Excerpted from Adyashanti’s audio course Redemptive Love (Q&A)…
Q: I have been sitting with allowing all things to be as they are—my illness, confusion, relationships, etc.—and in that silent acceptance I feel peace. But when I have to actually interact with the world, I can feel myself responding from my conditioned mind and ego. Sitting with the idea of redemptive love when I am alone seems to be easier than when life presents situations asking for my engagement—husband, children, clients, family, etc.
What could I practice in such moments, or what thought can I contemplate to help me move more from a place of authenticity rather than craving to be alone?
A: It is easier to be in a state of acceptance when you are alone and not in relationship with anything other than yourself. But life is nothing but constant relationship: relationship with the environment, people, situations, work, play, as well as with your own inner experience. The question is, “How am I to be in relationship with all of life?” Even if we have experienced the oneness of all existence, the One is still in constant relationship with itself. So, from where inside are we relating to all of the events of life?
In any situation we are either relating from fear or love. If we are trying to control, manipulate, gain power over, dominate, be agreed with, be loved, be right, be a victim, etc., we are relating from fear. And since fear is a very weak force, although it can be experienced very strongly, we are diminished and dominated by it. Fear in all its varied forms is what fuels the dream state of sorrow and violence. Wherever it is motivating action, it is ultimately destructive and life numbing. This is not to say that one should not feel fear, only that to act or relate from fear is destructive. Simply because we feel fear does not mean that we need to act and relate from it. In fact, the more open we are to experiencing fear, the less it controls our actions. Love does not fear fear, because Love is a much stronger force in the world.
The remedy for fear is not courage, it is Love—although courage is sometimes necessary. Love will always conquer fear.
So ask yourself, “What would Love do?”—not your idea of love, which for most people is quite distorted, but the universal reality of love. This is not as complicated as people make it out to be. So don’t refer to your ideas about love, but rather evoke the reality of love by simply asking the question, What would Love do? This question is a deep inquiry, something to really sit with and allow to grow within yourself. You must get underneath your old ideas of what Love is and how it moves in the world. Sit in the silence of the question. Don’t jump to quick answers. And remember that Love is not sentimental or indulgent. Love is fearless, wise, and true, and therefore it is an extremely healing and unifying grace. Love is absolute intimacy and truth in action.
Love is absolute intimacy and truth in action. Remember this and contemplate it until it begins to come alive within you. Love is absolute intimacy and truth in action. Love is the living embodiment of grace.
Although Redemptive Love can be experienced as a healing infusion of grace, it also seeks to be put into action.