You Gotta Be LoveFeb 05, 2016 02:49PM ● By Seijaku Roshi
Love is inherent to all of us, it is a force of nature, yet for most of us, love is merely a sentimental or romantic notion, experienced only as a feeling or an emotion. Certainly we often can and do experience love this way, but if we never get beyond the sentimentality or romantic knowledge of love we will never know the “Fullness of Love”, and this alone is the source of our constant discontentment.
Thomas Merton writes, “Love is our true destiny, we do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone—we find it with another” We cannot understand the meaning and purpose of our existence or navigate our lives through a reality marked by uncertainty and impermanence, apart from the Wisdom of Loving-Kindness and Compassion, and this inherent power which naturally awakens within us when we choose Intimacy with all living beings. As Merton suggests, “We cannot do it alone, we can only do it with each other.”
While politicians and religious fanatics continue to promote their agenda of polarization and fundamentalism, as “spiritual beings” no matter what our religious affiliations are we must cultivate the ground for courage to resist these primordial energies which only produce personal and global suffering. But we cannot be entrapped to “Become like the Romans”, which only strengthens their efforts to “divide and conquer”. We must be courageous and committed to “believing in the power of Love”, we must “BeLove” and not merely claim to believe in it. We must BeLove!
The dictionary defines “believe” as to “live by”. Most of us have beliefs, but “to believe” means “to live by what we claim we believe”. This is very different from merely having a set of beliefs we give our consent or agreement to. To “live by” anything requires an awareness, mindfully navigating my thoughts, my words, my actions, as a function of “what I believe”. I can’t just say, “I Love You” without following up with “actions of Love”. Likewise I can’t say, “I believe in God, or Buddha-Nature, or The Power of the Universe, without “living my life in a way-of-life” which reflects my belief. Believing like Loving always affirms itself with “right thoughts, words, and actions”. Like it’s often said, “Actions speak louder than words.” We must “BeLove” by living “lovingly, kindly and compassionately” in the world. This’ll take courage these days when there is so much opposition, but this has always been this way. Albert Einstein once wrote, “Great spirits have often experienced violent opposition from mediocre minds.” And they always will.
So once again I encourage the practice of what I call “Nike-Buddhism”. With the increasing rise of individualism, polarization and fundamentalism today, we will need to muster the courage everyday to “just do it”. When we move from love merely as feelings and emotions to “BeLoving” we become the force of nature to which no “belief system” religious or political can long endure.
I Believe! I BeLove” I Love you.
Seijaku Roshi is the founder and spiritual director of The Zen Society, Pine Wind Zen Community, 863 McKendimen Rd., Shamong, NJ. Call 609-268-9151 or visit Pinewind.org.