I received an interesting question about whether meditation could be considered a form of self-love?
In this talk, we examine the meaning of “self” and the word “love” and what the ancient yogis taught in this regard. The concept is a modern creation that tries to bundle up all forms of good mental and physical health practices as being self-love. Merchants have also leveraged the idea, trying to entice the gullible public into buying things or experiences (their products) for ‘themselves’ as an expression of self-love.
But from a spiritual perspective, self-love, in its truest sense, is not a real possibility. Even dictionary definitions of ‘love’ point to the fact that love is an expression of relationship between two or more people. But we live in interesting times and no doubt these definitions will become rewritten.
The question that was asked of me was:
“I have a question. What is self-love? I hear that a lot and a lot of people say, I have to love myself first before I can love someone else, or help someone else. It is confusing because isn’t that what people are already doing but they don’t really notice it, and as a result, they’re unhappy. And so, their self-love is a way to try to treat the pain of unhappiness, but isn’t that just a repeat of what they’re already doing? And they also take the message of meditation in this way, that it is a practice of self-love. Is it really self-love?”