On the personal journey, we go through various phases or openings. One such opening occurred for me a few months back, we could call it the opening of beingness. Over the course of about a week, my mind got very quiet and I was able to witness the goings on within it from a space of non-attachment. I’ve told the story before of how – during this period – I was cleaning the kitchen sink and as I sponged the tap down, I observed my mind tell me that I was the best kitchen sink tap cleaner in all the world. The exact thought was, “If someone saw this tap then they would say that they had never seen a kitchen sink tap so clean as when Andey Fellowes cleaned it.” It was a passing thought filled with so much identity and significance. I simply witnessed it and burst out laughing. These are the thoughts we think. During the week of my opening of beingness, I became very still and very aware of not only my internal world but the external world also. It became very clear that everything just “is”. It became clear that the mind generates overlays for everything we perceive and that when we live life based only on these mental overlays (or, “constructs”) then we end up experiencing lots of suffering. This was the opening of beingness.
In recent weeks, I have been going through what you could call a deepening of heart. I wanted to share with you a few stories about this opening. Over these past weeks, I have been experiencing an opening of love. This love is a deep sense of peace and presence with all things as well as with the formless. In fact, this sense is really beyond sensing but calling it a sense is about the simplest way to put it across. What has come together to appear as this opening of love is a series of experiences which I would like to share with you here. It is my deepest heartfelt wish that these short tales serve you in some way. Whether they feed the fire of the sun in your heart, inspire you to seek this love also or simply just make you smile, I wish that they serve you in some way.
Several weeks ago, my younger cousin got married. As it was happening in England, I was unable to attend. When I saw photos from the event, there was one in which my Mum and her Dad (My Granddad whom I call affectionately “Pap” or “Pappy”). This photo filled me with love which was directed at both of them. This moment, with my staring at the photo was the first real opening I experienced over these weeks. A few days later, my Mum sent me a short video of her brother (my uncle) giving his wedding speech. Unable to find the right words, he chose to sing a song which we felt captured the emotion he was feeling. As I watched this video, I – like many of the wedding attendees who were also in the video – seemed to go through an oscillation of emotions. The first was a feeling of awkwardness. My uncle wasn’t too comfortable up in front of all the family and friends of the family and it was showing. The second feeling was something more heart-centred. He was in such a place of love as he sang those words and looked to his daughter whom he had raised from birth into the young woman she is now.
As the more mind-centric experience faded, I was touched in a way which I had ever been touched before. And by the most unlikely of people too. There I was, sitting looking at my phone with tears in my eyes staring at this video of my uncle baring his heart in front of a room full of people. This gesture – which was so out of character for him – reached down into me and pressed it’s kind and gentle hand down on the part of me that is love. I had never felt such a feeling. It was beyond feelings. I was there, in love. I was love. It was – to the mind – so inexplicably bizarre yet there I was. I was love.
When the video ended, I turned my attention to thoughts of my Nan and Pap (my Mum’s parents) with whom I have clashes with in the past. These clashes were largely surrounding ideologies and systems of beliefs. They are Jehovah’s Witnesses and I abhorred religion with a disdainful disregard for it’s usefulness. Since the years when my Nan and I would clash regularly, I have developed my opinions and tamed my tight grip on belief though there was still a funny feeling inside of me which wanted me to keep my distance from her in case she launched an assault on my important morals or something. I don’t know. Anyway, after this experience with the video of my uncle… As I turned my attention to my Nan and Pap, I felt this love still. It was like a powerful laser beam annihilating everything other than what really mattered. And what was left at the end was only love. I was love and so were they.
Soon, fathers day rolled around and I was faced with the inclination to write something for each of the male figures in my story whom had made the biggest impact. It was a gesture which came from this space of love. I had no expectations or real desires in this space of love. I simply wished to love them in such a way that they would feel it to the best of their ability. Or something like that. It’s difficult to put it into words. It was, however, done so with no real agenda or tight grasp on anything.
