Friday, June 22, 2018

Let Go and Let Love

When someone begins some form of meditation or quiet prayer, they have some expectations.  If they are People of The Book, they believe in God and expect their good feelings and faith in their God to grow, deepen, and satisfy.  “It feels so good to love God,” one might hear from the beginner.  If you are not a God-Believer, but meditate, say in some Eastern Tradition, you still begin with expectations and feelings.  “Buddhist meditation is so fulfilling,” you might hear.  But the path is not so feeling-filled as it was at the beginning.  In my Western Tradition of God-Belief the time will come when you do not have those satisfying feelings. You even lose a sense of faith.  God is at work.  Why does God do you like this?  Well, God might want you to sacrifice, that is, give up your agenda of good feelings, but carry on loving God in your daily dry and seemingly empty practice.  They don’t tell you this in the 11th Step.  The goal is to love when the Other, God in this case, seems to not be around, and you are not feeling love in the presence of the Other. It is a decision. I suspect it is the same with Buddhist practice.  There are dry and empty times.  It is all about self-surrender, moving away from self-focus on “getting”something. Love deepens when it goes beyond feelings and immediate gratification.  And if you have a partner, mate, and sometimes do not feel very loving, that is the time to practice love.  See if it makes you a better person.  If it makes you angry, grumpy and resentful all the time, is your relationship about love at all?

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