Love, the most potent, required, given, taken, shared, element/feeling/emotion/state that every living being aspires to dwell in. Carefully observed, the whole world and all stories that everyone has somewhere has "love" as the foundation to it..whether the narrative begins with "i am not loved" or "i feel totally loved". The passage tries to show us movement from first narrative to the second. In one of my relationships, i struggled for 4 years with the first narrative, i would do something to be loved in return or i would demand love in return to all i was giving? Or to fulfill the call of duty towards love i would act. The person who i am connected with did not show much appreciation, gratitude or concern to any of these behaviors of mine. I was heartbroken and irritated at this insensitivity and wanted to break up. But God is kind and always shows the way, i just took to silence from everything. I did not break up but went into a zone of careful self inquiry to identify dramas. I refrained from any urges to act out of "love" i refrained from any arguments to get to an ideal framework of "true love". To keep away from acting on urges of "doing", "saying" something i would just pray for the highest to prevail. A quiet, small prayer. This silence, prayerful zone helped me peel off the layers of what i thought was "love". Now, there is no clinging, holding onto anything, demand or expectation from the other. All there is, is prayer for the other, this prayer is also not bounded by the need of it being shared. It emerges from the heart and goes out in the universe. I feel this prayer is love.
I read this story about Satsang where sage Narada asks Lord Narayana what is the meaning of satsang, lord says your answer will be given by a worm on earth, so Narada decends to earth and asks the worm. Before replying, the worm dies. Perplexed Narada, goes back and this time the Lord sends him back to a bird. The bird hears the question, looks into the eye of Narada and passes away. Narada goes back and the lord sends him to a new born calf. The calf meets similar fate. At this Narada looses all patience and demands an answer from the Lord. The Lord very lovingly convinces him that new born human child will surely answer the question. Naradaupon this promise from Lord tries one more time, and asks the child and the child smiles and says "i gave you the answer when i was a worm".! Satsang is the one that helps you attain "sadgati"- i.e. helps you awaken in a new realm. And the child bows and says, just by your (Narada-the closest to Narayana) coming and seeking counsel offered the worm a chance to awaken to bird then to calf and finally a human birth which has potential of practice and full awakening.
So satsang, can free you up from the forms you take until you realize the oneness and merge in it. All it requires is earnest prayer to build humility, faith in the practice and surrender to the way of nature. Personally, I try to see that i engage in conversations that are like satsangs, where learning allows to see the mind games and help go beyond it.
Thank you for this superb passage. How we all long for love but are afraid to practice it or even embrace it when its in front of us in many ways. Recently, i have been experiencing "shattering of habits" by practice of love. The work-in-progress that began with only embracing love and leaving all other stories, attachments, coloring, perceptions and expectations has given rise to a sense of silence where only flowing from heart exists. With continued practice the intellect is able to understand the rest of the aforementioned as noise that disturbs the peaceful flow of love in thoughts, speech and action and has become more observant. As it is WIP there's a gradual transformation taking place, giving space to more openness and acceptance to commit to loving and thereby to being born again. Being born again thus, also helps heal old patterns and the movement from abused lovelessness to abundant lovingness emerges.
We attended funeral of a friend's mother this morning. It felt like everyone around became aware of their own time coming..sooner or later.
As i opened this passage it dawned on me that thread of life ends at death, and the realization that we are all slowly coming to the end of the thread, holds life together. Then, there is unity...all of us are dying! Not out of fear of death, but out of the urgency to live fully, till it ends, which means to love fully irrespective and beyond our beliefs, actions, stature in life or words we are known by or we speak. This love which words may fail to explain is what delicate filigree of life can hold.
Thank you for the passage. This was need of the hour. We witnessed a very celebrated death of my mother in law very recently. She was diagnosed of sudden cancer and she decided no to treatment. She said we would do prayer circles at home and she would love to meet her loved ones. In a month's time she passed away, the whole month we celebrated each and every day. There was so much joy. And when we would discuss death with her and say "Mom we will miss you" she would reply saying " you are still attached to the body"!!. We cried and laughed together before she passed away. No mourning after that. We lived each feeling fully with her. I think that's what taught us to deal with her passing away with ease. We learnt that no death is "untimely" since we think linear we feel that way but its nature's way, we are all sitting with boarding pass, not knowing when the flight will take off.
