One regret, dear world,
That I am determined not to have
When I am lying on my deathbed
I did not kiss you enough.
Hafiz, from I Heard God Laughing,
translated by Daniel Ladinsky
One way to enlightenment? Love. Love everything, all the time. This is what David Hawkins advises. This is what the great saints of the world show us by their actions. Love God. Love everything. Love the world. Love God in the world.
The Veda teaches that God is all that is. Everything is of God – literally made from God Itself. It may not be easy to see, this God, but It is there in everything, waiting for us to notice; and as we learn to love, it is God we are loving. And it is God (within) from which we love.
We can begin with the easier things: dogs, babies, our favorite sister or brother. Milk shakes, thunderstorms, the beautiful man laughing with his friends, the beautiful woman touching her cheek as she contemplates her day.
And then we can move on to the more challenging: traffic and nosy neighbors, physical work in the cold and wet, the self-obsessed cell-phone-texting-in-the-middle-of-the-aisle-at-Whole-Foods man or woman who won’t let us through, who doesn’t even notice we are there, who couldn’t care less… Learn to love him. Or her. Then you’ve built a muscle. Then you’re starting to recognize God.
Love as an idea does nothing but sit there waiting for something worthy of it, waiting for The One. Love as an action gets out and looks for a place to connect, one indication of worthwhile-ness. Love as a tool for enlightenment flows, and always is looking for an outlet, a target. Always looking for evidence of God, insisting it is there if only looked for. And insisting that love is the answer, the key, the one right thing. Always.
Today I will find something to love, or someone. Just for a moment. I will in that one thing or one person look for just one aspect that could indicate the presence of God. And then I will find something else or someone else to love, just to see if I can keep it going.
Butler and Cat, Meditation Room, Studio City, CA