The Face of Love

The Face of Love

SimoneLipscomb (3) The sand is cold from a night of darkness. Starlight is still embedded in the crystalline grains. It lingers as the gathering orange orb peeks from behind dark, gray clouds. Lunar fullness…madness… seeps into my bare feet as I walk along the shore, chilled from a wintery morning.

SimoneLipscomb (4)The pre-dawn excursion gave me time and space to freely open to the creative impulse working within and through me. I came away with a synthesis of revelations of late.

Recently, in my morning meditations, I have asked for one-sentence seeds of wisdom to begin the day. Yesterday it was this:

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Throughout the day I contemplated this statement and felt a deeper opening in my heart…and a Buddhist story came to mind. It goes something like this…

An abbot of a monastery sought a replacement. The test given to monks who applied for the position was to stand against hungry ghosts…legions of them. Bravery, courage and wisdom was needed. One by one, they were defeated as they wielded weapons and used defensive maneuvers. Finally, a monk calmly stood ready to face the test. Rather than hold weapons or stand in a defensive posture, the monk remained calmed and opened himself, allowing all the hungry ghosts to pass straight through. By not holding on or clinging to defensiveness, he passed the test and thus possessed the wisdom to become the new abbot.

SimoneLipscomb (13)It’s possible, while trying to maintain an open heart, to become defensive and protective of it as there will be those who are threatened by such joy, such happiness and they will make attempts to put down the light being emitted. Yet those ‘hungry ghosts’ have nothing on which to attach if we remain open, undefended, allowing pure joy and love to flow through.

SimoneLipscomb (9)As Pema Chodron wrote, “To experience something that liberates us from the narrow minded-ness of our biases and preconceptions is truly wondrous.”

“Don’t worry about results; just open your heart in an inconceivably big way, in that limitless way that benefits everyone you encounter,” wrote Chodron. Yesterday’s meditation included a vision where I climbed through a castle onto the top of it and went on the high roof. As I stood in the winds of this sacred place I saw a light approaching from the distance and heard a deep voice in my mind. Light the beacon, stay open, I am coming. So in the vision I took a torch and lit a huge light and knew that in reality I was lighting my heart’s light..and it would be my task to keep that sacred light burning brightly. There was no other task necessary.

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Doobie and Bucket understand the value of basking in the sun…it’s where most of their wisdom is gleaned.

Yesterday at The Frog Pond Sunday Social, a gathering of musicians and music-lovers who come together to create community, I basked in the winter sun as the musicians warmed up. As I faced the sun and closed my eyes I reflected back to the meditative vision and allowed the light of my heart to meet that of the sun and heard the deep voice in my mind once again….stay open.

After over half-a-century of exploring what love is and more specifically what it is not…I have come to realize that love is the only ‘thing’ that matters. It’s not romantic love or sexual love…although that can be an expression of it…it’s the stuff that comes from having an open heart that breathes-in love, exhales love and in the middle finds a way to experience sheer joy and compassion just for the experience. That’s what I’ve gotten to thus far.

SimoneLipscombThis is the face of pure joy, pure happiness….this then is the face of love.

And this is the face of love……

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 “When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space. Your world seems less solid, more roomy and spacious. The burden lightens. In the beginning it might feel like sadness or a shaky feeling, accompanied by a lot of fear, but your willingness to feel the fear, to make fear your companion, is growing. You’re willing to get to know yourself at this deep level. After awhile this same feeling begins to turn into a longing to raze all the walls, a longing to be fully human and to live in your world without always having to shut down and close off when certain things come along. It begins to turn into a longing to be there for your friends when they’re in trouble, to be of real help to this poor, aching planet. Curiously enough, along with this longing and this sadness and this tenderness, there’s an immense sense of well-being, unconditional well-being, which doesn’t have anything to do with pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad, hope or fear, disgrace or fame. It’s something that simply comes to you when you feel that you can keep your heart open.” Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are.

May we all be the face…the embodiment…of love.

 

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