Love (without the hang-up’s)
Opens the heart
The rose, full bloom
Early summer 2014
Falling in love has, over some years, become an increasingly common experience. Placed in context, I meet the complete spectrum of individuals and I feel a deep love for them, quite often this experience includes all manner of phenomena, trees, plants, animals, a cup of tea, a universal love for all ‘things’.
Do you remember that first time someone became the object of your hearts desire, the yearning, that exquisite pain of love. Both pleasant and painful. In its most positive aspect the heart is open, expansive and sensitive.
Because of my conditioning I used to feel that it was some how wrong to have these feelings for certain individuals and would repress them. I felt that somehow I was unfaithful to those who, conventionally, are meant to be the primary recipients of our love.
At Ordination, if not before, we step out of the nuclear family and into the Buddha family. We gain many more brothers and sisters. We no longer project all our hopes and dreams onto one or two individuals but open to the possibility that we may make these deep felt heart connections with anyone and everyone.
The near enemy of this universal love is the inherited conditioning, both biologically, socially and usually neurotically, that this feeling of love is taboo or that we must want sex but these are only its lowest expression. One can have the feeling of being in love without having to play it out on the basis of our lowest conditioning. Maybe put another way, it can be a meeting of hearts rather than loins, it can involve all of our being not just part of it. This, at least in part, is what separates love from the Buddhist expression of Metta. One could say, Metta is love but without all the hang-up’s!
When I let go of the lower expressions of love I open to higher, deeper more expansive and inclusive love which frees me from isolation, from pain of rejection and eases the pain of loss. In connecting what is highest in me with what is highest in another the delusion of separateness recedes and we become one in a way that mere physical melding can never be. I can have this with anyone, or anything, even this cup of tea.p 🙂
It is paradoxical that in solitude I never feel more in love, more connected, more open hearted and ultimately more liberated as I merge with all things. It is for this reason periods of retreat are necessary for me so that I maybe able to allow this perspective to increasingly become my default position in all areas of my life.
Over the years of practise I can see that this training bears fruit in my daily life. So, if you feel lost, unloved, alone, disconnected and isolated, maybe it is time to seek the remedy in the open heart of solitude.