Love Thyself

I do now, but for a while I didn’t know how.
What after all, am I? Who am I? I would go to the assistant teachers asking this.
Is this me, this emotion, these thoughts?

How can I give love to myself?

Often superficial, during times when I wasn’t fit to give metta to others, I’d put my hand on my heart and say, “I love you Anthony.” This only goes so far, because you realize:

1) In these states, love can’t be forced. We have to fall in love. It takes a bit of a stumble.

2) Going deeply into what you are, you find that you are only you because of everyone else.

If you’re not you then I wouldn’t be me.
If I’m not me then you wouldn’t be you.
So you’re not you and I’m not me.

So you can only love yourself as much as you love the universe, because you are that.
That means everything is self-love.

When you meditate and take away all the sankharas that crowd the vibration of purity, of love, of Dhamma, then you realize that you don’t love yourself or the universe. You are the love. It’s a verb without a subject. It’s just an action.

Love is universal.
Love is the self.
Love is.
To see what is not leaves nothing else.

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This entry was posted in For Non Meditators, Helping Others, Observations, Personal Experiences, Poetry by Ryan Shelton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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