Recently, the mini course What Makes Love Supreme – Part 1, was offered by Sadguru Kedarji. The following is an audio recording of an experience share by two of the attendees of that course. Mini courses are inexpensive ways to quickly absorb, embody and apply a teaching and principle. Mini courses are designed to help us examine all the aspects of an instruction, principle or technique, one at-a-time in short, focused bursts, and on an experiential level that can be reflected in all the areas of our lives.
Where’s My Cinderella Life!?
By Jamie Walker and Deana Tareshawty
What’s Love Got To Do With It Anyway?
By Jamie Walker and Deana Tareshawty
Deana and I attended the recent mini course, “What Makes Love Supreme—Part 1.” During the mini course, Sadguru Kedarji challenged attendees to examine where we had gotten our understandings of Love, prior to meeting our Guru. So often, we equate love with romantic relationships, constant stimulation, instant gratification, sense pleasures, and satisfaction gained by quenching the desire for acquiring people, places and things.
As attendees, we have both seen how prior social conditioning are such driving factors in maintaining relationships. We were both raised from early childhood with the notion that our lives hinged on certain definitions of love. We were taught the pre-destined “fairy tale” of getting married and having a family, and that our quality of life was based on whether or not we had a mate. After 20 years had passed, Deana had 3 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats; Jamie had 1 marriage, 1 divorce, and 1 child to show for “living the dream.” Then of course, there were laundry, bills, homework, groceries, yard work, house work, etc. Was this the Cinderella story we had been sold? Was this the “happily ever after” that thousands upon thousands of love songs and movies described?
Fear was another driving factor also associated with love and relationships. So much of what we had done, and continue to do in the name of love was based in fear—fear of rejection, fear of being alone, and fear of not being in control. Even after meeting Sadguru Kedarji, we both recognized a fear of being loved unconditionally, without distinctions – Supreme Love, due to a feeling of unworthiness, stemming from our individual Karmic patterns which are the play of the Gunas and the Malas.
So, what did we do as a result of these wrong understandings? We resorted to love with conditions and distinctions, bartering, and negotiating in relationships. “Romance” was just a nicer label to define this exchange. Several people in the course described bartering and negotiations they had with others at some point, even if it meant compromising human dignity. Examples: “I want you to make me feel desired and attractive, so I will give you sex in the way you like it.” “I don’t want to go out alone on a Saturday night, so I’ll feign my level of attraction to you for companionship.” “I want you to fix some things around the house or take me on a vacation, so I’ll cook the meals and smile and laugh to maintain some excitement.”
If the exchange is equal (or slightly more in our favor), we experience temporary satisfaction and call it “love.” If the exchange is not equal and the satisfaction wanes over time, blame takes over, and we wonder where the romance has gone. We see ourselves and others as objects in this barter and negotiation process, often unintentionally, as a result of our Karmas and mental conditioning. We use this definition of love to enhance our comfort, security, and reward.
During the mini course, Sadguru Kedarji taught us the true meaning of Love, as described and experienced by the Sages of our lineage over thousands of years. Love is an inner, unconditional state of being that we must fully experience as we share it with others. It is a state of Supreme bliss, eternal joy, where there are no worldly attachments, no imperfect worldly desires, and no time. We can experience Love by keeping our attention and focus on being fully present on the Self, and seeing others as the Self, moment to moment. The moment to moment part is vital. If we remain fully present in the moment in our reaching for what Love really is, we don’t have to be God-realized to have this experience of Love without distinctions.
Shri Narada says, “When Love comes, God reveals himself. By attaining it, a person becomes perfect, immortal, and satisfied forever.” Narada also says, “When all thoughts, all words, all deeds are given up to the Lord, and when the least forgetfulness of God makes one miserable, then Love has begun.” By this, we can understand Love as an inner state, not an outer negotiation. Kedarji explained this must be experienced to improve interactions with others, and to engage our humanity with human dignity. After the course, we both applied these understandings in our own lives.
Sadguru Kedarji shared, “We are surrounded by Love. The sun rises and sets every single day. This is an act of Love.” We can learn from all acts of nature what Supreme Love is all about. God dwells in everything and everyone, everywhere. God alone exists.
That was it. This is what I needed to shift my understanding. Suddenly, this whole idea of Love being connected to a romantic view shifted for me. What began as an examination of my intimate relationships shifted to a real look at my true intimate Love relationship—the one I have with the Self and how I see that same Self in the world.
I have prided myself on being tolerant, color blind, and respectful of all races, creeds, and religions, in all the ways God expresses. But this very utterance revealed deep within me that I am not expressing these intentions. Being bombarded constantly with worldly messages that we are all unique individuals with separate personalities, and my acceptance of these messages, keeps these very prejudices alive in my being. If I choose to stay connected to labels that reinforce individuality and separateness, then I am not immersed in Supreme Love. I am not honoring my Self, the Self that exists everywhere, equally. This again is based in fear — a fear that I was conditioned to hold by seeing these “individuals” as different from me.
What I have taken to heart from this course is to stop making distinctions in the forms or expressions of That Supreme Intelligence. I now have to examine distinctions I have made between the way I love my husband, versus my children, versus my friends. With increased awareness, I now hold the remembrance in the moment, of that first primary pillar of understanding that Sadguru Kedarji teaches —the Supreme Principle, God, exists in all, equally. God doesn’t barter. God Loves. If I remember that I am That Supreme Principle, I can experience and express Love fully, without compromise.
After this mini-course, I began focusing on maintaining an inner state of Love; of devoting my thoughts and deeds to God, to my Guru; and of nurturing this state regardless of how others treated me. For the most part, the only time I really left the house was to go to work, and I regularly saw the same 20-30 people, with whom I had developed a reputation of being “strictly business.” Daily conversations were solely work-related, with a very transaction-based mindset. I had no idea how to engage people in any other way.
One week after the mini-course ended, my boss moved me to a new building where I would now work with several hundred people. The only thing I unpacked in my new office other than my computer and barest work essentials was a framed picture of Sadguru Kedarji I keep on my desk.
After this move, I made an increased effort to focus on inner, unconditional Love, a seemingly foreign concept. “Love” was certainly not a word I had ever brought into my workplace, so I started focusing on Kedarji’s picture and finding stillness in thoughts before interacting with people. What has happened is that there are times where—for no reason—I experienced joy at work. I have run into several colleagues who I have not seen in years, and with whom I had known on a “strictly business” basis. Out of the blue when we saw each other again, I was giving them hugs and laughing for no reason other than I was feeling Shakti at that particular moment from maintaining my focus on the Self.
Through the instruction given in the course, I have finally started taking “baby steps” to chip away at this barrier I have built from experiencing unconditional Love. By just beginning to change my understandings, my relationships with others are improving; and none of these relationships have anything to do with romance or popular culture’s definition of love. I look forward to continuing this path, and to seeing what Part 2 of the course has in store.
Sat Chit Ananda Guru Ki Jay.
Jamie Walker has been a disciple of Sadguru Kedarji and a student of Nityananda Shaktipat Yoga since 2010. She lives in Georgetown, TX and works as a supervisor in a local agency that addresses abused and neglected children.
Deana Tareshawty performs her Seva as Vice President of The Bhakta School, and as a program leader and harmonium player. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a double minor in Biology and Chemistry. She is a certified Soma Essential Healing practitioner and the owner of Inspired Life Healing. She is also a trained Reiki Master in Usui Reiki.