dwell on the love that comes to you in little ways, the more your heart opens, allowing more and more love to ignite in you. After a while, you begin to see this everlasting love is fully present even in little things.

Another way to become aware of this ultimate love is through a movement practice. As you move your head in a circle, imagine the love you seek sweeping around you. Then, as your head bows down, experience this love coming into your heart. As your head returns to its normal position, imagine love radiating from you.

You could add the words of Hazrat Inayat Khan to this practice.

“My heart is an ocean, Beloved, since thou hast poured Thy love into it.”

Feel your heart become as vast as the sea as you circle your head. As your head comes down, feel a totally fulfilling love pouring into you. Again and again, keep bowing your head as you fill your heart with this love. Then imagine it streaming from you, touching and uplifting everyone you meet.

In practicing these exercises each day, you’ll begin to find the fulfilling love that you so ardently seek.

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