Wednesday, October 03, 2007

When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall

Someone who read my cautionary tale on the abuse of Kurukulle practice asked if I could discuss the proverbial "other side of the coin."

Thus: interpersonal love between two human beings is, in the initial stages at least, a sort of proving ground for the concept of realization in one lifetime, and an opportunity to actualize the Bodhisattva ideal. For this often all too brief, shining period, we are completely honest, thoughtful, open, and wonderfully vulnerable----and we are so happy to be honest, thoughtful, open, and wonderfully vulnerable that we stop thinking of ourselves and think entirely of others.

I am speaking here of that period before all the jealousy, insanity, selfishness and possessiveness sets in.

Our happiness suddenly comes from our delight in our lover's happiness. We enjoy giving. We enjoy sharing. We enjoy protecting. We enjoy nurturing. Really, we begin to enjoy all the things that Bodhisattvas enjoy, and we wish it could last forever. It is even happier if we fall in love with a spiritually evolved person---we feel as if we can save the world.

I have known some tertons during my life, and the one thing I noticed was the great love and devotion they had for their consorts: something quite distinctive, you know? It might surprise you, but by way of example I want to remember that His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche was one of the most romantic gentlemen I ever met.

So, as a Buddhist, there is absolutely, positively no reason whatsoever why you could not or should not fall in love and I would in fact encourage you to do so. The only thing I would ask is that you try to stay in love even when everything else changes. Stay in love when time seems to ravage you: when your teeth fall out (when his or her teeth fall out), when there is no good news anywhere, when you are tempted to stray, when you are tempted to ignore, when you are tempted to forget. I would encourage you to be brave, to be strong, to be daring if necessary.

Because, when you are in love, you are acting toward one person with all the perfection you can muster and that, at least, is a start. There are certainly other dimensions to this---a mudra is a mudra is a mudra---and I know all about that "universal love" excuse for interpersonal failure, as well. What I am suggesting is that you get it right, somewhere and with someone, at least for a little while, at least once in your life. Once you learn how to do it, I would also ask you to honor your beloved by extending your generous spirit to others.

Then if you want to get really busy and save the world, be my guest.

Just don't practice witchcraft with mantras to get your own way.... that is all I am saying.

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