Miranda shares: A book, a movie and a song have helped me connect some dots in my reflections on love recently. The book is Cultivating the mind of love by Thich Nhat Hanh. The movie is Cashback. The song is Life is Wonderful by Jason Mraz.
A while back already, a year or two ago, I read Thay’s book Cultivating the mind of love. Wonderful book, where Thay relates his experience of falling in love for the first time to the deeper meaning and practice of True Love in Buddhism. I remember being touched and inspired by this book. I don’t remember what exactly was written in it though. But seeds have been sown.
Then, a few months ago, in January, I watched a movie called Cashback. I really liked the movie, and although it was mainly about romantic love, my interpretation of the main character’s reflections related to a broader definition of Love. Love with a capital ‘L’ perhaps. Or ‘True Love’ as it’s called in some Buddhist circles. Some might also call it God. The kind of love that you can find in every moment, in every person, in every thing. The miracle of life is right there.
Once, I looked outside my window and saw the tree in my street. 10% of its bright yellow leaves were still clinging on to its branches, it was fall. The sunlight was capturing the movements of the leaves in the wind. Or the waving of the leaves in the wind was capturing the sunlight. It was incredibly beautiful, yet so simple. I saw it, thanks to mindfulness I believe, and wondered if anyone else was seeing this miracle of life, right here for us to receive.
In the movie, the main character Ben, art student, has just broken up with his girlfriend. Ever since, he cannot sleep anymore so he decides to start working night shifts at a supermarket. To pass time, he stops time and finds the beauty which lies in the moments between two seconds. He does it with the artist eye and through capturing it on paper with his drawings. And in the end of the movie he relates it to love, romantic love. He falls in love with another girl he met at his supermarket job. His conclusion on love:
“Once upon a time I wanted to know what love was. Love is there if you want it to be. You just have to see that it’s wrapped in beauty and hidden away between the seconds of your life. If you don’t stop for a minute you might miss it.”
Yes! When we stop, smile and breathe, beauty is there, love is there. That beautiful tree with its yellow leaves glittering in the sunshine, that is love to me. Love of nature, love of life there for me. My own love, there when I am fully present in the moment, allowing myself to capture this beauty nature is offering me. The same is true with people: when I am fully present I see a small gesture, the tiny change of someone’s facial expression, the choice of a word, something I usually take for granted, and I see the love in there. The spark of love that comes through a person into that gesture, facial expression, word, action, maybe unconsciously, but it’s there. All I need to do is receive it. Seems so easy, but it’s not. Not always at least. For me it relates to living simply. It is sublime in its simplicity.