The heart of longing…

by Judith F Kennedy, PhD

And we are put on this earth a little space, that we might learn to bear the beams of love.  Wm Blake

If you look quietly inside, you might sense the desire for love right now in this moment. Can you see how that desire manifests itself in us as a desire for relationship, for hope, for fulfillment, for success and even as a desire of meaning and purpose in life. How does it show itself in your heart?

Its amazing to me how it can show up in both feeling connected with something or someone and also feeling disconnected with something or someone. In my deepest grief, with total despair enveloping me, l tasted it and grace filled me. I could say it gave me hope, it gave me understanding, it gave me relief. It may be true that it did those things but all I really know is that it surrounded me with grace. I came to understand that I might or might not be happy, or I might or might not be successful, no matter. Love is not a means to an end it is just love itself. That is all.

I think you might understand this although it is hard to really see. The desire we have to know love and be enlarged by something bigger than we are is always there. Whether it feels good or bad this longing has tremendous depth, power and mystery.  What do you want when you  try to be a success at work? What do you want when you  try to make friends, be physically attractive or try to please others? What are you seeking? Have there been moments in your life when you felt clear, complete and totally filled? What  did you glimpse?

During a meditation retreat at Spirit Rock, I decided to do my walking meditation up on the hill overlooking the retreat hall. As I walked on the narrow hard packed clay path, I began to see little ants darting in and out of the weeds. I stood there in the sun and watched as these little creatures scurried along. May you be free, may you be free.  I walked farther and felt the warmth of the sun on my back, and looked down into the valley and then looked up into the clear blue sky. A hawk circled there. My heart opened and I felt complete love and clarity.

Did it stay that clear and complete? No. Can I remember that I felt it? Yes. Can I be with my desire and longing in quiet wonder and just be with it. I keep trying.