Each of us has heard the iconic saying “It is better to give than to receive”, however, truth be told, there can be no giving without receiving — one cannot exist without the other. In our culture, we over emphasize the virtues of Giving and often overlook the importance of clearly understanding and integrating the act of Receiving. If what we receive is not fully appreciated and understood, then our acts of giving to others will be diminished and distorted.
We must learn to Receive openly and completely in order to Give ourselves fully and freely to the world.
This process is fundamental to our development and flowering as human beings. What do I mean by receiving? It is the practice of remaining open, vulnerable, and accepting of our direct experiential flow, without clinging or grasping to any aspects of that flow. And what is it that we need to receive? Simply put, our Life’s Work of recognizing, nurturing, and growing Self Love. We begin by asking the question, What is Self Love? This is not trivial. This is a question for a lifetime, and the contemplation of the question becomes The Work to be done. Receiving and Living the Question of Self Love is the Work.
We become filled with gratitude, joy, and excitement through the daily exploration of a Great Sacred Question, one which can feed us for our entire lifetime — and benefit every Relationship and Being we encounter. As we begin the path of inquiry, we immediately understand that finding an answer to, What is Self Love? is dependent on knowing the definition and meaning of both Self and Love. In short, we recognize the depth of the question through the insight of two other questions which must be answered– What is Self?, and What is Love? In these two lie the entire mystery of this precious Human Life. This is the whole Path, there is no other.
How can we practice this Sacred Work? We bring to mind, over and over, our clear Intention to search for Self and Love in the flow of our direct experience. We don’t need to travel or go anywhere specific or special to conduct our search.
Both Self and Love must be within our experiential field of awareness, Right Here, and Right Now.
They cannot be outside of our experience — otherwise, we could never Know either of them. This insight is helpful. It allows us to relax with a big exhale and get comfortable knowing that Self and Love must be right here within each of us. We just need to look carefully and recognize them.
Let’s start our search with the Self. We all have one, right? Well, at least we all Act like there is a Self within us. We should be able to find it quickly by searching within the Body-Mind. Let’s look and see. We close our eyes and scan our entire body to see if we can locate our Self. Is it in our feet, hands, legs, arms, shoulders, fingers, toes, neck, or head? Is it located behind the eyes, or in the brain. Look closely. If it is actually here, we should be able to pinpoint its location in space. Something as important as our Self should have definitive coordinates, a precise location within our body.
The truth is that we can look forever, but we’ll never find the Self. It cannot be precisely located within space.
Not convinced? Still think it’s really here somewhere, but we just have to look more deeply? Ok, let’s assume there is something called the Self within each of us. If true, we should be able to tell in our direct experience where the boundary of our Self ends and the beginning of “not-Self” starts. In other words, can we find where our consciousness ends within our direct field of awareness? We are certainly aware of experiential content outside of our body, but does the Self extend outside our body? Good question, and one we should each examine over and over and over until we reach a definitive and confident answer. Cutting to the chase, and amazing as this might appear, the Self cannot be found or precisely located within our direct experience. It has no discernable boundaries — we cannot tell where it begins or ends. Paradoxically, it is everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
The wonderful insight of this “unfindable Self” is that our True Self is our Entire Field of Awareness, and is not separate from anything that is being experienced — the one that is experiencing and that which is being experienced are inseparable, two sides of the same coin.
If we conduct the same type of search for LOVE, we will get a similar result. We will not find it anywhere in particular, but we can feel its presence anywhere and everywhere within our field of awareness. The astonishing TRUTH is that we are all appearing and living within the Wholeness of the One Self — a Field of Being that is Boundless, Limitless, and Full of LOVE. Moreover, a Field of Being that is nothing but SELF LOVE. All we have to do is remain open and vulnerable so that we can Receive its Grace and Blessings. In Receiving the Work, we Receive the Fullness of Being, and only then can we Give the Fullness of Being to others.