Open Palm Loving
Dear old and new friends,
Our instruction of this Lenten romantic revolution is to strive to learn how to become more ardent and holy lovers. Its focus isn’t the usual Lenten self-punishing denials but to build a pre-spring sizzling fire in your heart for God and others (since who desires to be loved lukewarmly?). So check your heart thermostat to see at what temperature it is set: Are you a mild or mad lover of the Holy One?
True, an affectionate relationship with God is a stretch since it requires loving what can’t be embraced or even seen. Two thousand years ago that Galilean wandering troubadour and lover of God went about singing the same song: “Whatever you do to others, including loving, you do unto God.” That’s nonsense to us who are entrenched in the illusion of duality, that Grand Canyon size divide between you and me, friend and enemy, male and female. Yet contrary to the human mind’s convoluted workings we know at the quantum level everything that exists is interconnected in an unbroken seamless web of life. Mutiny against your old mind, and love intensively, confident all love shown to others is simultaneously shown to God.
Holy loving requires a conversion of our human need to cling onto that which we passionately love. Young first-time lovers are instantly recognized by how they walk together in public affectionately holding hands. Young and old love needs to make tangible the robust energy of love that while beautiful needs some reform, needs to evolve.
(1) Open your hand palm up visualizing in it whoever you love, and then close your fingers around her or him, clutching this treasure you never want to lose. (A) Yet change is the only constant thing in the cosmos, and someday the one you love will die. So strive today to love passionately and openhandedly. (B) With that desire, unclench your fingers opening wide your palm, allowing life to be whatever life will be. Frequently engage in this practice.
(2) Repeat the above exercise, only placing God in the palm of your hand and close your fingers together. (A) When deeply loving God we inadvertently clutch tightly what is in our clenched fist as “my” God. Yet God can’t be yours! The Divine One can’t be the possession of any religion or manipulated by any holy voodoo of praying some prayer for nine days.
(B) Open wide your palm releasing God to be God of Muslims, atheists, Christians, doubters, and totem worshiping pagans…all peoples and all creation.
Revolutionaries of heart, let us strive to love passionately without clinging which requires affectionately caring and yet not caring. This loving madness doesn’t require the balancing skill of a circus acrobat but the grace of God. So trust, and love as outrageously as the village idiot, and that divine gift of energy to accomplish the impossible will be given to you.