February 1, 2012

Love & the Yoga of Impatience.

A reader writes:

I wish to have Love in my life… and yes, I know it is close in terms of time. I just have to be ready to receive it. But I am too impatient to get it. So much so that sometimes I start doubting that I’ll get it.

How can I lower my guard and open to life? I think impatience is obstructing my way. Can you suggest any ways to cultivate patience? 🙂

My answer:

Your question is brilliant.
And your doubt is very discerning:  the more impatiently you strive for love . . . the less likely it is that love will come into your life . . . harmoniously.

You can have love. You can have wealth. You can have virtually anything . . . at least for a short period of time. Most of us have. But few have sustained that love. And among those who have sustained it, fewer still have done so harmoniously.

So the question is: how can you bring forth and sustain what you most deeply want harmoniously?

It’s not really a question of time.
Love is close – but not in terms of time. Wisdom is close. Creativity is close. Every sacred quality is truly close. But close in consciousness not in terms of clock time. You can live for decades and still never cross the chasm that separates you from what your soul longs for. Many do. You’ve seen them.

Just living through time – if that living isn’t done with mindfulness, openness, and willingness – won’t bring you across the chasm that separates you from your heart’s dream.

The chasm is crossed by a shift in consciousness.
To make this shift you need to understand what creates and maintains the chasm.

The chasm is maintained and given life by . . . emotionality. Emotions such as impatience, guilt, and shame – when you identify with them – create the chasm and keep you from experiencing the fulfillment you seek.

Emotionality keeps you on one side of the chasm.
It keeps you seeking and longing for love – rather than opening to and discovering that love is ever-present. The chasm is self-created and thus can be self-un-created. Un-creating the chasm is the shift in consciousness that re-unites what was never separated to begin with.

How do you cross the chasm that is created by emotionality?
Here’s the paradox of spiritual practice: You cross the chasm of emotionality not so much by focusing on love but by loving the emotionality. (Read that sentence again.)

So, what does this mean? It means infusing the emotional pattern (impatience, guilt, shame etc) with loving awareness.

Here’s a practice:
Start by recognizing and naming the emotional pattern that creates the chasm (separation from what you long for). Let’s use impatience for this example.

1) Consciously realize – even say out loud –
I am not impatient. I am aware of impatience.
I am aware of how impatience arises as thoughts – without believing in those thoughts.
I am aware of how impatience arises as images – without being lost in those images.
I am aware of how impatience arises as inner voices – without being caught up in what they say.
I am aware of how impatience arises as body sensations – without being overwhelmed.

2) Now let go of thoughts, images, and voices – turn towards the body sensations.
Turn towards the place in your body where the impatience arises – and send that place blessings.

Be gentle. Don’t seek to change the impatience. Don’t try to make it go away. Just bless it with loving awareness. Tune into that place of impatience and ask, “What do you most deeply need?”

3) Then listen, sense, open and attune to the answer that comes.
It may come as words, as image, or as a felt sense. Be aware of it in whatever form it chooses.

What were you aware of?

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