Source

Who can tell me, what is the source of love? 
Not the whos nor whats which we love, not our dreams nor passions. But like rain from the clouds, rivers from the high mountains, song from morning birds, from where does love come?

Like this body made up of trillions of cells, and cells made up of biomolecules, and biomolecules made up of… ah, um, let’s just skip right to the part where matter essentially breaks down into nothingness… where this body is nothing but empty space. 
And what of love? What are its elemental parts and particles? Like the body falling into a microverse of emptiness, into what space does love fall, eventually? Like trying to locate physical origins of consciousness itself, trying to locate the same for love may very well be futile—an endeavor best left to the poets among us. 
(It is apparent, yes, that science is not my forte!) But surely, there are no grand laws of physics, quantum physics, or other physics for that matter, which can tell us how love arises into our hearts and minds, and bursts so brightly, into our souls. 

So let the poet in me humbly suggest a theory. 
Love, like light, comes from the sun. Yes, that’s right. All those millions and gazillions of stars out there? They are actually love-generating furnaces! 
It makes sense does it not? Physical matter breaks down into emptiness, so we are actually bodies of empty space being filled with light. Or is light only a result of a collision of particles and waves between the sun and our vastly empty bodies? I think that light too, like love, cannot truly be contained in the mind. 
These uncontainables, and these apparent immaterials… are like wind which can only be seen in the swirl of desert sand. Or water, in the long and slow curves of canyon walls. Sound, in the reverberation of strings. 
And love, seen in the light of a smile or felt in a remembered birthday, arises in the betweenness of things. In relationship. A mother and child. A butterfly and an irresistible flower. Shimmering rainbows of water and light in the sky. A spider and her web. Love is light. Like how we come to see the sun—in the collision of particles and waves. A reverberation felt in the deep space of the heart. 

In the photo above, do you not see the heart shining out from the sun? I offer you this, my empirical evidence that the source of love is indeed, the sun.
So the next time you gaze up into the starry night sky, perhaps you will feel the overwhelming presence of love shining everywhere there… And your heart, your one precious heart, flooded with light.

no place to hide

LOVE  is light    which        like the  SUN            has no         place                                        to       hide.

Once upon a very, very long time ago, the world was suddenly thrown into utter darkness and chaos. The notorious Susanoo, god of storms and the younger brother of the sun goddess Amaterasu-Omikami, wrecked havoc in the goddess’s rice fields and committed other acts of flagrant violence which so angered Amaterasu-Omikami that she hid herself inside a cave and barricaded the entrance with a boulder too heavy for anyone to move. She would not respond to any appeals to come out of the cave. 

Faced with this dire situation, all eight million deities of Japan convened in front of the cave and devised a plan to convince Amaterasu-Omikami to come out of hiding. A large mirror was placed in a tree just outside the cave’s entrance and another goddess, Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto, proceeded to dance atop an overturned bucket. Dancing with abandon and stamping upon the bucket,  Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto danced and danced and danced and then tore off her clothes all at once, causing the other deities to laugh uproariously. 

Hearing all the commotion from inside the cave, Amaterasu-Omikami could not contain her curiosity. What on earth could all the deities be laughing about in her absence? And so she opened the cave a tiny bit to peek out and saw her own brilliant reflection shining back at her in the mirror! Bedazzled just long enough, the strong god who had been patiently waiting there at the cave’s entrance then pushed the great boulder aside and pulled Amaterasu-Omikami out from the cave. A shimenawa, sacred rope, was placed in front of the cave, preventing the goddess from going back inside. 

And at last, light was restored to the world.

no place to hide

Do not hide your love, little one. 
Like the sun, be bedazzled by the brilliance 
of your own light, 
of your beauty,
and your love. 
Go ahead now, step out, 
boldly and brightly 
into every sky, Shining.
Dancing,
all naked, raw, and real.
For not a single day goes by, 
that does not need your light and
your love,
that does not need
you. 

Love & Light

Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun.

