Saturday, March 10, 2012

breaking barriers

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built.


Painting of Shiva and Parvati with their son
the remover of obstacles, Ganesh, by painter
Anand from Mysore.

A friend just posted a good question: why do we hold on to the barriers that keep us from love when all we want is to love and be loved?

Instantly I thought, "Yah! WHY is that?" It seems crazy or silly or just plain old stupid! And yet I know it's just not that simple. If something is there--and barriers often are--then there's a reason for it.

It made me think of part of today's discussion at my class at Yoga Philippines. I cited the Gita, how Krishna urges Arjuna not to be attached to the results of his actions, but instead to act according to his dharma with the appropriate effort.

I get into these patterns of thought: I want love, I want to be in love, I want to love someone. And yet, the barriers are there: walls need to be scaled, crocodile infested waters and miles of booby trapped terrain need to be crossed, before some other seemingly random obstacle comes into view.

But it's actually not that random. As Rumi puts it, I am the architect of my own mad labyrinth, my issues, my house of mirrors. And it is my job to dismantle it, take it down, to swing a giant wrecking ball to it. That is the act of love: creation out of the destruction of all other hindrances.

What I suspect is this: when the walls are down, love will simply be everywhere. Without the blockages, love will flow freely. It is not a question of finding love, but recognizing that it simply is all pervasive, and the only thing that is keeping us from swimming in oceans of it, inhaling it into our lungs with every breath, living in love, is ourselves.

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