- On June 27, 2017
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“Discovering the Beloved”
There is a humorous piece of advice for new-age types: If you want to meet your soul-mate, look in the mirror. I rather like this pointer and would like to extend it to meeting the Beloved as well, adding a few refinements:
1) Ask yourself if you are really interested in meeting your Beloved, the one you love most.
Doing so requires that we strip away all ideas of who we think you are. We must be naked to meet the Beloved. As much as we are drawn to this encounter, we also fear it. The conditioned mind does not like to give up its pretense of knowing more than it does. Be honest with yourself. Are you up for this degree of vulnerability and apparent loss of control?
2) Look with innocent eyes.
Whether you are looking in a physical mirror, into the eyes of a friend during meditative gazing, or with closed eyes, let your looking be innocent. That means be open, free of judgment or comparison, and without a goal to see some “thing” or to get somewhere. After all, your Beloved is not an object. If you are looking into a mirror or another’s eyes, look through the physical image into the heart of the looker. If your eyes are closed, feel into the sense of “I am” in the heart area and follow it inwards. This latter practice is the essence of self-inquiry.
3) See that the looker is what is being looked for.
The Beloved resides in the very heart of the one who is looking. As Nisargadatta Maharaj so elegantly noted: “The seeker is the sought.” If we define the Beloved as that which we most love then, knowingly or unknowingly, we seek the very center of our being – the essence of who we really are. No thing and no one else can fulfill us on this core level. It is an extraordinarily liberating revelation to discover first-hand that we are already Whole – neither essentially lacking nor flawed.
4) Rest in and as the Heart of reality and let this discovery act on you.
It takes time for this revelation of the Beloved to transpose to our conditioned body/mind. This is an utterly radical insight that can disorient our normal sense of being a separate self. We are so accustomed to thinking and feeling that the source of our deepest happiness is some where and some when else. How could it possibly be here and now? And yet, miraculously to the conditioned mind, it is. Once we see this in a deep way, we need to let this realization seep into the bedrock of our conditioning – our thoughts, feelings, sensations and actions. Bask in it. Marinate in it. Breathe it in. Feel it. Let it saturate all the corners of your mind and body. Be the Beloved that you really are.
And finally, here’s a poem from Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks) that approaches this subject via a lover’s yearning:
“Some Kiss We Want”
There is some kiss we want with
our whole lives, the touch of
spirit on the body. Seawater
begs the pearl to break its shell.
And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild darling! At
night, I open the window and ask
the moon to come and press its
face against mine. Breathe into
me. Close the language-door and
open the love window. The moon
won’t use the door, only the window.