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March 27, 2009

Teachings on Love (2): Infatuation and Flow

Love has no boundaries as our minds usually conceive them. Real love cannot be contained within a single form, nor can real love be confined by any measure. When properly tapped, love spills inexhaustibly from its source. So exclusivity excludes love. In other words, genuine love does not, and cannot, exclusively and compulsively fixate upon a single object (other than God, which includes all objects). That which we ordinarily consider to be love may instead be called infatuation of some type. Infatuation is sought after because in its initial phase, its expansiveness mimics the unbridled character of real love. Those in the grip of infatuation feel as if the whole world is a magical place where gratification beckons from every corner. Even as a pale reflection of the radically unconstrained nature of real love, the illusion generated by infatuation remains compelling because of the power of the real thing.  And in search of the expansive quality of love, people continue to seek out, and fall into infatuation, because they don’t know how to generate genuine love.

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Love is giving and receiving. Love is process. Love is flow. Arriving in a human body, we begin as net receivers of love from caregivers (even if much or most of that love arises from mechanical sources). With the attainment of responsible age, the natural tendency is to strive to give love in turn, in order to balance what has been received. Although most people bestow what they have to give upon a limited number of objects, at the human level the purest form of giving love – the generosity of the saints – is like the pollen of a tree: unconstrained  by direction, it travels as the wind takes it, and extravagantly spreads itself widely.  There’s no place it doesn’t go. But ultimately love is circulation, and thus encompasses all directions, all comings and goings.

--Rob Schmidt
© 2009 Tayu Order, Inc.

 


 

 

March 13, 2009

Teachings on Love (1): Love is strong

Teachings on Love
Cultivating open-hearted, unreserved love has been the focus of my spiritual practice for over three decades. Such cultivation proceeds not through mushy affirmations, or through invocation of “good” intentions without grit, sweat and tears behind them. Real love sees clearly with hard-edged discernment, and must be sought after by discarding lies and illusions.  The intensity of real love is not for the faint-hearted. The flames of genuine spiritual practice heat an alchemical retort filled with body, mind and heart, in which the true nature of love is revealed as distortions are discarded. Following are some recently refreshed, as well as new observations on this most crucial topic:
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Love is strong and supple, not weak and inflexible. In the powerful tides of life, love bends without breaking to accommodate any shape necessary to sustain it. If it breaks, if it ends, it wasn’t love to start with, but the disguise of infatuation or compulsive attraction.
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Misunderstandings about love fill people’s minds. The greatest misunderstanding manifests as the impulse to grasp after love compulsively.  Spasmodic clutching actually pushes love away. Even worse, the process of grasping actually harms that which it seeks to possess. Strangulation of the so-called object of love does not qualify as love.
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The purest, most volatile and brilliant love fills us, surrounds us, and sustains us, but most of us only recognize flashes of it from time to time. The obstacles to love lodged in our minds and hearts cannot simply be dismissed or wished away, prayed away, or meditated into oblivion. The intermediary step to embodying love in a human body is non-identified witnessing of all phenomena. That means witnessing life purely, without judgment. The radiance of love emerges as the purification of witnessing dissolves the ego-driven obstacles that obscure it.
--Rob Schmidt
© 2009 Tayu Order, Inc.

 



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