Kahlil gibran

We have sat for millennia, it seems, staring at walls into candle flames into the darkness and into the depths of our souls, in silence and solitude—seeking answers to resolve all of humanity’s imperfections, suffering, and ignorance… and for a way out of the dark. 
Perhaps moths are wiser, irresistibly drawn to the light, without second thought.

We have repented, confessed our sins, flagellated bare backs of ourselves and others, prostrated in front of superiors, and walked millions of miles on broken feet and bleeding knees. We have beaten, stoned, shot, mutilated and murdered—in the name of some greater light. 
Perhaps the flowers know better, naturally unfurling to the sun, without thought.

Perhaps life need not be so burdened, after all. 

Maybe we are in essence, simply beings of light and of love. We will realize our true nature, like the flowers, when we turn to the light; when like moths, our hearts burn with love, without thought. Maybe freedom is a bird in flight—on the wings of love and light. And divinity itself shines everywhere and in everything, omniscient and omnipresent. 

Perhaps, after all, we are simply divine beings of love and light. 

Go ahead—smell the roses and dance in the rain. Do it now—without thought, and for no reason. Shine.

hope

purified, clear light
everywhere in darkness shines
music for the deaf
vision for eyes wanting sight
and for my heart, the road home
(waka poem: 5-7-5-7-7)

What is hope, other than a beacon of clear light in the darkness? Wind behind sails crossing unknown seas. The moon in a sky of desolation. And, a heartbeat in the chamber of silence and stillness.

When we struggle, when we fall and despair, are utterly broken and feel lost, hope is the very thing that sees us through. 

How does hope come to you—in your darkness? What is your moon, and from where do the winds blow? What sound causes your heart to beat?

Even if we cannot see it, hope is that eternally rising sun on the eastern horizon—bringing with it, daylight into the night. Whether we like it or not, are ready or not, whether we open our eyes—or not… hope rises, again and again. For sometimes there is a certain comfort in the blanket of darkness, in being unseen and seeing not. We would rather evade, than wake up to our own hearts’ desires and truth. 

But hope, in its benevolence and persistence, will inevitably pierce that shell of illusive security and cast all shadows into the light. So go ahead already—shine. It is your birthright, and your destiny.

Who are you?

Though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually startle us back to the truth of who we are.  
—Rumi

Who are you? Not what is your name, job title, or societal roles… which are but outer expressions of the self. But who are you, actually? Surely there is an inner self with which you came into this world before family and culture could mold you; and with which you will eventually depart this world, shed of all its trappings. Who is this self?

Another way to contemplate the same question might be to ask, “What brings you joy?” Naturally, we will generally reply with references to people in our lives, our partners or children, for example. Or our favorite activities and things or accomplishments. It is true that dancing and chocolate cake bring me joy, as well as roses, poetry, and my loved ones. But why? How is it that for me joy arises while dancing but not while running, while eating chocolate but not licorice? The self that derives joy from dancing but not from running, is indeed the very same self. So underneath the particularities of the whats is something more fundamental—joy itself. 

Or perhaps we might be startled back to the truth of who we are by considering our raison d’être. Why are you here? For what reason do you exist? Surely joy is intimately intertwined with one’s own raison d’être. But like joy, it is not exactly the particular whats that is of most significance, not necessarily the raison but the d’être that is more fundamental. 

Être. Just being. What arises when you sit quietly, listening to your heartbeat? What do you feel? In the characteristic excitement and chaos of life, we may feel an entire spectrum of emotions… sadness, delight, fear, worry, happiness, melancholy, anger, and so on. But if we keep listening, keep paying attention and being present, we will eventually discern something fundamental underneath it all.
When all the clouds in the sky have passed by, what remains? Light.
When the monsters of fear step out of the shadows and into the light, what is revealed? Love. 

Can it be that the dance of our likes and dislikes, our preferences and particularities, our biases themselves, are the garden in which love grows to discover itself? The garden in which the fundamental joy of being is the light which startles us back to nothing other than the truth of who we are? To nothing other than Love its self.