Most of us are seekers. We seek the light, we seek happiness, we seek inspiration in our work, we seek love. We focus on that which is beautiful. That which gives us a light and warm feeling, warms our heart and makes us happy.
We practice yoga, read spiritual books, dance barefoot, and walk in nature. We search for silence in cloisters and meditate. We take art classes to let the creative juices flow and discover tantra, looking for pure and sacred beauty in our sex lives.
And this works so well! Our hearts open up during retreats, we discover warmth and interconnectedness at symposiums, and during new age festivals we are all happy and at peace with each other.
But what I so often hear, and have discovered myself, is that outside of these organized meetings, outside the walls of the cloister or classroom, daily life kicks in. Others do not always meet you with the same open heart. Slowly the warmth ebbs away and with it, your own sense of strength, so deeply rooted in a bed of love. How do I hold on to this feeling of love? This is the question that almost always arises at the end of a retreat.
Holding on to it is useless
Holding on to it is useless. Our life on Earth is marked by duality. Day and night. Light and dark. Sun and shadow. Repulsion and desire. War and peace. Pain and pleasure. Without opposites, there would be no movement, life would be static, nothing would grow. Like many essential truths, this truth is also almost a cliché: it is impossible to define light, to recognize light, without darkness. Our existence on earth needs both aspects to express itself, to be visible and generate experience.
The ecstatic feeling that comes from a retreat or class is simply that – a feeling. And like all feelings, it will disappear and make place for another, less ecstatic, feeling. And so life moves, from one pole to the other, in perfect balance.
When I speak of the art of living, I’m talking about an invitation to open yourself to the entire gamut of experiences, emotions, and moods. Enable yourself to see all the colors in your life. Open your view to the whole vista of existence. Only then will you be able to grow past duality and discover another dimension. A dimension of Being that exists outside of your thoughts and your body and encompasses all of you.
You discover what makes you breathe, fills your heart, sends the juices flowing through your body. You find your true nature and your deeper roots. The question, how to hold onto love, no longer matters. The searching is over. This is it, this moment, this experiencing. Everything and nothing at the same time.
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