Building Your Spiritual Home
Tolerating God's Love
If we all are the sons and daughters of God, as I believe,
any of us could, at any time, wake up to this reality and
have a palpable relationship with God. God’s love is
everywhere around us. I believe He yearns for us, as we yearn
for Him. For me the issue is our willingness to receive. I
am convinced He is always there, but I am startled to watch
the struggle I go through to inch my way towards acceptance
of His Presence.
In Siddha Yoga, as in many Eastern traditions, the Guru
is a fully enlightened, Godlike person. The guru has the capacity
to transfer this fully awakened state to each of us. When
I was at the ashram, I had several opportunities to encounter
my Guru, Gurumayi, but I declined. I recall being afraid that
if I looked deeply into her eyes, I would lose myself. This
was in 1984, and I was afraid of the awe and yearning that
would be aroused by this encounter. By 1995, I was trekking
in Nepal, and had a similar opportunity to meet with another
awakened being. After 3000 feet of exhausting climb, I reached
Tengboche Monastery, and even arranged a visit with the Tengboche
Rimpoche, an incarnate Lama. He was kind, and humble, and
delighted to greet me and my friend. We had tea and a brief
talk despite our lack of a common language. As we said goodbye,
I was so overwhelmed by his kindness and presence, that my
body threw itself down to prostrate myself before him. Needless
to say, this is not my normal way to say goodbye, but it happened
out of my control. I was literally carried away by my feelings.
I got up and left. The fact that I could let this happen,
tells me that this time I was a little less scared by my feelings
in the presence of the holy.
Seven years later, in a spiritual counseling session with
my minister, Mary Harrington, I again confronted similar yearnings.
Mary’s capacity for joy and for gratitude were amazing.
I was frankly in awe of her and kept asking her to teach me,
to give me the secret of her aliveness. Finally, I confessed
my impulse to bow down at her feet. By then, Mary had had
it with me. “Jack”, she said, “You are making
me very angry with you. You are making me very uncomfortable.
This is something you need to find in yourself. Stop trying
to get it from me”. We kept at it for months, and I
do think that I learned to become so much more aware of my
strong yearning for a spiritual connection.
The most important aspect of this relationship is how it helped
me to be more in touch with these yearnings, how deeply I
wanted to receive from God. This led me to feel emptiness
like I never felt it before. But I did learn, over time, to
become more comfortable with that emptiness. When I look at
the fear that kept me from approaching the Guru, I can see
that it has gradually diminished. I still struggle to accept
the depth of my yearning to receive and to surrender. I can
see how far I would need to go to be like Jesus and truly
feel my connection to God. But I am opening up and I am allowing
God in a bit more each year.
1) To what extent do you allow yourself to approach God?
2) Are you aware of anything which keeps you at a distance?
3) Are you aware of fears of greater connection?
GET A LIFE
THE JOY OF A DEPRESSED
OPENING MANY DOORS
THE PATH OF MEDITATION
GIVING UP CONTROL
MARRIAGE AS A CHANGE
STRUCTURES THAT SUPPORT
VERMONT AND NATURE
TO HELL WITH DIGNITY
COMPANIONS ON THE ROAD
WHAT SHAPES LIFE
MAKING FRIENDS WITH GOD