Mark Nepo is a poet, teacher, storyteller and author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, The Book of Awakening. This excerpt is taken from The Book of Awakening.
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What does loving like water mean to you? Can you share an experience of a time you felt or received such a love? What practice helps you develop the ability to love like this?
I am sure water is the closest synonym of life. We are searching for New Earth planets and the main characteristic by which we define whether we wanna discover more is water on these planets. Water is a universal source.
Water is hidden in everything for everything surely contains some water.........it's the Holy Grail the hidden that we seek to find............sometimes we cannot see something but we know its there and eventually we fail to see it. Water is always welcome. x
Love is not an abstract term. But a concrete one.When it flows meaning when you practice it with full life force ( heart & soul) it becomes tangible. You can indeed experience it like water.
Lately I see love as an attitude, a choice. When I put on a smiling, happy face, that dispels any negativity in my system and I'm open to send love to all of creation. Maybe it's just tricking the negative egoic mind into believing that I'm happy but it works. Water is a miracle in all forms, raindrops,rivers , tears occupying 70% of the surface of the earth. I think, Love, the greatest miracle of all occupies 100% of the universe. Anything is possible when one opens oneself to Love. Perhaps the greatest Love of all is to , As Christ said, Love those that despise you. For it is then we forget ourselves. And Meher Baba said : when we forget ourselves completely, we find God.
Love, like water, gets into every nook and cranny, unselectively affecting everything it touches. We need water to survive; we may not need love to survive, but it certainly helps us to grow and thrive. Like water, love expects nothing in return. Like with water, there's enough love to go around, but we better treasure it and use it wisely, not pollute and misuse it. Unlike water, which is a limited commodity, love is limitless. Love is like muscle, becoming larger and stronger with use; love isn't like a bar of soap that diminishes with use. When I have been loved, I felt that my real self was welcome and valued, and I was open. I feel pleased and privileged when someone responds in that way to me. As I become older, and maybe wiser, I have a more generalized love/compassion, which pleases me very much. Having been loved and being loved have probably helped me the most to develop the ability to love.
Off late, I have begun to observe that putting the word 'love' to the space and experience we call 'love' is trying to reduce it in some way, to make it more 'amenable' to be able to speak about it, switch it on-off etc....
And yet I see the irony of our world, where we sing and write so much about love, and yet there are so many unhealthy expressions of that love (like war, which is perhaps born out of love for one's country or ilk)
Perhaps becuase, there is love and then there is Love.
'love' can choose and decide where to be showered, it can turn on and off, it can change in face of experiences, it can convert to jealousy or control (or have shades of it).....
Love, on the other hand is the space of love....it is so free, boundless, like an ocean of water that itself is also submerged in water....there there is only water.....(and there I go again, using words to describe something beyond words!)
i hope eventually our capacity to 'love' reveals to us the experience of Love - after which 'love' will no longer be a 'capacity' but in our being...
I love this reflective reading on Love.Love gives birth to life, nourishes it, sustains it, enriches it and lets it bloom and blossom.This is what a mother does for the child she bears and provides nurturing and blossoming energy to her child.Such love does not have criteria or conditions set in advance to meet to be loved.Love is spontaneous and unconditional. It is beyond right or wrong. Love's hands are always open to give and receive. Giving becomes receiving and receiving becomes giving. We witness such love in nature, in animals and in us as humans.
I have experienced such love from my parents, brothers, sisters friends, teachers and my students and at times from strangers..And they have experienced it from me too.It is a natural flow of life sustaining and flourishing energy.Love bubbles from within.It cannot be poured from outside.It is like feeling the touch of water, wind, and a loving hand. It is like smelling fragrance coming from a flower or a smile sparkling on a face with no apparent reason. When I hold a crying child in my hands, it creates a deep bonding between me and the crying child.There si no guide book or prescription for it.It just happens.Such experiences are very precious and rich. They make our day, our night and our life.
What blocks the flow of such a natural energy? We all know the answers because we have experienced both the natural flow of energy and the blockage of the flow of love energy.When I become self-centered and self serving, place conditions for relating to the other, build up expectations from the other or relate to the other out of obligations or fear, the pure joy of loving goes out of windows. It is like going back to sleep and continue living in the illusory dream! We all in varying degrees have lived in these two cities; The city of illusion or the city of Maya, and the city of Love or Prem.
May our life touch and be touched by the pure water of Love!
Jagdish P Dave
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"?