Be Love Now: Buddhism, Meditation & Recovery Notes, Friday, Nov. 12

November 14, 2010

Greetings and blessings!  And thank you all for coming last night.  Your dedication and contributions are fulfilling and supportive…

—Aside from our usual two 10 minute sittings, I lead a brief visualization meditation to help us think about our purpose in life.

–Last night I read from Ram Dass’s recently published, Be Love Now: The Path of the Heart.  Here is an excerpt:

“Emotions do seem to have a life of their own, whether they come from habitual patterning or spontaneous reactions.  Emotions give you multileveled information about your environment.  Sensations stimulate emotions as you interact with people and situations.  It’s like a wave that lifts and carries you and sets you down again.

When we feel emotional love, we ride the wave, and when it recedes, we need love all over again.  Our Western psyche is built on the need for emotional love.  Our mind creates a whole reality around it.  We think that’s the way it is, that everybody needs emotional love, and that if we don’t get it, we are deprived or insecure.  Our minds tell us the more emotional love we get, the better off we are.

Our culture treats love almost entirely in connection with interpersonal relationships and interactions.  Emotional love is based on external gratification, having our love reflected back to us.  It’s not grounded in feeling love from inside.  That’s why we keep needing more.  When we love somebody emotionally, that need for feedback creates a powerful attachment.  We get so caught up in the relationship that we rarely arrive at the essence of just dwelling in love.”

Ram Dass wrote one of the best-selling spiritual books of the 20th Century, Be Here Now, published in 1971.  He is one of the leading Western spiritual figures responsible for introducing Eastern spiritual practices to the west.  He has had a profound influence on my path (and my recovery)–I strongly recommend his work.  I also recommend the 2001 documentary on Ram Dass, Fierce Grace.  The film gives an excellent account of Ram Dass’s life and cultural impact as well as a moving portrait of his life after suffering from a major stroke.  Perhaps we can schedule a screening of the film before the Christmas Holidays??!

It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.–Ram Dass

Have a wonderful week!