What Do You Love Most in Your Life?
Dwelling at the base of a slope in a high desert meadow, 6 adolescent boys and I circled up. It was the golden sunlight hour of another pristine sunset in the wilderness. I looked around the circle at the faces of the young adolescent boys who sat around me. The blinding, golden light beaming from their silhouettes was beautiful. One of those moments in the wilderness when you see something so incredible, and the only way to store it in memory is to behold its beauty in the live feed of the savory present moment. No phones or cameras to take pictures of everything; just one another and the experiences we share together.
I took a few moments pause here, allowing everyone to soak in our setting in humbling, relaxing silence. After a few deep breaths, I spoke.
My first question to them was, “What do you love most in your life?” After only about two seconds the boys started to chime in with, “My mom”, “I love my mom”, “Yeah, for me, my mom, and my family too”. Then I asked them to close their eyes and take a few moments to notice how that love feels physically in the body as they think of their moms. So they closed their eyes and spent a few moments in reflection on those sensations. I then spoke to prompt them for the next piece to our Bhakti yoga practice and saw tears brimming from the eyelids of several boys. “What are you feeling?”, I asked them when we made eye contact. “Just thinking about my mom,” they honestly responded. “Okay, yes, now stay right there with that source in you where you are literally feeling that which you love so dearly in your body. Use this as the main focus of concentration as we now move into a physical asana practice,” I then instructed them.
In its simplest essence, Bhakti yoga is about connecting to one’s heart and love as to attain the highest level of self. In Bhakti practice, one channels all their emotions, thoughts, feelings, and energy towards that which they hold most beloved and sacred in their life; and there are many ways to practice Bhakti to suit one’s individual needs. It can be a difficult practice for one will eventually come across the shadows of their mind/being to see many contents of fear they have repressed, and things that they have not yet fully accepted to love about themselves, others, and the world. It is here where Bhakti does its most powerful work, allowing one to then open and accept more completely, and shed the unconditional light of love, peace, harmony, and joy to do the creating in their lives.
For this group of adolescent boys that I mentioned above, channeling the energy of the love they had for their moms was what they felt most powerfully in that moment, and what they chose to use for the dedication of their Bhakti practice. I was beyond words and contentment to bear witness to their expression of the universal truth of a mother’s love. A truth that is elegantly simple in nature’s design, and a truth that can never be underestimated or forgotten. What I also saw the rest of the evening after our Bhakti practice was the ambience of the group became warmer, gentler, and more peaceful than their usual baseline.
A couple boys commented later and into the next morning, “I wonder if she could feel the love too, during those moments when I was in my heart and thinking about her.” And now, to all the moms out there on behalf of those boys – could you?