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Notes on Love as a Practice
by David Richo, Ph.D.

Love is not so much a feeling as a way of being present. 

Love is a sustained and active presence with unconditional...




    affection, and

    allowing others to be as they are.

[I call these "the five A's."]

Love is presence without the conditioned overlays of ego, such as judgment, fear, control—just what we let go of in mindfulness meditation.

We receive love in the same way— with the five A’s and without our ego interferences. 

In other words, love happens best in the context of mindfulness. This is how meditation builds our capacity to love.

We can expand our consciousness of giving and receiving love.  It can become our life purpose and the true fulfillment of our human yearnings. We can commit ourselves to a life of universal love. One way is by practicing the with/without technique as described above. The overlays of ego are the obstacles; the five A’s are the path.

It may also help to say the following affirmation first thing in the morning and throughout the day, concentrating on each word and picturing yourself being just this way. It can be especially powerful as a silent mantra, a prelude to interacting with someone or to facing a situation that may be scary: 

“I am fully present here and now with all my unconditional attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing. I am letting go of judgment, fear, control, and demand. May this be the way I show my love to everyone. May I be ever more open to the love that comes to me from everywhere. May all beings find this path of love.” 

Confidence in ourselves flows from mindfulness because we notice we can be committed to love and we can let others love us. Mindfulness contributes to intimacy because it makes us more realistic about life and relationships. We can be comfortable in a world that exists beyond our wishes and manipulations. We can be co-creators of a world in which love is more and more cheerfully and generously alive. We can love the moment, all we have, and love in the moment with all we are.

The Cooperative Communication Skills Extended Learning Community thanks Dr. Richo for his many contributions to this site and its publications.  His free e-book, Human Becoming, is available through this site by clicking here.  To order books by Dr. Richo, from online bookstores throughout the world, please visit:



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