Reflections on Self-Love - Rancho La Puerta

Reflections on Self-Love

Surrounded by the warm glow of candles, the Gentle Yoga and Rejuvenation class creates a space where calm, self-love, and distraction-free relaxation occur. The meditations inspire deep thought about self-love and kindness.

When the Dalai Lama first arrived in the US to work with western meditation teachers, he asked what persistent challenges they encountered in their practice. The biggest issue everyone wrestled with, in various forms, was self-hatred. The Dalai Lama, confused, had to consult with his translators—because there is no concept or corresponding word in Tibetan for self-hatred. Clearly, self-love—the cultivation and practice of mercy and loving-kindness—is a skill that our own culture has underemphasized. If we are unable to love ourselves, our ability to truly love others is crippled.

Marianne Williamson wrote in her book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles” (1992):

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you … As we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Westerners are hungry for our own love and kind regard. We have been taught that only certain “happy” feelings are acceptable, and that “unhappy” feelings are a sign that we’re just not doing it right. But our inevitable wounds desperately need to be held with a spirit of kindness and acceptance. Extraordinary breakthroughs happen when people are given permission not only to love themselves, but also to honor and grieve their losses without imposing an artificial deadline by which all “bad” feelings must be relinquished.

The Buddha suggested that the wisest relationship to cultivate is internal—that we should hold ourselves with the love of a mother for her precious child. Loving ourselves first and best gets easier with practice, until eventually it becomes our natural state of being. The reward is a profound and spacious freedom of the heart, which is the greatest gift each of us can offer to the world.

Enjoy deep relaxation in Gentle Yoga and Rejuvenation, and prepare yourself for a sweet night of blissful dreams. This calming yoga and self-care meditation practice is amplified by the energy of a roomful of loving hearts, and is a profound and life-changing experience.

Rejuvenating yoga

The Ranch offers a variety of workshops, presentations, entertainment, and learning experiences to accommodate all of our guest’s request and interests. Learn more about Rancho La Puerta’s Mindfulness and Reflective program or our diverse Yoga opportunities.