Shared Transformation

Introduction to Issue 21

It is said that a disciple asked the Buddha, "Master, would it be correct to say that love and compassion are part of our practice?" The Buddha replied, "No, it would not be correct to say that. Love and Compassion should be considered the whole of our practice." Love is the central jewel in all religions. Spiritual awakening revolves around it. It is at once the highest state to which we can aspire and the most ordinary, universally understood of expressions. Animals and plants recognize and respond to it, our immune systems are strengthened by it, our cells rejuvenated in its presence. Poets and philosophers sing praises to it and psychologists go where angels fear to tread in attempts to define it. Hearts can be broken by sorrow, but there is also a magnitude of love so great it bursts the heart. The hugeness of love is uncontainable; that is why it makes us crazy-ecstatic or overflows through our tears. The pontiffs divide love into the sacred and the profane; one level is blessed, they say, the other mundane and unauthentic. My heart does not believe it. I have tasted both and all that is different is the boundaries. The love of God is all-encompassing and infinite. The love of creaturehood is selective and often fleeting. Both are divinity speaking through us, in little sparks or blinding light. Love is the gate between worlds, but more than this, it is the holiest mercy that frees us, for an instant or forever, from the primordial loneliness of our solitary existence.

-- El Collie

We must blow on the coals of the heart.

-- Archibald MacLeish

Love is not an ideal; it comes into being when there is respect and mercy, which all of us can and do feel... where there is belief and dogma, there cannot be love.

-- Krishnamurti

We need to see ourselves as basic miracles and worthy of love.

-- Virginia Satir

God loves to work through us, you and me. The way you touch people, the way you give to people. That love for another -- it is God's love in action through us.

-- Mother Teresa

To love is to be engaged is to work is to be interested is to create.

-- Lina Wertmuller

Love reveals more than hope can, for love is a mystical possessing now of all that hope looks for in the future.

-- George Congreve

For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult task of all... the work for which all other work is but a preparation.

-- Rilke

In the evening of life we shall be judged on love, and not one of us is going to come off very well, and were it not for my absolute faith in the loving forgiveness of my Lord, I could not call on Him to come.

-- Madeleine L'Engle

... a final comfort that is small, but not cold: the heart is the only broken instrument that works.

-- T.E. Kalem

© El Collie 1995

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