Just what is Love?


Liz Lark contemplates the idea of Purusha – some call it Love, in its truest form, without any conditions attached. Purusha is the Universal principle that is unchanging, uncaused but is present everywhere.

What is Love?

Wandering around the watery lilting landscape of Dalyan yesterday after teaching a week’s retreat in a magical part of Turkey, I stopped on my bicycle to greet some adopted stray dogs, one a silver coloured shaggy mix of Retriever Poodle, reminding me of my puppy Willow.

Such gentle affection and love exudes through these beautiful dog spirits, filling me with bliss as I spoke with a girl, also sitting on the grass, who began with a comment:

“Karl Marx said ‘ Love is a form of extended selfishness’”

Wow, I thought, as I felt material for my class offering itself the next day, where I ‘d be teaching the Lewisham Foster Carers.

She continued to explain other Sufi mystic poems. She was so generous and delighted to know that I ‘d be using her thoughts in my class the next day:

‘Oh, how I love the bird

But to own the bird I must break its wings

Oh How I love the Bird’

Another quote came, which I shared today with the class for carers:

‘If I like the flower I pick it

If I love the flower I water it daily’

All these quotes probed the nature of love – Does the spirit of love die when obligations and expectations are brought to it, with ‘strings attached’ ?

The spirit of the seeker imbued my trip to Turkey, one who gathers inspiration as she travels, not to accumulate and own, but to feed the inner life and share as she goes.

A lady arrived to class wearing the veil and asked if any men where coming to class?  None were, so she unwrapped her scarf and said ‘ I am free’.

During the class, her shoulder aches surfaced and dissolved, her eyes deepened, her face softened and her whole persona changed.

The previous day, a Turkish politician, opposition party to the current president, walked for 25 days, from Ankara to Istanbul.

His peaceful pilgrimage was to protest to the way the government is taking away people’s right to be expressive and creative, a trademark of the mystical legacy of the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey and Persia.

I like the spirit of collaboration of ideas, to evolve, with shared values, rather than trying to fly a flag of righteousness on the top of a building.

Yoga is a shared evolution, a wonderful mixing pot, a palette of many colours and textures.

Let’s experiment with the ‘felt sense’ of proprioceptive awareness, the primal feeling place (hanna somatics) where separateness fall away.

Arriving home to the cottage at 3 a.m this morning, my teachers, Timmy Quizlet (Cat) and Willow (dog) lay on the bed as I ‘bridged the gap’ before teaching the class, inspired by the wings of these quotes.

The final poem of Rumi’s ‘Guesthouse’ resonated with these noble carers, who really do allow the world to sweep through their ‘Guest house’, in their noble Dharma (purposeful path),  critical in our over populated, under loved world.

The Meditation training course I am completing this weekend with the wonderful spirit, Alexander Filmer – Lorch, captures this elusive, beautiful approach – ‘No One Way’, to draw upon the richness of any teachings and not to confine oneself to one ‘camp ‘ only.

The girl on the grass gave me one more sobering quote, which haunts my conscience to awaken from slumber :

‘ Silent witness is a mute devil’.


Liz has a teaching project working with carers and adopters, this short film shows just what a difference this makes.

>>Enjoy this practice from Liz which encourages patience and listening>>

Liz has several books and DVD’s available, more information on her website www.lizlark.com


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