It’s your Anniversary and you’re dining out with your loved one.
Both of you are relaxed, even peaceful, having just come from a couple’s massage. The entrée of poached salmon was delectable and you’re enjoying the last few sips of wine as you eat heart-shaped chocolate mousse from each other’s forks. He or she looks so beautiful in the candlelight. The little jewel necklace sparkles at her throat. He’s moved by the loving poem she wrote. Everything is perfect, you think, feeling an upsurge of love. The night is filled with promise. You are feeling connection. Unity. Permanence. Best of all—you know you and your loved one will feel like this forever.
But you don’t. Morning comes and it’s a work day. You’re a teeny bit hungover from the combo of wine and chocolate. Gazing at your loved one asleep beside you, you try to recreate the magic of the evening. You look for the forever feeling. But the razz ma tazz just isn’t there. The long-stemmed red roses are wilting. The promise has been broken. Forever didn’t last.
If you look back in depth, you’ll see that even during the evening your feelings were constantly changing. You were not always experiencing an unbroken stream of love. There was that tick of irritation when he talked about rotating his tires. There was the yummy, sparky sensation at her appealing smile. The inner spasm when you probably said the wrong thing. There was anticipation of romantic delights ahead. The worry that the dinner bill would tax your budget. Even last night, a night of “forever” feelings, your state of mind was in constant flux.
If you’re honest about this flux, you may find yourself in despair. You may realize that the quality of your love seems to be at the mercy of circumstances beyond your control. You may realize that next Anniversary it’ll be harder to believe in forever. During the special dinner, the moments of happiness with this loved one may be fewer, less dazzling, harder to come by.
If you’re still together, that is.
So what went wrong? Should the restaurant have been fancier? Should you have added a hot rock treatment to the massage package? Next year, should you change out the loved one for a different person?
Yet you know it’s none of these things. But what is it? What should you do? What should you wish for? You don’t know where to turn, what to do. “True Love” seems impossible.
Mixed in with the hopelessness, you may come upon a deep and ancient longing within yourself. Something to do with your heart. You may see that romance kindles your heart’s craving for real connection. For real unity. For true permanence.
Therein lies the hope.
Beyond the flowers, wine and chocolates, there exists a much bigger gift you can offer yourself or your loved one. An actual gift of genuine happiness and love.
This gift is meditation, where you can encounter eternal, radiant love which isn’t dependent on external events, which isn’t subject to change.
Harvard-trained social scientist Dr. Jeffery A. Martin spent eight years researching over 1,000 people all around the world who had attained what he refers to as Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience: PNSE. They describe their constant state of being as peaceful, happy, not triggered by circumstances; the Voice in their head disappears. They embody True Love all the time. Dr. Martin’s research proved that anyone can quiet the Voice and achieve this loving way of living.
Me? You may ask. How could I realize myself as True Love? Isn’t that only for the Buddha? For the Dalai Lama? For that Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh? Being a constant expression of True Love isn’t for an ordinary person like me. I’m not a Buddhist. I don’t even go to church. Meditation drives me crazy. I’m certainly not an Indian yogi living in a Himalayan cave.
We have good news for you. More and more ordinary folks, people just like you and me, are living in PNSE. Some have been fortunate to find it quickly. Most have stumbled along for years, hit or miss, experimenting with various philosophies and meditation techniques till finally they achieved this extraordinary level of wellbeing. Unfortunately many more either achieve only a modest level of relaxation or they give up, thinking it doesn’t work for them.
After conducting the most comprehensive study on higher consciousness ever done, Dr. Martin found that most people had achieved PNSE by practicing a few specific methods of meditation. There are literally thousands of ways to meditate. Finding the right one makes all the difference.
Dr. Martin refers to this as Method Matching. He developed a “Finders Course” experiment using these “Greatest Hits” meditation techniques to guide people to find the right technique for them. Astoundingly, after rigorous scientific testing, more than 70% of his participants had achieved PNSE within weeks. So, no, loving happiness isn’t just for Himalayan caves and Hindu temples any longer.
Just like finding your one True Love, finding the right meditation technique, the right teacher and practicing meditation is the gift of a lifetime.
So here’s the perfect gift: this Anniversary, or any day, give someone you love—including yourself—a gift of meditation classes. Meditation is really the gift of True Love, and True Love is the greatest gift of all.
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Author: Nichol Bradford
Editor: Caroline Beaton