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Location: Midwest, United States

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Units of measure

We humans seek to measure. Whether angstroms, meters or miles...seconds, fathoms or furlongs...hours, kilometers or kilotons...we measure the dimensions of our world and our lives.

So, tell me – how shall we measure the endurance of the human heart?

I need to know.

I know that I can love for a lifetime. But there is so much more I need to know. How long can one heart bleed for another? How long can a heart be vilified and abused before it turns to stone? How long can one endure unrequited love? Is the appropriate measure months, years, decades, a lifetime or eternity?

* * *

I need to know.


Anonymous trueloveneverdies said...

May I share a parable of my own with you:

"I once attended a lecture about a man's spiritual experiences in India in the 1960s. He said he was determined to get rid of his negative emotions. He struggled against anger and lust; he struggled against laziness and pride. But mostly he wanted to get rid of his fear. His meditation teacher kept telling him to stop struggling, but he took that as just another way of explaining how to overcome his obstacles.
Finally the teacher sent him off to meditate in a tiny hut in the foothills. He shut the door and settled down to practice, and when it got dark he lit three small candles. Around midnight he heard a noise in the corner of the room, and in the darkness he saw a very large snake. It looked to him like a king cobra. It was right in front of him, swaying. All night he stayed totally alert, keeping his eye on the snake. He was so afraid that he couldn't move. There was just the snake and himself and fear.
Just before dawn the last candle went out, and he began to cry. He cried not in despair but from tenderness. He felt the longing of all the animals and people in the world; he knew their alienation and their struggle. All his meditation had been nothing but further separation and struggle. He accepted-- really accepted wholeheartedly-- that he was angry and jealous, that he resisted and struggled, and that he was afraid. He accepted that he was also precious beyond measure-- wise and foolish, rich and poor, and totally unfathomable. He felt so much gratitude that in the total darkness he stood up, walked toward the snake, and bowed. Then he fell sound asleep on the floor. When he awoke, the snake was gone. He never knew if it was his imagination or if it had really been there, and it didn't seem to matter. As he put it at then end of the lecture, that much intimacy with fear caused his dramas to collapse, and the world around him finally got through."

Wed Mar 26, 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Hello, TrueloveND-

There's a great deal of truth in that parable. Although I've never practiced Buddhism, I've somehow come to learn the wisdom embodied in Buddha's teachings. Peace comes when we simply surrender to what is...the Now...

Thank you (and welcome!)

Thu Mar 27, 12:24:00 AM  

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