Through my present moment experience practice which has become a more prevalent part of my life of late, I have noticed the increased likelihood of forming deep emotional bonds and connections with many people. Usually, in day-to-day life we have our “relationship” (which, as we established before, is more-often-than-not an addictive, love/hate relationship) and then we have “friendships.” The result of this separation is that we are often withdrawn from the present moment when we are around others who are not the person we are in a “relationship” with. We are withdrawn because we feel guilty or shameful to have affection for, or to be in love with someone who is not your “relationship partner.” Naturally, this means that we will be only really present when we are with our ‘lover’, if at all. Of course, there will also be some resentment towards the ‘lover’ with whom we are in a relationship because we have chosen to not be present with someone that we want to be in our love with.
This is the seed of jealousy, anxiety and paranoia among other things within most relationships. It seems to me, then, that the natural solution to this is to appreciate the need which both lovers possess for intimacy with a variety of people. Not necessarily intimacy of the sexual kind – though for some that might be the case – but rather, emotional intimacy. If we can come to an understanding that there are really very few other animals on this world that are entirely monogamous, then we can see that, like everything for a human, it is a choice. And with this understanding we can see that the degree to which we share ourselves with others is a choice for us to each make, and it is always adjustable.
When we are in the present moment we are not rigid or static, we are in the flow of life. Bruce Lee said, “Be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” When we allow ourselves permission to fully experience the present moment, without worry for or attachment to the implications of expressing our love, that is when we become like water. Water doesn’t worry or fear, it simply… is. When water touches something, it becomes wet – it becomes part of the water for a time. If we allow ourselves to love the present moment, everything we touch will become part of us for the time we are in the experience, and so it will be in love.
“The waters on the surface of the earth flow together wherever they can into rivers and oceans.” – Holding Together, Union (8), I Ching.
To come together, hold together and unify with an experience is not to cling to it. To be present and be in a feeling-space of love, is not to attach to something. Just as water joins with itself when two separate streams meet, we are joining with ourself when two stream of consciousness meet – there is little difference between the two. Likewise, when a single river splits into streams, this is the parting of paths – the parting of ways – of two ‘souls’ who have come together. In this time, to be like water is to be gracefully, allowing and accepting of the flow of life. In the time of parting, to be like water is to understand that life is change, and so there is nothing truly wrong, bad or upsetting about parting ways with someone who is in your love. Your love is not dependant on them and will not cease to be when they are no longer present, but rather, your love will shine on like the candle of the eternal flame of life.
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” – Buddhist Saying.
Once we have come to appreciate the nature of water and the value of this metaphor for human life, we can begin to see that everything, like water, shows us something and so has purpose. In this sense, we can find some solace in the truth that we play the role are to play in anybody else’s life by virtue of being who, where and what we are. If we meet someone and we share our love with them and they are then to leave to explore a different experience; we follow the example of water and gracefully move with this current. We can take comfort in the knowledge that we have impacted upon this particular stream. The minerals presents in one stream will surely pass on to the others it meets, the cultivation of these minerals is then possible more easily for the stream previously lacking in minerals.
This is to say that a value we hold in highest regard may provide some benefit for those we meet while we practice it and thus, we lead by illustration. For example, those who are around us that understand our love for the present moment may find it appealing and take it with them when we part ways. In this sense, though the parting may be sad, there is joy too as we have served a purpose and helped in the expansion of someone who is dear to us.
To love the moment is to never be without love. To be in this space of love and to have others join you there is to truly be “in love.” If we follow the example of water when it comes to love and all relationships we will find that it is possible to be in love with many, many people and not have that subtract from the dynamics of a relationship with a ‘lover.’ To practice this is not an easy feat in today’s society, this idea is not new, but it is not all that widely practised. As a result of the lack of prevalence of this idea, many will confuse these new ideas with ones which have negative connotations – this is a mark of misunderstanding and judgement thereafter, and it is ultimately not your concern. If others wish to understand, they will ask questions with an opened-mind.
To love is to live fully. Be like water, friends. Be like water.
Namaste, live, love and play!