The greatest present everIn a variety of teachings, unconditional love is the heart and soul of the spiritual life and the ultimate aim of the spiritual path – and by love is meant love in action of course (be it meditation or feeding the hungry), not discourses about love.
“We bless ourselves in our desire to have a heart consumed with love.
We bless ourselves in our ability to extend this love to every living thing and even inanimate ones….
May we understand and feel that, clad in the panoply of Love’s transcendent power, human envy or hatred cannot come nigh our mental dwelling place.”

Have you ever thought of giving your partner or children, family or friends and especially your enemies a gift that can never deteriorate, whatever the material conditions surrounding you or the person to whom you give it or your state of health? It cannot be destroyed by water or fire, earthquakes or hurricanes, improves and matures steadily with time and creates a magical, unbreakable link between you and the person to whom you give it. It is a gift that everyone secretly longs for but often believes that are not worthy of. Above all, you are the main beneficiary of the gift you are making as long as you continue giving it – and in our hyper-commercial societies it DOESN’T COST ANYTHING!Maybe you have guessed what I mean: yes, its unconditional love.

I have a very close and dear friend who had a fabulous marriage for well over 20 years. For all who knew his partner and he, they were given in example of a perfect marriage. However, he had been on a very rigid spiritual path which in many ways imprisoned him (and which he did not share with his partner).

And suddenly, everything fell through in his life: his spiritual path of over 35 years exploded into smithereens, he left the home he shared with his partner, he had the greatest health challenge of his life with sombre medical predictions, hence his energy dropped, and his work as a trainer fell through the floor, hence his income reduced dramatically. He went through three years of absolute hell. And then grace intervened, and he started climbing up the hill again, his work and income slowly started improving as well as his health, he created his own spiritual path and finally, the supreme gift, his marriage was back of track.

My friend evidently learned some important lessons, one of which was becoming his own authority for all significant decisions in his life. But the most important one was true unconditional love. He learned to drop every single expectation that his partner behave or be in any specific way. His love very literally became un-con-di-tio-nal: whether she bawled at him (which was extremely rare, but it did happen) or asked him to do something urgent when he was pressed for time, nothing changed in his deep love whatever attitude she expressed. He told me that if she met another guy and went to live with him the other side of the globe, his unconditional support would continue – and I knew he meant it. He reached an inner state of permanent serenity and especially inner freedom which amazed me.

Dear reader, if you want it enough, with sufficient intensity, sincerity, perseverance and desire, you too can reach such a state. It is far from being a herculean task: so many mothers express it daily towards their small children. It will transform your relations into daily magic and you will discover “the peace that passes all understanding”.

Pierre Pradervand
December 2018