With mindfulness practice, one becomes more and more convinced of the impracticality of not harboring love in one's heart. Conditional love, ill will, anger, hate all contribute to unhappiness. And all are self-created. Upon close examination, it simply does not make sense to let those fester inside. Life is too short. Not a single moment to be wasted. That is the good news.
Of course, abandoning old ways is not so easy. A lifelong of bad mind habits cannot be undone that quickly. The mind hangs on to self-righteous thoughts. It keeps coming back with the same old, same resentments, same separating views. It does not take much for the heart to follow, with a tightening, a closing of the half-open door. Chaos usually ensues, and more misery. That is the challenge.
This week, I had a chance to see resentment build to a point of seemingly no return. For a few days, mind and heart did their dance, hesitating between further justification or the possibility of release. It took stepping back, and resting on the foundation of practice to decide on the latter. It came down to a willingness to love above all. I found the heart deep down yearning for this clearing.
I am most thankful for the unwitting teacher in my life, the mirror I sometimes push away because of its unflattering reflections. Ayya Khema is my other helper on the path of love. In those moments, when I am not so sure, her words are always there, ready for my picking: