Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love & Non-attachment

So, if you strive to practice non-attachment, where does love fit in? Isn't love attachment? I think love's as creatively complex as anything could possibly be. If you're a person of faith, you say God is love. If God's omnipotent, so is Love. Faith aside, no one can really deny the power it has. Obviously it's worth having, worth doing, worth living in. So is it wrong to be attached, if we can be attached?

I think, and I can be wrong, that attachment isn't necessary, because Love is in the present moment.

I use metaphors to visualize how things are, how things fit together. When I thought about Love, how would you visualize it in a more general way that'd apply to all love, I thought of a beautiful stream.

If you see a beautiful stream, or a river, you want to sit by it, maybe dip your feet into the water. You imagine you're attached to the stream, because you keep returning to it, loving it. Yet the stream is always different, it's never the same stream, one moment to the next. It is constantly in motion, something you cannot hold on to because it slips through you fingers.

Yet you can be there, enjoy it in the present moment exactly for what it is. That's pretty powerful, and special. Love is like that, I think. It's good to immerse yourself from time to time, maybe see where it takes you, if you'd like to float awhile.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lightening Up and Being Where You Are

I was out driving today for work, on the way from one appointment to the next, when I noticed a sign that said "Do What You Can. Be Where You Are." I thought this was a very perfect thing to read at that particular moment because I was working on my own practice of mindfulness, trying to be a mindful driver. Like most people, I could get distracted by thoughts. Like many who are working on being mindful and living in the moment, sometimes we scold ourselves a bit for getting off track.

Do What You Can. Be Where You Are. I am reading a book by Pema Chodron at the moment, a well-known Tibetan Buddhist Nun, called Start Where You Are, which touches on this concept within the first chapter. It just happens that today I started really reading it, so twice in a day the same reminder in two places. Pema says "Lighten up." when we're working on our own practice we need a bit of humor in how we address our supposed imperfections. It's all about being where you are and starting there, not holding on to this ideal of what you want to become. We'll become "that" as we are in the process of becoming. Becoming is more present.

So, lighten up. She goes as far as to say that people even talk themselves out of trying just because someone like her says lighten up and then they think "I can't lighten up so I better not try practicing what I want to be." Anything can be achieved through practice.

It's a good thought for me to keep in mind.

On another note, I wrote a post on mindfulness on another site, Here's the link.