When your romantic life has gone stale, the search for love can seem futile. But, according to Taoist Master Shunya Barton, that's only because you're approaching love all wrong.
The 55-year-old healer was in Los Angeles over the weekend to lead a workshop on ridding your life of the obstacles keeping you from finding true love at the Conscious Life Expo, an annual event assembling thousands of New Age seekers — everyone from mediums and psychics to alien enthusiasts — at the LAX Hilton.
This year's convention boasted no shortage of outlandish speakers. But Barton was a welcome departure from the nuttiness. Forthright and practical, his teachings made finding love seem as easy as finding your car keys in the morning.
Barton is the first to concede that back in the day, relationships weren't really his thing. They flourished, however, after he altered his approach to them. Just two months ago, he married his partner of 17 years. He tells Elite Daily,
Love melts all blockages and transforms all life. Enough love can transform anything.
We caught up with Barton to learn his thoughts on the five most important things to bear in mind when looking for love.
1. To find true love, be true love.
“We think we need someone to complete us rather than finding the wholeness with us,” says Barton.
Women, for instance, have been made to believe something's wrong with them if they're still single at 30. When your happiness hinges on forces beyond control, disappointment is inevitable.
Ellen, a 40-something mental health therapist who wished to provide only her first name, was at the expo to learn ways she could strengthen a budding relationship. She says,
I'm more aware of negative mindsets and attitudes affecting relationships. I learned that we create our own relationships and that I can create my own through divine love.
2. There's no such thing as the perfect partner.
"Honeymoon phases" don't last. For a while, you feel your partner couldn't be more perfect if he or she tried; then, the flaws and maddening quirks start to reveal themselves.
Again, a minor tweak is all that's required to make your honeymoon phase span a lifetime. Stop loving specific characteristics or traits in people; love everything about them, recommends Barton.
He attributes his finding love to abandoning expectations. Barton says,
I realize I wasn't making love the priority, and there were other things I was looking for in a partner that ultimately weren't satisfying. When I put love first, I found that love lasted.
3. Raise the frequency of your relationships to that of higher love.
Imagine a war taking place in a valley. From the ground, you would only be witness to violence. If you were to scale a mountaintop, however, and look down, the view would be quite different. You'd see war, but you'd also see peace.
Barton's first spiritual teacher used this analogy to illustrate to him the importance of a higher perspective. Barton explains,
Whatever we align our vibration and frequency with, that is the vibration and frequency we become. When we speak beautiful and positive words, we become beautiful and positive.
Thirty-one-year-old substitute teacher Milan Epps decided to attend the convention this year “to become more conscious.” He says,
I've been researching myself about love and how it's a healing energy. I liked how (Barton) said love heals all things.
A quick and effective frequency booster, utilized by scores of spiritual traditions, is chanting. The idea is to sync your personal frequency with that of the universe in order to bring a blissful balance to every aspect of your life.
“What you chant is what you become and attract,” says Barton.
For a simple meditation, sing the words “divine love” or “highest love” for at least 3-5 minutes per day.
4. Sincerely practice forgiveness.
By forgiving, you're allowing the part of you consumed by negativity — emotions like anger, jealousy and sadness — to once again fill with love. Barton says,
Forgiveness can bring inner joy and inner peace. It isn't letting the other person off the hook. You're letting yourself off the hook.
But what if a person has caused so much pain it's inexcusable? Should you forgive a partner who habitually cheats or a spouse who abuses drugs? The short answer: yes. You don't have to remain in a toxic relationship, but without forgiveness, you'll never be free from it.
5. Life's not as serious as our minds would have us believe, so lighten up!
Most of us in our relationships, we take things out of proportion. If we stop taking things so seriously, both we and our partners will be so much better off.
Barton had no choice but to put things in perspective when he was diagnosed with AIDS 32 years ago. He was near death, but under the spiritual guidance of his teacher, Master Zhi Gang Sha, he was able to mentally recover and revert to a normal, healthy life, unlike many of his friends, who died during the heart of the epidemic in San Francisco.
“I'm still here because of love,” he says.