LOVE is. . .
the great substrate of the universe, the stuff that remains when all that other acquired hogwash is removed. At least that’s part of the definition we came up with during my week-long residential Heartline program at the Monroe Institute in Virginia.
Nestled there in the Blue Ridge Mountains, we explored “new approaches for removing the obstacles to love’s expression in our daily lives, as well as methods for exploring deeper levels of Self; for discovering one’s true self-essence.” That’s a tall order, but hey, you have to start somewhere, right?
In a multifarious display of the human condition, 14 participants and 2 trainers came together, operating from wildly different heartquarters—some groping around for a crowbar to open that stuck-shut love-organ, some radiating heart-heat like a slow-cook oven, and still others bubbling forth as human love-geysers. And yet, by week’s end, we were transformed into a cohesive, loving family unit. Presumably, each person got whatever they needed for this stop on the personal evolution hayride.
Each day was chock full of heart-expanding opportunities: discussions, guest speakers, kindergarten art, musical and theatrical projects. Mainly, though, we passed the hours alone, expanding and processing in the quiet darkness of our individual CHEC (Controlled Holistic Environmental Chamber) units.
These Monroe Institute programs are so fascinating to me. While in a relaxed meditative state, you get to “go to” certain “places”…maybe they are other dimensions? These “places” have distinct qualities to them, and this has been verified by thousands of participants, so the “places” or consciousness levels have been given nicknames. “Focus 15,” for example, is the “place of no time.” Whoa, dude! And it really does feel that way when you are “there.” (I put all these terms in quotes because your physical body remains stationary… while your consciousness does the traveling, presumably in your non-physical energy bodies.)
Enhanced with powerful proprietary hemi-sync (binaural) audio signals, the well-crafted exercises are designed to transport the headphone-wearer to other levels of consciousness, where it’s easier to grab an expanded point-of-view. And there are so many places to expand to! Different programs take you to different “Focus Levels,” depending on the theme of the program.
At Heartline, “Focus 18”—the rose-pink “place” of unconditional love—was a hotspot for us, and we spent a lot of quality time “there” with our “inner self-helpers,” clearing chakras and mind-clutter and what-have-you.
“We must be willing to let go of the blocks, the energetic shields we hold in order to protect ourselves and our hearts from perceived threats, old and new,” counseled the Heartline program materials.
That first night, I dreamt I was searching the racks of a flea market for a cheerleading costume, but the place suddenly shut down before I could make my purchase. The costumes quickly disappeared and got sucked away as if some Dr. Seuss contraption was at work behind the scenes. Amused and slightly puzzled upon re-emerging into the so-called wakeful state, I simply journaled it and moved on.
As the days transpired, I observed the phenomenon of people in like vibrational states flocking together and comforting one another, sometimes through bouts of public drama. It was kind of like being in an emotional Montessori for grown-ups. I have to admit, my buttons were pushed when the narcissistic behavior of one or two individuals increasingly dominated our group discussions.
Reluctantly at first, I gave of myself to those individuals—via heart energy and charitable thoughts, and later, in the form of energy healing assistance—despite the judgmentality still lurking within me. It was amazing to bear witness to my own progress. I began to see their predicaments anew with heart-vision. I went from wanting to run far, far away… to championing the unconditional-love cause. I figured, hell, if I can love a hardcore narcissist, I can love anyone.
Speaking of narcissism, they say the whole world is a giant mirror. So in that spirit, I had to take a closer look at the nature of those buttons being pushed. In reality, everything and everyone is “selfishly oriented”; narcissists merely take this to another level. I suppose they were showing me something about myself that I don’t prefer. But mainly I realized that my objections stemmed from Love itself (everything does because that’s all there really is). I see great potential in people and often wish more for them than they’re currently allowing.
“Excessive self-love” is a common dictionary definition of narcissism, but it appears to be precisely the opposite: these wounded children are endlessly seeking to fill, from the outside, a love-void within. I had to work out my flaccid Allowing muscle to accept their drama rather than Resist it. I had to refrain from criticizing (silently or otherwise) and resist the temptation or knee-jerk reaction to offer unsolicited advice—all the while sending love vibes their way.
“That sounds a lot like parenting,” said the observant new friend I chatted with in the airport afterward. This was the “aha!” I needed to sew up my Heartline experiential learning. Having chosen not to breed in this lifetime, I tend to sublimate my “motherly” energy and distribute it to various adults I encounter. I was learning how to be a better parent to the populace.
That dream I had suddenly made sense. Being the cheerleader for others is pretty routine for me, but for this special week, I was to forgo that role and shelf the costume. Sometimes the best way to love another is to simply allow them to experience whatever they are experiencing—without trying to fix anything.
What’s YOUR definition of Love?
P.S. The Monroe Institute is also where I met the Man of My Dreams! If you’re interested in this sort of consciousness exploration, take a brief vicarious journey in Adventures in Consciousness. Incidentally, I have no business affiliation with the Monroe Institute. I tell people about them because I’ve had amazing personal breakthroughs there and I genuinely love what they have to offer.