A revolution has been brewing since at least the time of Jesus. A worldwide uprising that is gaining steam and threatening to take over the world. It’s the insurrection of Love! Not some fluffy or undefined “love” though, but Love wherein we freely and joyfully commit and give ourselves for the thriving and flourishing of all.
I write about this for a variety of reasons, foremost being I just had an incredible, sustained, and intense experience of this Love. To start the next phase of my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) with Eoin (pronounced Ian) Finn, I went to Bali for a two week YTT immersion. His school is named Blissology and graduating from this part of the training makes me a Blissologists … How cool is that!?
In Blissology we began and concluded every yoga practice with hugs. Additionally, during the teaching segments, we marked the transitions from one subject to another with high fives. What is more, a KEY part of our daily schedule was the ALDP (aka After Lunch Dance Party). Finally, not that this was “all” though, we ended each yoga practice with a Circle of Light. While this is far easier to experience than explain, in short a Circle of Light is where after being physically wrung out and mentally calmed by our yoga practice, we sat huddled together with eyes closed for several minutes. During these sweet times of communal meditation and connection, we sat peacefully receiving more Light and Love into our souls. These practices characterized an attitude and mentality I can find no better word for than magical.
(Our whole tribe hugging after a sunrise beach meditation. Picture courtesy of Tyler Brower.)
I say “magical” because the Love between and within us was SO present and thick it was virtually tangible … as I type that, in truth I’d say it sometimes literally was palpable. We hugged, we cried together, we laughed, we shared our deep hurts, we expressed our passionate dreams, we danced, we joked, we went out of our way to get food, medicine, and such for each other when people were sick or injured, and so much more. After a mere two weeks together, I feel as if EVERY beautiful person there is my sister or brother, THAT’S how deep and real the Love was and is with them.
I’ll put this in two ways that are basically the highest compliments possible from Lang. 🙂 The Bali Blissology Tribe was far and away the closest thing I’ve experienced to the Early Church. By that I’m referring to the first group of Christ followers, who, in a beautiful passage in the Book of Acts, are described as caring for each other, holding everything in common, sharing their food/possessions/money/time for the wellbeing of all, and generally loving one another SO well that other people joined their community in droves. That’s what the Blissology Tribe was/is like.
The second way I’d put it is my fellow Blissologists were/are easily one of the most Christ-like groups I’ve EVER encountered. Jesus revealed God’s essence and nature is Love, which is what POURED out of my yogi friends.
Like I alluded to, I think the Love Revolution began with Jesus (though I could be wrong 🙂 I come to this conclusion for several reasons, which I think can help us all. First, on multiple occasions Jesus summed up the story/message of the ENTIRE BIBLE as simply this: Love God and Love others as you Love yourself. Isn’t it interesting how this is 100% about actions and basically 0% about belief systems? But, I digress. In Jesus’ mind this wasn’t new information, it seems He considered it common knowledge that Love was/is/will be the fulfillment of our rules, laws, stories, and lives.
Intriguingly, the Christ also tells His peeps: I give you a new commandment, Love one another as I’ve Loved you. Hmm. He’d already told everyone to Love first, last, and in between, so how is this “new”? I think the key, here, is Loving like Jesus … so, what does that mean exactly? Among other things, it means literally caring about and hoping and providing good things for people we don’t like, i.e. Loving our enemies.
In short, Loving like the Christ is simple and NOT simple, and leads me to a third reason I believe the revolution started with Him … the Cross. Jesus was famously killed upon a cross on Good Friday and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. The questions Christians and others have been wrestling with for centuries are: Why did Jesus have to die? And what did His death accomplish? While A LOT could and has been said about this, I’d simply sum it up this way: Jesus willingly died because that’s what Love does. Love gives itself for the thriving and flourishing of all, and the ultimate expression of that is death. On the cross, Jesus showed us what True Love looks like, it’s tangible care and concern for the joy and wellbeing of all.
In my mind, this started the Revolution of Love; a movement of laying our lives (time, energy, possessions, money, etc.) down for the benefit of all. One of the craziest, most nonsensical, and coolest aspects of this I’ve discovered is that when we give our lives away for others, we end up receiving it back tenfold. In writing this, it occurs to me that perhaps there’s a link there between Jesus’ death and resurrection. Since when we give our lives away for the benefit of others, we end up almost magically receiving life back, doesn’t it make a ton of sense that after dying for all, Jesus then came back to life in a bigger, richer, and more mysterious way?
As life would have it, I’d been planning to write this blog before I went to Bali. For several years now, Love has essentially been my purpose in life. So much so after meditating on, discussing, and writing our Life Missions at the Blissology training, mine is: Awaken, open to, and Be LOVE Together!
With that in mind, the idea for this blog initially came to me when my incredible wife, Lisa, and I went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in March. More than once their colorful bass player, Flea, exclaimed to the audience (with some “colorful” adjectives) something along the lines of: “It’s not hard, Seattle! We just need more peace and Love! Be kind to each other, care for one another, and make the world great!”
Flea’s right, I thought, we get so confused by culture telling us to earn more money, advertising convincing us to purchase more things, companies telling us to attain higher positions, and the like, but REALLY life is SUPER SIMPLE. All we really and truly want is to love and be loved. Think about it, on our deathbed you and I won’t care about our possessions, bank account, home, cars, job, etc.; ALL that will matter to us is being surrounded by people we love who also love us. Period.
Music really speaks to my soul, so I’ll end by pointing out how the Love Revolution is loud and proud in the music industry. While I could go on and on and on, I’ll just illustrate a few examples to show you what I’m talking about. The Red Hot Chili Peppers closing song is the famous “Give it Away”, which tells us we’ve got to give away what we want … i.e. Love. Likewise, the Beattles sang “Love is all you need.” More recently Pink crooned: “It’s only love, give it away. You’ll probably get it back again. It’s simple, it’s a silly thing. Throw it away like a boomerang. I wish we all could lighten up. It’s only love, not a time bomb.” In a fantastically catchy and beautiful song, Ed Sheeran opines: “Love, and understanding positivity” are profound because “Love can change the world in a moment.” (You can hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6B9J3lEyffA)
I’ll end one of my favorite songs, which is also gives us some practical ways to join the Love Revolution. In the chorus for “Once a Day”, Michael Franti & Spearhead sing:
“Everybody ought to hug somebody at least once a day
And everybody ought to kiss somebody at least once a day
Everybody’s gonna miss somebody at least once a day
And everybody gotta love somebody everyday.”
(Song is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gowi31zGyQA)
It’s SO SIMPLE. All we really and truly want and desire is to Love and be Loved. So, let’s hug more. Let’s hold more hands. Let’s fist-bump and high-five all day long. Let’s have more platonic (and romantic) kisses! Let’s reach out to people we miss. Let’s truly ask others how they’re doing, listen deeply, and answer honestly in when we’re asked. Let’s help others and ask for help more often. Let’s smile a lot. Let’s heap compliments on others. Let’s remind people how great they are. And so on.
Love transcends all borders and boundaries. Love includes all people. Like a global flood of goodness it is rising and will wash over and into everyone and everything. Let’s join this revolution.
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Grace and peace,