Ethics – Love – A meditation for increaseing agapē

Friday, September 5th, 2008 at 8:00 am.
by pre.

Last week we examined the many types of love, staked out the landscape, doing the ground-work so that we’re less likely to be misunderstood.

This week we are, of course, introducing a new meditation. This month’s mediation is designed to help you to increase your ability and tendency to love. In particular “agapē”, a general undiscriminating love for everything, compassion for all things.

Next week we’ll show why increasing your ‘agapē’ in is useful, both personally and to one’s ethics. Indeed we’ll show why a functioning ethical system is useful both to society at large and even to a single individual within it. Useful to you. That is next week we’ll discuss why you would want to increase your agapē while this week we’ll discuss how to do so.

Increasing agapē

Our meditation this month has you focus on your heart, and to pay attention and concentrate on the love coming from it, to project that onto other things. Of course, love actually comes from the brain just as all other thoughts, feelings, emotions and sentiment does. But our culture has symbolised love with the heart for more generations than we can count, we may even be biologically wired to feel as though it comes from there. Certainly love can make the heart beat faster.

When we meditate we’re not manipulating real world things. We’re just manipulating symbols. We use the symbol of the heart as an associative key to prompt the physical patterns representing love into the neural network in our brains. As a key to help you feel the love you’re meditating on.

You’ll use this key and your imagination and memory of past experiences of love to direct your mind towards the agapē pattern, and as you do so you’ll project it out onto a series of real-world items. Well, the symbols for real-word items obviously, but that’s all your brain ever knows. You’ll start with easy ones, family, friends, lovers, people who in fact probably inspire love in you rather than really needing to have you project it upon them. Then get progressively more general, directing your love, your agapē, towards more distant acquaintances, strangers, eventually the whole universe at large, even hated enemies.

Associating that feeling with those things, even just pretending, just ‘practising’ as you meditate, will effect your feelings about those things back in the ‘real’ world when you have finished meditation. And of course in general your brain is more likely to do things it’s done before, so spending a few minutes now and then feeling love will already make you more likely to find it outside your meditation.

Finally you’ll finish with the usual suggestive visualisations, seeing how you’ll be different after you have increased your agapē abilities, imagining that you’re heading towards it, that you’ll continue to feel these things during your dreams and that your life from then on will be effected positively.

Guided Meditation File 8 – Ethics – Love

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