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Lions Roar : September 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2011 31 everything that’s worth understanding in life, because... I was happy.” Pierre’s insanity consisted in the fact that he did not wait, as before, for personal reasons, which he called people’s merits, in order to love them, but love overflowed his heart, and, loving people without reason, he discovered the unquestionable reasons for which it was worth loving them. The implication of Pierre’s discovery is that love is an epiphany and also a template for how to live, or at least a way of interacting that is truer and more fun and alive than what went before. Everyone has the capacity for those feelings, the unreserved release of your heart, the colors so bright. Meeting and marrying, we are ten feet off the ground, our hearts beat fast; the moment can’t find a way to end. That’s really how life is when we are not pouring it into little containers. Love comes to the truth not through suffering but through a leap into a realm in which gener- osity, kindness, and appreciation are the base- ment floor of existence. This is probably the most important similarity between awakening and falling in love. 3. LIVING DOWN A LEVEL Once I had a conversation with a woman who had been a driver for Trungpa Rinpoche. I said, “Did you ask him questions?” She replied, “Not much, I was shy.” “Did he speak to you?” “Yes.” “What did he say?” He would pat my shoulder and say, “Enjoy yourself.” You have always done things for clear reasons and suddenly you find yourself doing things that are not comprehensible to you. You are drawn toward or away from things in ways that com- pletely ignore your to-do and not-to-do lists, and the new direction seems both right and unavoidable. Some aspects of living are best when they hap- pen easily and involuntarily, such as dancing, where thinking about it gets in the way and causes you to tread on your partner’s shoes. The involun- tary is a gift—outside of the things we intend and manufacture. When things come into being invol- untarily, everything shakes; the universe appears, expanding rapidly, poems arrive out of nowhere, coincidences occur, and the mind is rearranged. In love you do things that don’t make rational sense. Like enlightenment, love teaches you how to live down a level, to follow instructions that come from deep inside. Here is an example: A friend fell in love while sending a package at Pak Mail. His eyes locked with hers and the glance was naked and unintended. They unhooked their eyes from each other and pot- tered around copying and filling out forms but, like iron filings drawn to magnets, they found them- selves in line for the register together. She gave an Insect Bites I can’t help it even insect bites fill me with affection watching you rub your legs and beneath your light cotton blouse — ANDREW SCHELLING From Old Tale Road, published by Empty Bowl. Something Different In love’s circle there’s another kind of serenity; in love’s wine, another kind of hangover. What you learned in school is one thing— love is something entirely different. — RUMI From Love’s Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi Tradition, © 2010 by David & Sabrineh Fideler. Excerpted with permission from New World Library. * * *