My Shadow for your Love

In giving of my shadow over, I open to you and with that, I find that the gifts that are offered in this trade off are more than I can imagine. I have known and felt love before but there is something about you, it scares me in its splitting open of myself.  How can you be an exact mirror to myself? 

 I have wondered a lot these past days in this feeling of being scared. What does it say about me? What does it mean? I have arrived to a feeling, a knowing feeling that you have come into my life to shine light on my current limitations, to deepen my understanding of my own self and to widen my perspectives on others. In being with you, I am constantly awakened to how much there is to another human being; these beautiful souls that walk this earth and I feel so very honoured to have met your soul in this lifetime to share this journey with.

In confronting these emotions, I see the well inside me. It is dark and some of it is unpleasant; it casts me back to other parts of myself that are less developed. I am triggered in this journey with you; I see our souls are already deeply entwined; we are in deep and to walk into this further is what is being asked of me. There is no way around; too walk away from a love, even if it is unlike the love I imagined calls for pause; if I were imagining love to be like ‘that’ and it has shown up like ‘this’- perhaps it was not love I was identifying with all along.. The old ways of a gentle passivity leads the way to unsaids and a truth not told; You are teaching that conflict is necessary in the sphere of love and the fear that cycles through this is also part of my growth. I recognize there is more work to be done; by this, I know there are further layers to gently and patiently peel back to uncover and gain understanding in.

This I do with love and a clear mind.

I once again turn to the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama to deepen my awareness and to widen my consciousness

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# Maitri

Maitri literally translates to kindness. This means that I cannot just know to love, but I must also know how to love. My intention is true to love you and be truly loving, yet I awaken to the knowledge that I may not be loving you in the way you need. What this is translating into is a deepening observation and really paying attention to what you are saying, as well as the fears underlying in what is not being said. Through observing you, I am seeing in how best to love you in the way you need loving.

# Karuna

Karuna is the essence of compassion. I am feeling the pain that you are going through and I am there with you. Be safe in the awareness that I will still be here the other side. The stories will still be there but the pain will have lessened its hold on you energetically. We will wear our scars but we can watch them fade. Together. 

# Mudita

The meaning of Mudita is happiness or deep seated joy. There were times when I believed relationships should be *all* about Mudita but I am learning. Mudita does make up the essential element of relating to another, but there is some other stuff to it too. Happiness is fleeting and passes; Yes, essentially, Love should always be a source of Happiness but Mudita feels more stable than happiness. It emanates as a Joy; That deepening feeling of contentment that arises within me and arises within you, I watch spell bound as I feel its energy swirl around us and gently flutter down taking its place amongst us, so suddenly catches me by surprise and I recognize this as the truest form of love. This joy is what makes my heart get closer to yours and fulfils my life and we are finding our way here from doing the shared and individual things that we both enjoy and have fun with. To swim in the ocean, read our books together, cook, take a hike or climb a mountain…; this happiness is about the little things.

# Upeksha

Upeksha is the notion of freedom. In our friendship and in our relationship; I recognise myself on my own path and I see you; just off to the side of me, as you also make your path. I offer you freedom and I ask for the same back; let us not make a chain around one another and cut our wings. I am not staying because of the things you did or do, not staying because of how you can be. I am staying because right in this very minute; I Love You.

My Love and My ego cannot exist together, where one is lit, the other is dark and so I choose and I choose again; for Love to lead my way. This is my ultimate freedom and I welcome you to claim yours. Free ourselves from the notions of what we think it is to love, and to feel the love, let that be our relating.

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In the Buddhist traditions, there are two central paths to destabilize and unwind our constricting perceived sense of self; They are Enlightened love (bodhicitta training) and enlightening wisdom (jnana training).  In the Theravada/Hinayana tradition, the four Immeasurables – also referred to as the four Brahma Dwellings – are ancient practices of concentration that culminate in equanimity, said to be found only at the fourth Jhana (level of concentration), when the mind has moved past the conceptualizing of the lower concentrations. In my Mahayana tradition, the four qualities are part of bodhicitta training and begin with equanimity and the cultivating of this state of heart and mind.

Tsongkhapa said that just as one must flatten hilly ground to create a stable base for building, it is equally vital to even out the mind’s attachment to some persons and dislike for others. He went on to point out that only then may love and compassion develop, without bias, standing tall, strong and with deep roots. Now, more than a decade later, I bow in gratitude to my early formal teachings and trainings on equanimity – it feels as now again I uncover another layer to their teachings. I’m sure I continue to uncover more of the richness of the teachings during my lifetime.. 

These four boundless qualities, which literally translate to have “no measure/immeasurable, boundless or unlimited” (apramana), traditionally capture Love or Loving Kindness (metta) in their translation of the path.  I feel I am still growing into this and working with Karuna has a sweetness to it that I am enjoying. I can feel and sense the Metta,, but Karuna is where I am at right now.  And i’m good with that. It feels more authentic at this time. 

My practice is proceeding slowly and with care, gradually, giving way and surrendering my patterns has felt like a lose of their constricting power, and not a lose of my real self.

With practice, (and lots of practice!) of these immeasurable states, my effort is resolving with a slighter ease, I feel my self-divide expands into wholeness, and ideas, concepts and insights are resolving into direct experience. This helps to create a cocoon for me to unravel  myself in my darkest self.

This ease and utter relaxation with the whole process is bringing about a heightened capacity for clarity. What is relaxing, ultimately, is my deeply entrenched sense of “being me,” my error that is giving rise to all my other errors. Freedom from my reactivity created by my pride, created by my ignorance, by my desire, by my anger, and by my jealousy endows an ease of intimacy with my own feelings as well as those of yours; allowing me to live my own story while engaging with yours.

Through this equalization of no longer dividing the world into good and bad, love and hate, we not only have more freedom and ease in our daily lives; we are also gaining access to the wisdom’s of our real natures. Its work but i’m happy of what we are and what we are doing together.

After a lifetime so far of following a spiritual path; You have shone your light on my plastic and have allowed me to see the manufactured-ness of it, the limitations that came with it. Through this ritual of loving you, I see myself and know what I am beyond what I am not. In terms of growth; Love is the way through it all. I am walking this path of opening. 

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