After the retreat with Leigh, I came back in a state of love. That was four months ago, and daily loving kindness practice for two weeks straight had done its work of opening the heart. I came back determined to make loving kindness a part of my daily practice. I kept my promise for a while, and then time, or rather lack of it, and other more mundane preoccupations had the upper hand. The urge to cultivate love in the heart vanished, just like that . . . I continued to sit diligently every day, but only with breath as an object. Not surprisingly, the heart resorted back to its old ways of door closing at the slightest provocation. It does not feel good.
At the eve of this new year, I wish to be in love again. I want to experience the state of unconditioned love so beautifully articulated by Ayya Khema in her talk about 'Metta'. A love that does not depend on others' love, a love that does not expect to be loved in return, a love that does not discriminate, a love that does not set conditions upon its expression, a love that flows freely out of the heart.
The good news is that kind of love is not some unattainable goal. I found out during the retreat with Leigh, that love is a simple practice, accessible to anyone willing. To kickstart the process again, I shall start my sitting practice this morning with 15 minutes of guided loving kindness with Ayya Khema. She has many to pick from. My favorite one is the Garden in Your Heart.
Join me if you wish, and give yourself and others the gift of love.