This blog post was featured in the Huffington Post on December 20, 2017.

Love is a subject of poems that have been written. Songs have been sang glorifying it and tears have been shed by those for whom love has been a disappointment. A subject that preoccupies and has been preoccupying probably all living people forever. Some people die, inside, when they have no love in their life. What can be said that is new about it?

I have been privileged to learn from two spiritual leaders what love is. Their teaching was new to me. I want to share it with you.

You do not have to try to love. Just do not hate.

Love is natural and happens by itself when hate is absent.

It should be effortless.

“When you resist nothing, you automatically experience love,” says Gurudev, a spiritual Guru.

Master Chariji, a Sahaj Marg spiritual leader, says love is like a muscle. The more you exercise it the stronger it becomes. The less you use it, experience it, the more atrophied the “the muscle” becomes.

To love should be effortless. Natural. Like breathing. You do not need to earn it. You do not need to work for it. You do not need to do anything. Just BE loving. That is who you are. Love yourself and others with no thought attached to it.

The moment you think how to love; you are not loving. It is coming from your brain. When it comes from the heart, you love because that is who you are without thinking.

Brain thinking is one of comparing cost value relationships: Is it worth to do something or not? What is the cost in terms of resources, whether it is time, money or whatever, and what are the values, the benefits, to be derived from it?

The heart does not think. It just feels. Is the deed good or bad? When you think with your heart, you are absolutely at peace with your decision.

That is why we say: “with ALL my heart”, or “from the depth of my heart“ depth meaning, it is totally feel. There are no doubts. To have doubts, is how the mind processes information.

One way to validate if your actions are out of love or not, is to ask yourself: are your actions coming from the heart or from the brain? For instance, ask yourself, do you expect a return for your actions, for your generosity? If you expect a return favor, fame, anything in return for what you thought was a loving gesture, it is not love. It is a “business” transaction. In the Jewish tradition the best donations are done anonymously. The donor expects nothing in return. No increase in status. No benefits in terms of power. Nothing. That is love.

Same will be true for what you do for your children. You give to them because you love them. You expect nothing in return. Obviously they should respect you, but not because you gave them anything. Because they love you too.

Just thinking,

Ichak Kalderon Adizes.