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TOPIC: Love and practice

Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 13:00 #6158

For you personally, what role does love play in practice? It seems to me lately to be more and more important, both as a sort of abstract attitude towards practice itself, towards the world in general, towards people in general. It also seems to be easier and easier to love individual people (both close family/friends and strangers). I suppose this links to trust, to not having relationships depend upon how the other person strokes (or fails to stroke) my ego, to feeling more patient with other people's (and my own) failings, and so on.

It seems like discussions of love in the context of practice tend to fall to the New Age sappy side or to the "love only means lust" side, but it seems to me both of those are rather extreme and not reflective of how I feel.

Thoughts? Musings?
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Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 14:11 #6159

Love, compassion, empathy -- these are all huge components of my practice. At various times they surface more or less actively. There seems to be a correlation to other sates and stages in my practice, like right now they have again loomed large ;-)
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Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 14:49 #6160

Interesting. The love and compassion stuff seems to have taken center stage for me lately. Perhaps it's been highlighted by the crises several friends have suffered. It has seemed so clear in the light of those tragedies that love and compassion are so vast they effortlessly "hold" all sorrows. A bit poetic I suppose, but it feels that way.
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Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 16:00 #6161

For me it's office stuff, but I think that has come up for unknown reasons. There is very clearly some form of cycling that takes place in one's practice and that is happening to me right now - I posted about it here yesterday.

I feel raw. Exposed. Vulnerable. Yet even so I am very open. I'm realizing just how how deep this can go. I was driving to the office this morning and the lyrics to a song I was listening to whacked me and I started to tear up over the meaning they conveyed. I've had this same sort of cycle happen before a few times, so know it and I'm actually starting to enjoy it. The meaning being conveyed is, "Relax, open to this, all of this, all the time."
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Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 16:08 #6162

There can be a magical transformative power here.

There are truly no favorable or adverse circumstances, and loving wisdom automatically sees how mind projects those evaluations as an attempt to solidify the openness of being.

Wisdom without love has no ability to speak or act in authenticity. Love without wisdom falls too easily into attachment and clinging.

Wisdom and love make each other what they really are, in an authentic human life; a clearing for that life to unfold on its own terms, without being constricted by mind's attempts to fabricate reference points. (Because it seems this loving openness has no wish to eliminate any habits of mind, but merely to feelingly see them completely).

I am blown away lately by what Nature can do, in the form of a human life, when that mind-generated prison begins to be seen through, when the courage of a free heart begins to take over from a mind enmeshed in its own projections.

This may sound like a bunch of crap ;) but all I can do is scratch my head and say, this is what I can share from my own experience of late. It is possible to be kind and open in the face of anything, including especially my own ignorance, clinging and aggression--- and insight into empty impermanence is just a door that appears through which we must then step into the vulnerability of a fully human life!
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Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 16:18 #6163

It occurs to me to add that love, unconditional openness, also seems to have an alchemical effect, when enacted in the world and relationships, such that increasingly "I" feel less fragmented, like the animal, spiritual, human, child, adult, elder, masculine, feminine, timeless, mundane etc "parts" all seem to be increasingly fluid and dancing together, the less mind attempts to usurp all the spontaneity of the rest of my nature and Nature...
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Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 16:24 #6164

And that spontaneity can only be had when we're in tune and comfortable with just what we are. That is the key that opens the lock. That's why we have to face up to the painful parts of practice and of ourselves. We have to know what's there, all of it, and how it fits together or we'll be forever mystified, mistaken and easily fooled by the inevitable illusions that comprise unexamined experience.
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Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 16:30 #6165

If nothing else these things seem to happily point out any attachment you might have had to not being a "sappy" sort of person, or *that* loving and open! (Something that came up in conversation with a friend, and I recall in myself at times, liking being the sort of person who is a hardass, or cocky or cynical or hates this or that, and is implied in Jake's use of "may sound like a bunch of crap" above.)

It is very humbling when such attachments are simply taken away (go away by themselves, as you prefer), and you realize that you had thought they were important in defining who you are, but they aren't really.

Re: Chris and "rawness/vulnerability" - I find that vulnerability, when it comes to the fore (as it has been the last few days, again, after a break of a few weeks) tends to manifest as intermittent random thoughts of being harmed. I've got the knack of spotting that as the sign I am afraid inside (again) and yes, the useful reminder, when I need it, is to relax and be open to it, to include it. This time so far easier and more interesting than a couple months ago, when I such a cycle hit me hard out of the blue and left me feeling rather trampled by elephants. :)

To add: the recognition of the kind of love I started out this post with seems important in the context of these phases of vulnerability/deepening, also.
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Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 17:57 #6166



And that spontaneity can only be had when we're in tune and comfortable with just what we are. That is the key that opens the lock. That's why we have to face up to the painful parts of practice and of ourselves. We have to know what's there, all of it, and how it fits together or we'll be forever mystified, mistaken and easily fooled by the inevitable illusion that comprise unexamined experience.


-cmarti
Yeh, exactly. ETA: And Ona, yes, I felt the need to protect myself from imagined doubts of imaginary others, hence my caveat above ;) hehehe!
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Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 18:52 #6167

Maybe love IS the practice-- and all the other stuff is preliminaries?

In my astrology class last week, Ming went on a tangent talking about 'the awesome conduct' that signals absolute mastery of the Way. This is recognizable-- and recognized-- by any- and everyone: fellow passengers on a train who don't know the Master by name or face. It is recognizable by the Qi being put in harmony in everyone nearby...
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Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 18:55 #6168

This is one of the two people he had met who exhibited 'the awesome conduct' aka 'brilliant kindness'--

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/archives/ming.html
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Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 19:53 #6169

now I really must watch those videos :) thanks kate!
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Love and practice 26 Mar 2012 21:10 #6170


Maybe love IS the practice-- and all the other stuff is preliminaries?


-kategowen

I think that might be true.
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