The moment one introduces the idea of reward or merit into the apparent act of sharing, caring, helping, one introduces a divide, so negating the simplicity, the purity, of the act. The contemplative way of serving others is that one is not serving person to person, for there is really only one presence present, and in the purity of kindness no consequences of good, even such as God will bless one, enters into the act. The loving act is sufficient unto itself. Presence neither seeks nor wishes for any being given good or recognized as good for the simple, pure act arising from heart to heart, for in the pure act, being totally subjective, so subject with subject, no object remains present to see, to reward, to bless. For a matured contemplative, the idea of an afterlife where he or she is to be blessed for the good done is a deplorable, godless thought, such a heaven would not be a heaven at all, but a hell.
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we do anything
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She is in pain, her body dying of cancer. I promise to stay with her a while. She does not feel like talking, needs restful sleep. I sit quietly. What am I doing? You could say, "Nothing," you could say, "Something."
Rather than analyze, I prefer to recall the joy of this simply being-with, even as I recall the inward prayer I prayed. This prayer ~ a prayer that I let go of any agenda to do something. This entreaty ~ to enter into the sense of helplessness that opens to a more loving, more graceful being-with than following the sense of need to act in some apparently more helpful way. This prayerful posture welcomes a sense of groundlessness, a releasing of control of process and sense of destination. One discovers that freedom from time as a progression from and toward allows a resting-with the other, an allowing the other to be free in the sacredness of his or her solitude, and solitude meets solitude. Person, the sense of self, drops into the background, presence, while presence moves forward into the foreground and spontaneously acts.
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In choiceless living the situation is given freedom to unfold.
*Jean Klein. I Am.
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Out of this communion, solitude with solitude, arises helpful action, but when asked for... So, this day, what happens? How does loving show up in the space of this being-with? Adjusting pillows, helping with cushioning an aching body, a cold bottle of water from the refrigerator before leaving. Amazing how no agenda to love in any particular way of doing something lifts a veil into the purity of compassion and, from that, wise action. This is done only by that sense of groundlessness, a moving of the sense of person into the background, call that presence, God, Holy Spirit, Grace, heart, soul, Love ... or leave it unnamed.
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What do I get from this? You could say, "Nothing," you could say, "Something." What does it matter? Why do we introduce the concept of "getting" into what we call love, loving? What is the need of turning simple kindness into a transaction for personal profit, when in such kindness personal moves into the background and loses its power to express, being reabsorbed in impersonal presence, a being-more-loving for devoid of person.
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The meaning of the loving act is in the act, act and meaning a union. In this oneness, no purpose or reward is needed or can be found apart from the happening of being-with and responding wholeheartedly, presence with presence. And, this apparent serving of the other is actually only presence serving itself, for presence is simple and single.
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What, then, should one do in such contexts of helping others? Sharing with others? One can observe with openness to see what shows up to be done. So, in this, doing or declining to do can arise, for the choice not to act is itself an act. "No" or "Yes" can arise as a natural response within being-with, while neither need negate the prior communion of presence with presence. Surely, more fundamentally, even "No" when arising from presence, in Love, is "Yes." This as Brother Steindl-Rast, in Deeper than Words, writes, "We could even say that God simply is Yes." Grace entails absence of negation, so loving being in any response arising from and as Grace. Even to say, and wisely, "No" in Grace cannot touch the "Yes" of Love and as embodied in the act of being-with.
*The vision statement for Lotus of the Heart is Living in Love beyond Beliefs. These presentations, inclusive in nature, are invitations for persons to explore for himself or herself. Brian does not claim to have answers or the Truth for anyone. He provides pointers to Truth, so as to inspire others on his or her own journey of Truth, to compassionate living with Earth and all creatures sharing this planet.
*All material, unless another source is cited, is authored by the presenter of Lotus of Heart, Brian Kenneth Wilcox, Florida USA. Use of the material is permitted; Brian only requests that credit be given and to be notified at firstname.lastname@example.org . Also, for spiritual guidance via phone, Skype, or in-person, Brian can be contacted via the above email.
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union, is available through major booksellers.
*Move cursor over pictures for photographer and title.