The Path of Love is a path towards peace, happiness and ultimately knowing your real self. Your real identity lies in a core consciousness beyond the mind and ego. When you move beyond your limited idea of 'I' or 'me' and you move into extending love to yourself and to all beings, then you are on the path of Love and the path towards uncovering the real you.
Love is Light made manifest. In Vedic teachings we are given a beautiful image of a shrine in your sacred heart (your inner non-physical heart). In this shrine or cave, burns a candle brightly. Nothing can extinguish this candle. It radiates peace and stillness and silence eternally. 'My love radiates like a bonfire. It is focused on none and denied to none.'
To a seeker with a willing heart, this is a natural path that will unfold in front of you as you take each step. No striving, no violence required, gently, gently does it.
The Path of Love is a divine marriage between masculine and feminine selves, through all levels of your being. This sacred marriage, the hieros gamos, takes place on the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual levels of your being; it takes place between Soul and Spirit, Spirit and the Living Light.
The word enlightenment is used in many contexts and with many different meanings. If you look at it simply, it says en-light-en-ment, moving into the light or being filled with light. Love is the manifestation of the Living Light. Moving into the light requires action (masculine) and being filled with light requires receptivity (feminine). You can look at it as a two-fold path of eliminating darkness and to bring in the light : the light that is already there.
What do you expect from enlightenment? Surely happiness. When you have deep inner happiness, you need nothing else. No external circumstance can affect a deep happiness that bubbles forth from within. When you are happy, you are 'in love' with the world and all its wonders. When you are happy, you seek nothing and you lack for nothing. Happiness is also called bliss, or Ananda.
The Path of Love will take you within, to the fountain of this inner happiness, the river of Light that flows through you without ever running dry, which is within you.
The process that leads to enlightenment is gradual and requires patience. It does not deliver big pyrotechnic dramatics, but it does yield ever-increasing peace and self-acceptance and the purification of stress.
But none of this will be obvious to the one that does not live in awareness. Awareness is your intuition and it is often veiled over by negativity in the mind; external distraction and the emotional response to stress.
Stress is caused by negative thoughts, and the emotional response to experiences that create fear in you. We do not have a choice about what happens to us, but we do have a choice as to how to respond. Every response and action by you, has a chemical reaction in your brain. This chemical reaction can deliver serotonin, which brings you joy and a sense of well-being, or it can deliver disharmony which will affect all cells in the body. This disharmony takes you out of alignment with your Source and it creates stress in mind and body.
Meditation alters the brain in many positive ways. The main purpose and focus of meditation should be purification. The physical effects of sitting quietly and going inward are many. It activates the prefrontal cortex and stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and brain opiates. According to Dr Deepak Chopra dopamine is an antidepressant; serotonin is associated with increased self-esteem; oxytocin is believed to be the pleasure hormone and opiates are the body's pain killers.
Fears and anxiety are not merely psychological issues. All emotions have a correlate in the brain and these manifest in your physical body as imbalances and disease. Humans have memory and we remember painful occurences and fear them re-occuring. We may bury these fears deep into our subconscious, but the body will manifest these hidden thoughts and beliefs. We as humans are very adaptable and we adapt our behaviour and reasoning to hide these painful memories and fearful thoughts from ourselves. We move into denial, rationalisation, escapism and anger, to avoid awareness of the unlived life beneath the surface of the mind.
But through the central nervous system the brain makes every cell in your body aware of those buried thoughts and fears. And through your inner awareness you can access what your body is telling you. Your body and heart will communicate to you what is really happening beneath the surface. But in order to have greater awareness, you need to purify your mind of the negative thinking and responses.
This is achieved through diksha, mantra, meditation, forgiveness and Love as action.
Diksha is a transference of energy. This is usually between guru and follower, but you can receive Light directly from the Living Light at all times.
Mantra is the repetition of a sacred name or sentence. It is an invocation, containing a sacred syllable or set of syllables. A mantra has the power to awaken the divinity that resides in that vibration.
Meditation takes you into utter stillness. In this stillpoint there is no thought, no intellectual movement and in short, no ego present. When you stay in this stillness for long periods of time, the neural pathways are purified and eventually re-set to a new path. Negative emotional responses can be removed and replaced with ones of compassion and acceptance.
You can choose your actions and responses. When you are caught up in subconscious behaviour (also called the shadow self, the hidden part of yourself), you are often caught unawares by your own response and action. You may find yourself sabotaging your own happiness and hurting others without your conscious choice.
Your heart is the barometer of your soul. At any time you can listen to your heart and hear what it wills you to do or not to do. As part of your action of choice, always consult your heart before you act on emotion. Your heart is the doorway to experience empathy, compassion and love. When the Sacred Heart of Compassion is awakened in you, Love flows through you and blesses the world and everything in it.
The next step of action that forms part of your sadhana (spiritual practise/application) on the path of Love, is bhakty. Bhakty is the focused and committed devotion of your will, your heart, your body and your soul, to the Living Light and its manifestation as Love on this Earth.
The action of Love encompasses the above steps of sadhana (meditation, diksha, mantra and others) and this action will awaken the Sacred Mother, Kundalini, within you. Kundalini is not limited to kundalini yoga. Kundalini is the flow of the Living Light within you and it is acknowledged in all spiritual paths and many religions. The ignition of the fire that does not burn, is known as Shaktipat, the descent of the Holy Spirit, Baptism of Grace amongst others.
When kundalini (Shakty) has awakened in you, your path intensifies. Through its intensity and inner fire, you are purified. It is a blessing desired by all those on the spiritual path. There are myths and legends around kundalini. However, it is the Living Light that flows in you and the discomfort and inner pressure, spurs you on to go ever deeper into awareness and into Love.
You may also want to read my posts on Awareness, Acceptance and Surrender on http://pathofdivinelove.blogspot.com and http://shaman-shewhoknows.blogspot.com
Om Namo Bhagavate Mata