LOVE ME TENDER
MEDITATION WITH THE RADIANCE SUTRAS BY DR. LORIN ROCHE
When we love someone, we want to pay attention to them. We want to look at
them, reach out and touch them, listen to them, share meals, go on walks, tell
our stories. In all these ways, we weave together the texture of our lives. Depending on the level of intimacy of the relationship, we may also want to spend
hours cuddling, sleeping together, making love. In the deepest love, we want to
unite body and soul, earth and heaven, to fully meet and perceive the beloved.
Love is yoga—the practice of connection and union.
When we are in love, we feel the urge to extend ourselves, to stretch beyond
our habitual attitudes and behavior. It’s a bother, but we rejoice in it. We are
called to pay tender attention to the beloved, tend to them, intend the best for
them. The “ten” sound in all these words—attention, extend, tend, tender, and
intend, is from the Indo-European root ten—“to stretch, extend.” There are
certain sounds we like to have on our tongues all the time. Ten is one of them.
Love is tender attention.
Ten is also in the word tendon. In the aspect of yoga we call asana, we pay
attention to the connective tissues, including the tendons that join the muscles
to the bones. In the aspect of yoga we call meditation, we pay attention to the
subtle connections between the body and the essence of life. Tension is another
“ten” word, and in all forms of yoga, we attend to the tension between things,
tuning the stretch to be just right.
In Sanskrit, this primordial root-sound ten is pronounced tan, and has the same
meaning: “to extend, stretch.” If we add -tra, “tool, instrument,” we get tantra,