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Truth Comes in All Different Sizes

Written by Nirmala on .

SMALLeverything included(Note: I am reposting some blog posts that are included in my newest book, Everything Is Included. More info and links to purchase the book are here in case you prefer to read a book.)

Truth Comes in All Different Sizes

Q: How do you know that our minds don't create all of our reality? Maybe there is nothing out there. Maybe when we die, we also become nothing.

A: The truth is what opens your heart and quiets your mind. Does holding the thought that there is nothing out there open your heart? Does holding the thought that when we die, we become nothing open your heart? Does it allow you to relax and just be? Or does it cause a contraction in your heart, in your Being? That is how you can determine for yourself how true that thought is for you in this moment. Checking in with your heart can reduce the need to figure things out with your head, especially when it comes to deep fundamental questions about our existence that cannot be known just by thinking about them. You can trust the knowing in your heart to sort out all of the ideas you encounter.

Everything we can think or say has some truth in it. But many thoughts are very small truths. They don’t tell the whole story, and as a result, they could be considered a lie. It’s helpful to be able to clearly discriminate when a thought is not very true, especially if it is such a small truth that it is harmful or deceptive. It is also helpful to be able to discriminate when something has a more profound depth of truth to it, such as a sense of the oneness of everything. While truth comes in all different sizes, it is possible to discriminate how true things are. A thought can be very true for you today and not so true tomorrow, as it is always relative to where you are in this moment. (Part two of my free ebook, Living From the Heart further explores how the heart can discriminate the relative truth of our ideas and experiences.)

Q: Spiritual teachers say, "Let everything be as it is." Then they talk about the world being in need of transformation. Is this a clue that they are all crazy, self-deluded, or fraudulent?

A: Another possibility is that spiritual teachers have a flexibility of consciousness that allows them to see things from many different perspectives and also to see different levels of truth that are true simultaneously. It is possible for two opposite things to both be true, either as complementary truths or as truths that operate on different levels of reality.

So it is possible to allow things to be just as they are and, at times, to also work to change or transform the world. These two perspectives complement each other. Most of our problems arise when we hold on too tightly to one perspective or the other. The real gift of any spiritual teaching is when it points us to the part of the truth that we are overlooking or ignoring. Most often, this is the truth that you can allow everything to be just as it is. But sometimes someone gets stuck in the view that everything is perfect, and they need to be pointed back to the possibility of changing the world for the better. As a Zen master once put it, "Everything is perfect, and there is always room for improvement!"

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Love Is Both the Destination and the Guide

Written by Nirmala on .

(Note: I am reposting some blog posts that are included in my newest book, Everything Is Included. More info and links to purchase the book are here.)

Q: I have fallen in love. I have not received much love from the person. There has been almost no communication and even less physical contact. When I met this person, it was a quick recognition that I was going to fall in love with him and that I already knew him from a deep soul connection. At first, I was so hurt when he pulled away from me, but I learned how to let go. When he is near me, I feel so alive. I radiate with joy and peace and love. When this person is gone, he is distant and hurtful. He pulls me in and pushes me out with equal force. But I remain patient and kind and loving. This person expresses to me that he has not learned how to love fully, but he loves me. So, how do I continue to love without overstepping my boundaries and while respecting his?

A: Love doesn’t necessarily need a relationship. Love and relationship are both important and beautiful, but they operate at different levels of our Being.
Love is the bigger truth, and so it permeates all of our experience. The source of love is deep within our own essence. Even when you feel tremendous love when you are with the other person, that love is coming from within your own Being.

In contrast, relationship happens on the surface of our existence. For this reason, it is a smaller truth or reality. It is still important and worthwhile, but it is just not as important as love. A simple way to verify this is to reflect on how love without a relationship can still be wonderful, but a relationship without love is rarely very rewarding.

There is never a reason not to love. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it fills your heart with sweetness and light. You can give love and then give even more, and you will never run out. To recognize this, it helps to remember that love is simply awareness and acceptance or space. The best lover is someone who gives you lots of attention and also the space to be however you are. You can always give this kind of love to yourself, to others, and to everything. Simply notice what is and let it be the way it is. You don’t even have to like it, in which case you can also give space to your not liking it. (You can read more about giving love in this way in this article.)

When it comes to relationship, there are many more practical considerations. Is it realistic to be with this person? Does this person want to be in a relationship with you? Is he or she someone you can be best friends with? Does this person consistently treat you with respect and consideration? Is he or she able to listen to and accommodate your needs and also communicate and express his or her own needs? So it is simple to decide whether to love, but not as simple to decide whether to be in a relationship with someone. (continue reading)

There Is Never Too Much Love

Written by Nirmala on .

(Note: I am reposting some blog posts that are included in my newest book, Everything Is Included. More info and links to purchase the book are here.)

Q: How can I detach from the love I feel for this person who has no interest in my loving him or in how I feel? I feel this beautiful feeling and, yet, so contracted that I have a heavy knot in my chest and abdominal area all the time along with a sense of extreme sadness. How can I liberate this love from this binding attachment? I feel like a compass that always points to the North Pole: my awareness always holds the thoughts of this one person and the feelings for him. Is there any way out?

A: Rather than detaching, I would invite you to attach more firmly to the source of your attachment. All attachments we have are only attached at one end: in our own heart. We never successfully attach to something or someone else. And so all of the intense and beautiful feelings you are having are coming from inside of you, not from the other person.

In a sense, the only problem with your compass is that you have been following the wrong arrow or pointer. The desire you feel points to the other person, but what about the other pointer on the other end of the compass needle? Where is that other arrow pointing? What if you follow your desire back to its source instead of out to its object? Then you don’t need to detach or liberate or change anything about how you feel. All of the love and connection and intimacy you are seeking in someone else are already in the source of the intense desires you are feeling. You don’t need to love him less; in fact, you can love him one hundred or one thousand times as much as you already do. Let yourself be overwhelmed by this love. Find out how much you can truly love by letting it flow completely.

In this process, you will be filled with immense love, and that is what your desire is really all about. We all have a deep innate drive to experience more love. The mistake we make is that we seek it outside ourselves. The source is and always has been inside of you. You don’t really need a way out of loving him, just a way further into your own heart and the limitless love you find there.

Be gentle with yourself. Often the reason we don’t allow ourselves to feel the complete depths of love is because, at first, moving towards the source of our love increases the sense of heartbreak and sadness. The relief from these overwhelming and painful feelings comes when we go even further into their source, but that can feel like leaping into the fire. The good news is that at the center of the fire, there are only flames and no more pain or heartbreak. So give yourself some compassion and tenderness along the way. But the final result is always worth it. There is never too much love, and so the only true antidote to your sadness is to love even more.

Red Sea Coral and Sun

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