The Sacred Practice of Loving Ourselves, Each Other, and The World

The Sacred Practice of Loving Ourselves, Each Other, and The World

What is true loving relationship? Senior iRest Trainer, Ford Peck shares his understanding and explores aspects of what he’ll be offering in his upcoming September Immersion


Most of us could agree that, in its many forms and expressions, there is nothing more important in our lives than love. Every act of care we offer to ourselves, to each other, to the planet, can be seen as an expression of love. Every simple kindness, every generous, wise and beneficial action, can be seen as an expression of love. 

In contrast, every indifferent act that causes harm, or neglect, every time we avert our attention from our own genuine needs, the needs of others, and the plight of the planet—all this is symptomatic of a lack of conscious care and love. 

What is authentic love and how can we support its beneficial expression? How can we grow our capacity to love ourselves and each other? These are some of the important questions we’ll be exploring in the upcoming iRest Immersion, Relating from the Depth of the Heart in Loving Relationship from September 17-19.


A Deeper Understanding of Loves Many Forms

A felt-sense of love for something can be evoked when we see its beauty and preciousness. When in this experience of love, we are drawn to give care, to appreciate, to connect. Love is also the inner response that’s evoked when we feel deeply aligned, in harmony, mutually supported, and united with others. Very often we feel this with our closest family and friends. 

Romantic love arises when we discover and feel a connection with another that promises a depth of union. A union that we sense could bring us profound happiness. A happiness that nothing else can tarnish or diminish. And yet human relationships into which we “fall in love” always involve subsequent moments when we “fall out of love”. When the promise of the other as a source of happiness and fulfillment and the unguarded union of hearts, feels broken.  

What is the role of the sacred in love? Divine love is most often felt or seen as a love that is unconditional: forgiving, fully accepting of us as we are, and an ever-present source of blessing and support. Some turn to this divine love as a safe haven. A connection that might bring an unbreakable sense of connection and support. How can we translate this evolved understanding into the way we do and don’t love each other in our closest relationships? 


Love As An Inside Job

When it comes to love, one principle holds true: “as within, so without”. When we feel deeply secure, at peace, and in harmony with ourselves, we are most likely to be naturally loving to those around us, and those closest to us. When we are troubled, divided, and suffering on the inside, all bets are off in terms of how we might react to others. We’ve all experienced the unloving consequences of externalized inner conflict.  

Clearly, there’s no greater act of love than to foster peace, harmony, and wholeness within ourselves. There’s no greater way to love others than to learn to truly love ourselves. And there is no better way to come to deeply see the good in others than to discover and embrace the goodness inherent in our own essential nature.


How Do We Practice Self-Love?

For me, the action of love is “to attend”. Our conscious, welcoming, undivided attention is the truest currency and expression of love. In iRest, we love ourselves through every step of the practice. We offer a heartfelt, welcoming quality of attention to our own inner experience. There is no greater way of honoring ourselves, healing ourselves, and loving ourselves. And when we look deeply enough into each and every aspect of ourselves, no matter how it may have appeared on the surface, we discover essential wholeness and goodness. Indeed, we can encounter the Sacred. 

Our practice of iRest, is the greatest support and act of love for ourselves, and those around us. The invitation is to approach our iRest practice as an expression of love and with an awareness of its profoundly positive and healing effects, individually and relationally.  

May the love that is offered and discovered within us ripple out into all our relationships and throughout the world.

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About the Author

Ford Peck

Certified iRest Teacher and Senior Trainer Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Certified Yoga Therapist Certified SHEN Therapist My exposure to yoga and meditation began intensively while I was living, studying, and working at a yoga ashram from 1988 to 1992. I have been teaching yoga since 1990, and my teaching of yoga has always been...

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Permalink January 4, 2022 at 6:52pm

With five Saturdays of Big 12 regular season left, the race for who will play Oklahoma in the Big 12 Bullshit Rematch Bowl is still quite up in the air, but that's not going to stop us from pontificating on it just a bit as it seems there is SOME clarity at this point in the competition Bryson Green Jersey. For the sake of simplicity, I'm going to avoid discussing what would happen if we ended up with a scrum of teams tied for one spot with three losses. While that is a possibility and not one that is that far out of reach, I'm pretty confident that both participants will have two or fewer blemishes on their conference resume.Let's look at the remaining schedules of the key players:Oklahoma State-Kansas-at West Virginia-TCU-at Texas Tech-OklahomaCombined records of remaining opponents: Overall 20-17; Big 12 9-13Iowa State-at West Virginia-Texas-at Texas Tech-at Oklahoma-TCUCombined records: Overall 23-14; Big 12 11-11Baylor-Texas-at TCU-Oklahoma-at Kansas State-Texas TechCombined records: Overall 24-13; Big 12 11-11Oklahoma-Texas Tech-Bye-at Baylor-Iowa State-at Oklahoma StateCombined records: Overall 22-7; Big 12 11-6Dishonorable Mention…Texas-at Baylor-at Iowa State-Kansas-at West Virginia-Kansas StateCombined records: Overall 19-16; Big 12 8-12We will start with Texas as they have no room for error. As I stated, I think the Bullshit Rematch participants won't have more than two losses each. Although Texas is good enough to beat either Baylor or Iowa State on a given Saturday, can they beat BOTH in back-to-back road games?Exactly, so we will end this analysis here and not waste more of your very expendable time.Next, let's look at the most likely participant…Oklahoma. They are sporting a spotty, but still undefeated record on the season. They have tested "losing waters" a couple of times with Texas and Kansas and have clearly demonstrated that we really aren't sure what we are going to get from them each week. That makes it interesting given that the Sooners must play the other three main contenders, all with good defenses and two with capable offenses. I would expect OU to drop one of these as they have been far too inconsistent week-to-week. Lay an egg with any of these teams and you're getting an "L" on the report card. That being said, I don't think they lose TWO of those three games, so I'm betting that Oklahoma is virtually a lock for the rematch even though it would be great fun of the most fantastic kind if they dropped two and somehow missed it.Now for the scrum with one loss…All three have Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and TCU remaining. All three have already played each other. It pretty much boils down to this…whichever team can run the table and NOT lose to OU is in. If all three somehow manage to get home with two losses, then the screwy-ass round-robin Big 12 tiebreaker scenario kicks in. Since these three would tie the "round-robin" portion of that scenario, it would fall to the conference rankings of the remaining teams to determine who gets in, and this gets a bit messy. If, for example, Texas and Kansas State are tied for 5th place, that tie will be broken by who won the head-to-head. If Texas beat KState, then the three contenders would be compared based on result vs Texas first, then Kansas State, and so on. However, if three or more teams are tied then the contenders are compared based on each of their collective records against the tied teams.If it goes past that then it would be comparing the point differential in the round-robin games between the three contenders. Since they have already played each other, we know the result of that…Oklahoma State +7Iowa State +1Baylor -8That's right…Oklahoma State is in a humongously advantageous but also vulnerable position. The gargantuan advantage is that the Cowboys have already played and defeated Texas, while both Iowa State and Baylor get the Longhorns over the next two weekends. The vulnerable position is two-fold…One…obviously any head-to-head with Iowa State is a non-starter, as would an odd three-way tie with OU and Iowa State.Two…OSU's offense is not dependable as of this writing, and very much puts them in danger of losing any of the other four games besides Bedlam, which most of us are rightly presuming will be a loss just because. Three losses will definitely knock the Cowboys out of contention.I haven't vetted every single tiebreaker scenario, but I think right now it's pretty easy to figure out what to root for….a three-way tie with Baylor and Iowa State, a tie with Baylor, or a solo 2nd place finish.I'm feeling a bit ill now.This was a bad idea…GO POKES!!!

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