“You see, war is not the answer, ‘cause only love can conquer hate.” – Marvin Gaye, What's Going On, 1971
“We are not called to be a nation of tolerance. We are called to be a nation of love.” – Cory Booker at the DNC, July 25th, 2016
We are in a tumultuous time of great change. It is exciting and amazing, and much needed.
But change can also create challenges within ourselves, both emotionally and physically, causing us to shut down and withdraw. For some, these challenges elicit feelings of fear and anger, strong emotions which cause the acts of violence and hatred in our society.
With these scenes so vividly depicted in this age of instant information, it can seem hard, or even impossible, to follow Marvin’s and Cory’s words. How does one conquer hate with love?
I have contemplated this question since I was 18 and first heard Marvin's song. The words rang true, but how could I use love to conquer hate? How could I love that much?
In the last few years, I realized that heaven understands our situation. In our time of need, heaven has sent humanity a gift – Sheng Zhen Gong.
Sheng Zhen is Chinese for "Unconditional Love". Gong means “cultivation” or “practice”. Hence, The Practice of Unconditional Love.
This word love expresses so much more than the word we use so frequently in our daily lives – it is the source of all creation and permeates everything in existence in our universe. Through the practice of Sheng Zhen Gong, we gain direct access to this source, the power of love.
Through its comprehensive system of moving forms, meditations, philosophy, and contemplations, Sheng Zhen Gong taps into the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
The graceful, flowing movements relax and strengthen the body while quieting the mind and the heart. The practice reduces stress and balances the emotions.
But most important of all, Sheng Zhen Gong helps practitioners open their hearts and connect to love.
At some time, we all may have experienced moments of this feeling - this connection to love. Think of a time where you were so happy and filled with joy that it felt like you couldn’t contain it. You were overflowing with happiness – literally overjoyed.
Maybe you were walking on a beach seeing a beautiful sunset, playing as a child, or sharing a special moment with a loved one. Your heart soared.
We can access this feeling at any time by practicing Sheng Zhen Gong. With regular practice, little by little, ever so slowly, your heart begins to open and brings the power of love into your life, every day.
You connect to something much larger than yourself, which brings a feeling of peace - a feeling we once knew, but have forgotten.
Through the practice, we connect to love. Understand love. Embody love. And use love to change our way of being in the world.
This, in turn, positively affects those closest to us, but also further afield, like the ripples in a pond that expand beyond our immediate view.
You may find it hard to believe that such changes can be effected simply by practicing Sheng Zhen Gong, but it works. Every person who has practiced regularly can speak of their wonderful experiences of change - small, large, and sometimes enormous!
This is heaven’s gift. This is how we can heal the world.
Why not give it a try? Join us for one of our classes and see how you feel. And know that you don’t need to be a master; you don’t need to work for years to finally get there. You can enjoy the benefits of Sheng Zhen Gong immediately, and it only gets better the more you practice.
Just imagine a world where we all practice Sheng Zhen. Now that’s a change to strive for.
The first step is to practice for yourself.
"What the world needs now, is love sweet love, no not just for some, but for everyone." – Hal David & Burt Bacharach, 1965
EDITORS NOTE: This article was co-written with Michelle Quigley, a certified Sheng Zhen teacher in Connecticut.