The Love That Will Not Die
Spiritual awakening is frequently described
as a journey to the top of a mountain.
We leave our attachments and our worldliness
behind and slowly make our way to the top.
At the peak we have transcended all pain.
The only problem with this metaphor is
that we leave all the others behind --
our drunken brother, our schizophrenic sister,
our tormented animals and friends.
Their suffering continues, unrelieved
by our personal escape.
In the process of discovering our true nature,
the journey goes down, not up.
It’s as if the mountain pointed toward the
center of the earth instead of reaching into the sky.
Instead of transcending the suffering of all creatures,
we move toward the turbulence and doubt.
We jump into it. We slide into it. We tiptoe into it.
We move toward it however we can.
We explore the reality and unpredictability
of insecurity and pain, and we try not to push it away.
If it takes years, if it takes lifetimes,
we will let it be as it is. At our own pace,
without speed or aggression,
we move down and down and down.
With us move millions of others,
our companions in awakening from fear.
At the bottom we discover water,
the healing water of compassion.
Right down there in the thick of things,
we discover the love that will not die.