We heard an inspiring story about a revered Tibetan lama whom the Chinese Communists had held in prison for many years. Eventually the lama was released and later met with the Dalai Lama, who asked him, “It must have been difficult to be a prisoner for all those years. Were you ever afraid?”
“Yes,” the lama replied. “There were times when it was very dangerous.”
“Do you mean you were afraid that the guards would kill you?”
“Oh, no,” he explained. “It was dangerous because sometimes I came very close to losing my compassion for them.”
Saints and saviors of all traditions have echoed these words. Paramhansa Yogananda said of Jesus Christ, “O Thou Great Lover of all error-torn brothers, an unseen monument of the mightiest miracle of love was established in every heart when the magic of Thy voice uttered: ‘Forgive them, for they know not what they do.’”
What is the source of this unconditional love that can forgive even those who attempt to destroy us? Such love flows from a spring of divine consciousness within each of us. A calm, interiorized mind and devotion to God help us tap into the source. Once we find it, we realize that love is much more than a response to others who are pleasing to us. It is a limitless capacity that flows through us to everyone, but isn’t confined or defined by our personal feelings.
In 2009 Swami Kriyananda had a deep inspiration one night while staying at a hotel in Florence, Italy. Awakening at 3:00 a.m., he wrote these words on a small paper coaster in his room:
The more bliss I feel in myself, the more I find everyone around me utterly lovable. How vastly varied are the ways of approaching that same bliss! Every being on earth has his own, unique way of seeking it! No one can be stereotyped! And the stereotyped beliefs of religion are perhaps the worst. Everyone on earth approaches God in his own special way, though perhaps his way be, at present, very lumpy and bumpy indeed.
When we discover this wellspring of love within, we can unite in Spirit with other “explorers” of higher consciousness. The many little streams of our separate existences can merge to form mighty rivers that wash away the dark pools of conflict and hatred, and eventually flood our planet with an Ocean of Divine Love.
Towards the One,