Falling in love with the Beloved is very, very easy.
It doesn’t require any great expertise in anything.
We become involved with all kinds of different spiritual paths. We want to achieve many different things. We want to be enlightened. We want to be wise. We want to be the best Christian, the best Buddhist, the best this, the best that. We do all these different things. And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with any of these things.
But along the way we often forget the simple matter of being in love with That that has made all these things possible.
We go looking for complicated practices. We think that if something is complicated, it has to be good. If it’s simple, anybody can do it. But when we start looking at most of the simple things that we know of, they’re really quite something!
The simple things are often very, very special.
But we get caught up in all kinds of complicated things. We get caught in the trap of accomplishment. We get caught up in being given rewards for achieving certain levels of knowledge, for rising above the ranks or for being more important than somebody else. We do all these different things year after year. And I don’t think we get anywhere.
Eventually we realize that all of this was a lot of fun but, nevertheless, it’s not getting us closer to the essential wholeness we’re looking for.
We can learn many practices. We can learn to sit quietly for hours and hours and hours. We can follow our breath coming in and going out. We can be very peaceful and very relaxed. We can do any number of things that give us pleasure and make us feel peaceful. But if we’re not thankful and if we are not in love with our Beloved, what’s the use?
As time passes, even though I discuss all these other subjects because they are a lot of fun to talk about, I am realizing that all I really truly care about is that I want to be friends with that Mystery I call the Beloved.
All I want is to be as close as possible to that Mystery.
And at least occasionally, I want not to recognize
any difference between me and the Mystery.
In all honesty, I don’t care anymore about who said what to whom about why. I don’t care about what this religion says or what that religion says. I don’t care about who is right and who is wrong and all these different subjects. The more that I look at all these different things, the more I start to see that they are just beautiful toys to play with.
They are beautiful toys and we spend a lot of time with them. But they tend to distract us from sitting down and doing the real work of what this is all about.
All of this time we could have been in love
with That that we can’t speak about,
with That that is in our own hearts
and it’s very easy.
This is why many times I get angry at myself for not seeing how easy and straightforward it is and for allowing myself to get so complicated.
Once in a while
I feel as though I catch a whiff of it
a telltale fragrance in the air,
a faint track in the sand,
a fleeting motion in the corner of my mind.
But when I turn to look, it is gone.
Nothing is there.
Nothing is there
and so I have doubted,
feeling an anguish more than I can bear.
Deeply have I considered the implication
that nothing may be there.
And yet my heart will not agree
and insists that something is
something I might not be able to identify,
something I might not be able to detect,
yet something I subtly sense everywhere,
something that like the sirens’ song calls to me
and sets a resonance in me,
something I’ve come to love
but cannot give a reasoned why,
something I simply do not want to live without.
And so I cast aside my doubt
and let my heart speak to the unknown
Oh, my Beloved …