How do you honor Earth Day in 2022? Any celebration may seem empty and pointless. It may feel like you have no control as you watch the world around you collapse into chaos and dysfunction. Today, I am feeling your pain. I would be a fool to deny the great suffering and anguish that engulfs so many of my loved ones at this moment. But I also have great news, which is that there exists a potential antidote.
What I have to say here may seem frivolous and self-indulgent. But after decades of following my path faithfully and wholeheartedly, I know it works--at least for me. I have discovered a secret that has eluded me for a long time and that may feel equally elusive to you. The secret is this:
There is a really great party going on. A Divine Party, in fact. I would go so far as to call it “the greatest party ever”! The extraordinary individuals whose wisdom and equanimity I admire are already at this party. I have had the pleasure to be around Ammachi, the Dalai Lama, and less well-known but equally radiant beings like Rama Jyoti Vernon. The one thing I can say unequivocally about all of them is that they sure know how to party!
One of the great Tantric masters of Tibet, Lama Yeshe, said that one of the biggest misconceptions in spiritual life is the notion of renunciation. “The Tibetan term generally translated as ‘renunciation’ has the literal meaning of ‘definite emergence’,” he writes. “It indicates a deep, heartfelt decision to emerge from the repeated frustrations and disappointments of ordinary life. Simply stated, renunciation is the feeling of being so completely fed up with our recurring problems that we are finally ready to turn away from our attachments to this and that and begin searching for another way to make our life satisfying and meaningful.”
If you want to join the Divine Party, you have to leave your baggage at the door. The only thing you are being asked to renounce is the heavy burdens that are keeping you from experiencing what novelist Milos Kundera calls “the unbearable lightness of being.” He explains that “the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into the heights,” and to gain an entirely fresh perspective on the nature of “reality.”
So, how do you join the Divine Party? Do you need a special invitation? Yes, you do. And I am extending it to you right now. Here is your invitation:
BE THE LOVER
It’s really this simple. BE THE LOVER. I know that you want to be. And that you probably know what it feels like already. At some point in your life, you have loved someone or something so completely that you have become one with your beloved. Am I right?
The Lover is the most important and powerful thing you can be. Most people know that, which is why they tend to choose love as their highest priority when surveyed. In truth, love is more of an aspiration than a priority for most of us. Humanity tends to admire teachers like Jesus who remind us to “love one another.” But we also tend to punish and kill those teachers as a stark reminder of how far we have all strayed from the path of The Lover.
To BE THE LOVER means to throw yourself completely into the delightful and transcendent practice of love play. This practice takes many forms, from breastfeeding your baby to creating beautiful and inspiring art. For many of us, erotic love play is one of the most compelling forms of this practice. In sexual union, we may know what it feels like to give ourselves to our beloved and to receive that beloved so completely that the apparent boundaries separating us from one another just melt away. And isn’t that experience of transcendent oneness the point of every meaningful spiritual practice?
If you have been The Lover even for an instant, you have already joined the Divine Party. Now, you can stay at this party as long as you like and invite others to join you. There are all kinds of treats and party favors to be savored and enjoyed here. I am happy to show you the delights and treasures I have discovered at this party and to share them with you, my dear friends. Why? Because I believe that YOU are the life of the party. Trust me, you are, whether you know it or not.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For now, just invite yourself to the Divine Party. Take time today to say the following words to yourself while taking them in fully and feeling their power:
BE THE LOVER
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