Years ago, when I came to Buddhism, I was basically heartbroken because of my disappointing and painful experiences with this love business.
Not only romantic love, almost any kind of human love in me… there was always a painful awareness of the flipside of the coin – rejection, traumatic loss, abuse of trust, impermanence in general, all the feelings too strong to bear that are associated with it.
Thus I felt very much at home with traditional Buddhism, which at its core shuns human love and emotions as inevitably leading to suffering and being a hindrance to one’s spiritual progress.
Four years ago, when I met my girlfriend, I was very intent on becoming a monk and told her so from the beginning. We went through a lot of pain because of my inner conflict between somehow wanting to be in the world yet to be free from it’s painful side. I often left her alone and stayed at monasteries for weeks or even months at a time, leaving her with a lot of pain and uncertainty.
Then came a turning point in my practice, where I became so frightened with what I now think was just becoming more and more empty that I basically abandoned most of my Buddhist practice and became more laid back.
It took some time and twists and turns until I found my old zest for spirituality again – and then I found you.
You talked enough about emptiness that I could accept you as “the real deal”, yet you helped me to allow myself to be vulnerable and open to the world again.
I found many interesting things because of this…
The feeling which I call “I am” basically IS love. Holding on to it, I became so confident that now I can open up much more to the full range of my humanness, feelings and experiences whether pleasant or unpleasant. It’s not so bad after all. It’s as if as long as I know “I am”, nothing poses a serious threat.
Because you told me that my love for my girlfriend is not necessarily a hindrance to liberation I can feel it so much more and also show it to her – silly that it took your advice for that, isn’t it?
Really, that is something so beautiful and precious to me, and of course her also noticed it and reacts with even more love and devotion than she showed me before (which was an incredible amount already…)
I still feel much love for my last teacher, XXXX, and even though my path seems to have changed quite drastically, many things he speaks of and thought me have become my experience only now, after I basically turned away from him. I also feel that without the emptying process before, I could have never come to the understanding I have now.
Perhaps I don’t understand many things you teach yet, but I feel such gratitude and love for you already. Thank you so much.
I hope I can visit you one day… the sooner the better :)