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  • I started going to meditation class after a week spent deeply crushed out on someone who couldn't love me back.

    I was in a state of 'limerence', a term used by Tristan Taormino to describe the experience of intrusive thoughts about the person you desire, vivid imagination about the person, and intensity of feeling. I didn't want this feeling, and I needed help to let go.

    In my first class I found peace from these disturbing emotions, if only for a few seconds at a time. I sat with my hands together in my lap, creating an unbroken circle of energy. The mental image of my crush stood outside the light-filled hall of the Buddhist centre, trying to push into the room and crowd my thoughts. I held my fort, focused on my breath, and I was safe.

    Today during meditation, Venerable Chokyi asked us to imagine we were laying on a green hill looking up at a clear blue sky, as vast and limitless as our own minds. She asked us to imagine that our thoughts were like clouds: we observe them floating across the sky but we do not follow them. Then, she asked us to project all of our positive qualities of compassion, kindness, patience and love across the sky like the colours of a rainbow.

    Venerable Chokyi asked us to see an image of ourselves standing before us and to project unconditional love towards that self. Next, she asked us to imagine sending this love towards someone we hold dear to our heart. Then we projected love towards a stranger we may have seen on the street, and finally we gave unconditional love to someone who we find annoying or have a difficult relationship with.

    The meditation culminated in imagining sending our love to everyone in the room, all the people in greater Sydney, and every living being on the planet. We imagined feeling that love return to us, filling us with light, creating a crystal of pure love that lives in our hearts.

    'Widening the circle of love begins with the self,' Venerable Chokyi said.

    This answered a question I posed earlier this week: it is truly valuable to pursue self-love as the purpose of your life? I am starting to feel the value of believing this. When I give myself love, I generate more love for others.

    Reflecting on today's meditation reminds me of a card I sometimes pull from my Druid Animal Oracle deck: Cow, who represents Nourishment. 'If you believe your resources are limited, then you will be anxious about giving fully from your heart, but if you know that you are one with all of creation and all of nature then you will be able to give fully and freely.'

    Crushing on someone filled me with terror because I felt like I didn't have enough love to give away. I didn't want to fall into the same trap: finding someone to pour energy into when I could be nurturing myself or a friend.

    I will widen the circle of love, but first I must place myself at the centre. That way, my love will radiate outwards in all directions.
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