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Cultivation of that Dormant Love

--by Radhanath Swami (Apr 05, 2011)


Mother Nature is always speaking. She speaks in a language understood within the peaceful mind of the sincere observer. Leopards, cobras, monkeys, rivers and trees; they all served as my teachers when I lived as a wanderer in the Himalayan foothills. They shared the kind of lessons that elevate the spirit.

One particularly illuminating lesson from the forest comes in the form of the Himalayan musk deer. The musk deer is referenced in Sanskrit poetry and philosophy owing to its peculiar behavior. Prized by the perfume industry for its exceptional aroma, musk is one of the world's most expensive natural products, fetching more than three times its weight in gold. The aroma of musk is so alluring that when the stag's sensitive nose catches wind of it he roams the forest day and night in pursuit of its source. He exhausts himself in a fruitless quest, never realizing the bitter irony: the sweet fragrance he was chasing resided nowhere but within himself. Musk, you see, is produced by a gland in the stag's very own navel: it was searching without for what was all along lying within.

The sages of India found in the musk deer an apt description of the human condition. We are all pleasure-seeking creatures wandering a forest of some sort -- replete with pleasures and perils alike. Moreover, we are prone to the same type of folly as the deer: we seek our happiness externally. Misconceiving our true needs, we wrongly equate our fulfillment and self-worth with possessions, positions, mental and sensual thrills. We are often drawn into superficial relationships which hold the promise of lasting satisfaction, yet leave us feeling empty.

The true treasure lies within. It is the underlying theme of the songs we sing, the shows we watch and the books we read. It is woven into the Psalms of the Bible, the ballads of the Beatles and practically every film ever made. What is that treasure? Love. Love is the nature of the Divine. Beneath the covering of the false ego it lies hidden. The purpose of human life is to uncover that divine love. The fulfillment that we're all seeking is found in the sharing of this love.

The power of love is most profound. It has various levels. In its crudest sense, the word love refers to acts of physical intimacy, and its influence over society is obvious. But on a deeper, more emotional level, not simply of the body but of the heart, there is no greater power than love. For the sake of money and prestige, one may be willing to work long hours, weekends, even holidays. A mother's love, on the other hand, is selfless and unconditional. There's nothing she won't do for the well-being of her child, and she asks for nothing in return.

When love is pure, it has the power to conquer. Lover and beloved conquer each other by their affection. [We are] willing and eager to not only be touched by love, but to be conquered by it. The cultivation of that dormant love is called the path of devotion.

--Radhanath Swami


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5 Previous Reflections:

 
On May 20, 2011 D.B. M wrote:

 ...another view.....



On Apr 11, 2011 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and many of you don't know me, but I'd like you to know that I love you all.   During the circle of sharing of "aha moments" many people were moved to share quotes. I followed the momentum and shared some insights from a renown permaculturist. The timing of this passage with the visit of citizen of the World hermano Roberto Pérez Riveiro couldn't have been better. Permaculture is about respecting the Earth, respecting the peoples of the Planet and sharing the surplus. Fueled by creativity and courage, the work of this brother is an inspiring example of the power of community and how they survived peak oil.   Hermano Roberto visited the Free Farm and later he gave a talk in the Secret Garden at the Mission in San Francisco. There, in an outdoor classroom showered by the shadow of a plum tree, he stressed the importance of food sovereignty and shared with us that people in the  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and many of you don't know me, but I'd like you to know that I love you all.

 
During the circle of sharing of "aha moments" many people were moved to share quotes. I followed the momentum and shared some insights from a renown permaculturist. The timing of this passage with the visit of citizen of the World hermano Roberto Pérez Riveiro couldn't have been better. Permaculture is about respecting the Earth, respecting the peoples of the Planet and sharing the surplus. Fueled by creativity and courage, the work of this brother is an inspiring example of the power of community and how they survived peak oil.
 
Hermano Roberto visited the Free Farm and later he gave a talk in the Secret Garden at the Mission in San Francisco. There, in an outdoor classroom showered by the shadow of a plum tree, he stressed the importance of food sovereignty and shared with us that people in the part of the Planet we call Cuba spend 75% of their income on healthy food; school gardens are maintained by the whole community, which also has access to the school's computers. While they have some of the best doctors on the Planet they don't have medicines because most of the pharmaceutical corporations are still under the influence of the U.S. blockade. This forced doctors to rely more on complementary and alternative medicine, herbal medicine also called "Green Medicine". Now their health care system is producing a population that is as healthy as those of the world's "wealthiest countries" at a fraction of the cost.
 
Later that week, hermano Roberto visited us at the Sustainable Living Center in Oakland. There, we asked him what were 3 things he would tell to enthusiastic young people and in general to the people of the movement. This were his 3 (paraphrasing) points:
 
1. Get Together
2. Baby Steps
3. Celebrate
 
1. Get Together
It is time to understand the interconnectedness of all our work, he said. Permaculture, social justice, healthy food, independent media, preventive medicine, anti-war campaigns, education... you name it, all is part of th same movement. It doesn't matter in which of these projects we are working, the power of community lies in sharing our gifts and strength with one another. We are not alone. We just need to figure out what's our role in the largest movement humanity has ever seen. 
 
2. Baby Steps
Small is not only beautiful but fundamental. Don't try to "save the World". As overwhelming as it might seem -- with genetically modified organisms invading our ecosystems, nuclear reactors polluting our home for generations, climate change, wars and poverties of all kind-- the radical changes supporting the web of life start small. We are following those steps: one person at a time, one garden at a time. 
 
3. Celebrate
Don't forget that we are in the right side of history. Our joy and small victories need to be celebrated with humility and in community. It is because of people like you that humanity still thriving.
 
In other words, the (r)evolution is fun! It is incredible how the CF ecosystem, in general, embodies all these principles. Loving Wednesdays, in particular, are an ode to the emergence of the new paradigm. Once again, I was touched to the core to witness how in community, focus on the small, we all cultivate the heart each week at the home of this (r)evolutionary family to give birth to more collective wisdom.
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
 
Pancho

 

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On Apr 6, 2011 Monalisa [pseudonym] wrote:

 Just to say Namaste and gratitude for all your lovely stories and comments lovingly sharing with us.

Monalisa [pseudonym]



On Apr 5, 2011 Kathy wrote:

profound post. thanks for sharing :)

 



On Apr 5, 2011 Anil wrote:

Ya, this is true. :) But not easy to achieve ...