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  • Writer's pictureErika Murphy

The Path of Love

Sit down in this circle. Quit acting like a wolf, and feel the shepherd's love filling you. ~ Rumi

There is a story about a shepherd who feels a strong spiritual discontent. One day the shepherd ventures away from his home to look for a sage who was said to live in a small hut deep in the forest. After a very long and arduous journey, he finds the hut. Elated, the shepherd bursts into the tiny room inside.

"Teacher," the shepherd stuttered breathlessly, "I want to be free!" A little man slowly looks up from his meditation, feeling the shepherd's urgency and sincerity. "Ok then," the sage replies, "I will give you a sacred mantra. Repeat it to yourself night and day, and that will set you free of your suffering."

The shepherd faithfully follows the instructions of his teacher. But as time goes on, there are no results and he becomes dispirited. Feeling hopeless, he returns to the hut and explains his situation.

The sage thinks for a moment and asks the shepherd, "What do you love most in this world?" Without hesitating, the shepherd replies, "My sheep. They are beautiful. gentle creatures and I love taking care of them." The teacher replies, "Go back and meditate on your sheep. Focus on nothing else but your love for them." The shepherd feels doubtful, but thanks the teacher and leaves to go back home.

The shepherd follows the sage's instructions, and, to his surprise, feels his mind and body filling with love. In a very short time, that love completely fills his being and he attains self-realization, leaving behind suffering completely.

Love is the key to our relationship with God. Whenever we feel stuck or discouraged, we have the ability to return to the simple teaching of love and move ever closer to the heart of consciousness. To discover your true nature, do everything as an offering of love to God!

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