The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How Big Is Love?

As a child, I recall wondering how big LOVE was?  When would it run out?  Who should I give it to, and if I gave it to A, did it mean that I had to take it away from B?  How could it wax and wane, as evidenced by my perceptions of loss and gain?  Where did LOVE end, and where did it begin?
I remember lying in bed as a 9 year old, just beginning to grasp the un-knowable mystery of the concept Infinity!
It was staggering to me to contemplate Infinity, and looking back, it might explain why I was a very serious, solitary little being at that age!
So much to ponder.
Over the years, I've found that those questions don't disappear, or necessarily find answers that weather the test of time--such questions for me are always present, they just occur in different forms.  Such questions are like a tapestry running through one's life--though the variations may be embroidered with rich new colors and designs, the fundamental cloth remains, a foundation for experimentation!
Shakyamuni said, taste the Dharma, try it, experiment with it....and leave behind what does not work!
Is there any other philosophy/religion on Earth that encourages such personal experimentation?
As a new mother, I experienced intense LOVE for my son.  When I knew I was going to have a second child, I considered my questions about LOVE again--how could I love another child as much as I loved my son, how was it possible to share that emotion, or to find it anew?  Would I have enough love for two babies?  And if so, how? Anyone who is a parent to more than one child knows the answer to these questions!
But as a new mother, I had to experience that ever expanding, profoundly limitless LOVE.  I'm making that love bold, because it's the LOVE we all tap into at one point or another during our living--it's what we as Human Beings find sustaining and liberating--the fact that, there is no end to this LOVE, once we tap into it.
It's what we plug into in myriad ways, through our families, our work, our practice--like an undercurrent beneath our psyche's action, it carries the True Self into Emptiness, into Shunyata, if we just recognize the reality.
LOVE generates LOVE.  In my life, that experiment has been born out over and over again!
By the time my third child was born, I understood a vast, unspoken secret of motherhood--I could have dozens of children, and love each one with the intensity and depth of the first!   I suspect it's why some families keep growing, it's almost addictive!
We don't have to discover this LOVE through parenthood; it's just been a part of my particular learning path. We have limitless ways to express our LOVE, as limitless as each of our individual characters and paths in this life.  And it's up to us to discover, over and over again, how to express that LOVE.
This is the path of being human!

Namu Amida Butsu! 

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