I had a classmate since my kindergarten days and we went in the same bus, shared the same bench in the class and were also born on the same date. Through our highschool we were inseparable till we chose different subjects and went to other classes. Both of us made new friends and slowly got out of touch. After a few years I heard she stayed in a town close by and I wished to meet her and reconnect. This, I kept postponing as other things were more important, i was so self absorbed with my work and family that I had no time. One day, i received the news that she passed away in cancer. That moment hit me in the heart..i cursed myself for not picking up the phone and calling her or making any effort of seeing her. i regretted my self absorbed, selfish behaviour. This was my wake up call. I made a resolution to listen to my heart and do what it takes to live life, love more and be present for all and the self. Since that day the practice is, touching as many lives as possible allowing myself to learn and love in the process. Calling one friend a day, giving happy surprises to bring a smile on someone's face and mine too :) Going out of the way to take care of somebody, learning to give in that way. So giving, receiving and dancing can happen naturally..as a way of life. Death to me now is an awareness that if i am to live 10 more years which is 3500 odd days what would i do each day :) One can do the math to increase or decrease no. of days but all we have is "today"!!
I loved this one! Feeling completely in sync with what Mark has to say about love. Especially where he explains
"these choices are not in our province, any more than rain can choose what it shall fall upon". For long the word 'love" would scare me...it would mean dependence, weakness, vulnerability and everything else but "love" and so the best policy would be to ignore or "play safe", be on constant guard lest love becomes visible. All this games made me hard, judging and arrogant. I became very self critical too. Until a day came when I read this book by Dr. Brian Weiss "Messages from Masters" which explains tapping into the power of love to capture its healing energies. This changed my perspective on "love" and I started experimenting by allowing love to flow. The process has been going on for past decade and the learning is to acknowledge the deeper feeling of love in your own system. Saying "yes" to it within, then there's no need to share it with anyone. Like rain it will automatically fall and flow. Effortlessness emerges where human intervention stops. The key is acceptance and allowance. The moment you deny or intervene, mind games begin. We have a plant in our garden called "brahmakamal" that blooms only once a year when it rains. The flower is a white beautiful lotus with intoxicating fragrance that opens in the night to last and live for a few hours. Once, I was observing this flowering process and was amazed to see how the flower whose life is so short gives itself fully. This realization opened my heart to loving and giving without expectation. Keeping guard on expectation helps love flow freely and you are then constantly surrounded by grace of love. Its right there, the question is "are you open to it"?
Indeed a tough one to understand and put into practice. The moment "I" read the passage the question arose which part of my "I" wants to change? There are no immediate solutions to these puzzles but the practice of Vipassana provided some link : when everything is arising and passing away, so are the "I's". Having said this from a mind level the experience came while having tea. Each sip felt different and changed the taste with passing thoughts..the first one was "aha', towards half cup it was about finishing quickly and getting on to the day, also it meant a lot whether it was being shared with someone or it was in solitude. Upon deeper search within it was revealed that the wishes, desires that come up are arising to fulfill the Ego attached with each "I', which in turn will give rise to craving and aversion, depending upon the resultant action. Thus, the whole cycle continues. Hence, for now, for me its difficult to catch the real one as that too will pass away. So the practice under cultivation is being very authentic to each arising "I' and holding it with love and compassion. At those points of contact with the "I' when its accepted "as is" and loved, something heals within, the mask peels off on its own, effortlessly.
Rightly said Eulogy virtues are only spoken at the time of funeral. The hard truth of the world is that resume virtues are the ones that are celebrated. Sometimes it has been noticed that even spiritual gurus are inclined to support those devotees whose resume virtues are high. The distinction hence stands out clearly and though we would wish to nurture our eulogy virtues sometimes practical reality does tilt it otherwise. The practice one follows is to find a balance between the two and hold on to what helps in living with inner truth of being.
Creating welcoming space for the others to me includes everything from physical space of dwelling to being present for the person in any moment. I love hosting people and offering them space that will nurture them and make them feel at peace. This gives me an opportunity to look within and see how available I am for everyone who comes. My granny used to say "people will come to you only when you have open , trustworthy and loving energies" so it helps to check whether I am that. I have been through experiences when people have turned cold and not available to listen to my heart and at those times I felt being available to listen also creates a warm and trustworthy space for others. When I had a question of "why should we create such and such a space for others?" the Answer came "Your journey is not your own and that there are is an array of happenings that allows it to unfold, so when you create such a space for so called "others" you are actually creating a loving environment for your journey to be supported and nurtured."
During my 7 month journey I had decided to stay in the flow and allow emergence. At one point I met this person who started challenging my thoughts on right or wrong, good and bad, how to serve. I could see the resistance arising and an urge to defend was coming up. I resisted my resistance to allow the flow and observed that mind was also acknowledging truth in what he was sharing. As I started “seeing” and “allowing” I was able to accept the truth. I could also realize that whenever we are faced by anything that doesn’t fix in the framework of our mind resistance surfaces as a defense mechanism to uphold the “ego”. The practice that I follow whenever resistance arises is to ask the question what am I resisting. Change, or challenge? Through the answer looking at the truth in the situation and allowing emergence in the moment. The beauty is heart has already taken sides with truth so change becomes effortless.