I sat on fathers day and I wrote a passage for my Dad and both my Granddads. I have since been told by different sources – some of them, the men themselves – that these passages touched their hearts. In their own way, each passed along their thanks. Then, as I skyped with my Dad – as I do every week – something happened for the first time in a long time. This opening of love continued to the degree where an entire rewriting of karma occurred.
I sat on skype, talking away with my Dad as normal. I shared with him the story of my uncle and we spoke about what I had written on fathers day. Now, the story of my Dad and me is a rather complex one. It would suffice to say that when I was younger, things were complicated and when I got old – and my ego took a more significant place in my life – I made things for complicated. Before moving to Mexico, I decided that whatever the problems were in my mind, nothing was more important than having a relationship with my father or that side of my family. The stories of the mind are one thing, but love is beyond things. After throwing all these problems away though, I still held some strange feeling which – similar to with my Nan – kept me holding myself at a distance. Doing this is like How-To-Close-Your-Heart-101.
After I shared the stories from my week with him and I had heard his stories of his week, it was time for him to go and speak with my sister. That was when the last of the distance between he and I was dissolved. My entire mental construct was about to be written and it would cause me to be also entirely silent for several hours afterwards, just assimilating what had occurred. For the first time in years, I turned to my Dad and said, “Hey Dad, I love you.” BOOM! I was love.
This experience continued. I continued to open and get in touch with the space in me wherein I am love, as Ram Dass puts it. Several days later, Rosa (my partner) had a friend over to the house. She has known him for 16 years and knows him to be a very loving individual who tends to keep himself to himself. She told me that he is kind-hearted but not typically very expressive. She told me – after I met him for the first time – that what happened when he met me was unlike anything he had seen from him in all her time of knowing him.
Rosa and her friend sat downstairs talking and I was in the bedroom working on an article about Chakra Balancing for a website. When I concluded my work, I was getting hungry and decided to go downstairs to get some food and meet Rosa’s friend at the same time.
I walked down the stairs and waved to him. He smiled and immediately climbed to his feet. Within seconds, he had shook my hand and hugged me twice – Rosa tells me this is out of character for him. It moved me, deeply. I was so wonderful to have such a reaction from him. I thanked him for the role he had played in helping Rosa and I to get to be in the same place – he had been a big help for us. A few minutes of conversation passed and he said, “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way,” in his broken English accent and a kind smile on his face, “But I-” he continued, “I really love you.”
We were love. He hugged me again. I held him in my arms for a long few seconds before squeezing him tightly and letting go. He was someone who was not at all expressive and I had just met him for the first time and he told me that he loved me. I was astounded. It was incredible.
Another few days passed and Rosa had gone out to visit her family for the later part of the day. While she was out, a few things happened which got her feeling a fair bit of frustration. I had just finished a long mantra meditation wherein I really vanished and there was just this deep sense of beingness. It was, again, this sense of love. Rosa came into the house and sat down in out of our living room chairs. I silently came downstairs and sat in the chair next to her. And then, in almost complete silence, I sat – in love – and listened as she told me the story of what had happened. After about five minutes, she finished with her story.
Instead of adding to the story with my own ideas or opinions or preferences, I simply sat there as she spoke. When the story ended, I still did not speak. I only held her gaze. I looked into her eyes and saw past her frustration. I saw past the person who held the frustration, past the ego which held both of those. I saw into her, into the place where she and I are not “she and I” but simply are. We were love. I held her eyes with mine and continued to hold her there in total silence for about twenty minutes. During this time, her frustration lifted and dissipated, her expression softened and the light of love returned to her eyes. Tears filled her eyes as we sat there in love. It has happened too that when she was upset once to the point of tears, I simply held her in my arms until the crying stopped.
These are but a few of the powerful experiences one has when we are open to love. I am immensely grateful for these happenings. Such occurrences enable us to surrender more illusions of the mind and connect more fully with what is.
I truly hope that these have touched your heart in some way. I hope that they have opened you to the place within you where you are love.
Live, love and play