Tuesday, November 13, 2007


This morning I was listening to a talk about grief when I heard these words of Stephen Levine and thought of this painting I did in the mid-1980s:

We are learning to live with the consequences of love. So we must bear loss as deeply as we cared. Throughout spiritual literature we are told that attachment creates pain, and here we are, trying to learn how to love more fully in the shadow of that very painful truth! But the irony is that without some level of attachment, there could be no love. As the Dalai Lama has said, 'No attachment, no compassion."

It is the balancing act of a lifetime.


robin andrea said...

I love this flip side of attachment, compassion. I've never heard that before, and it makes such good heartfelt sense.

am said...

New ideas for me, too, robin andrea.

Just occurred to me that that puts compassion and love on the same side as detachment.

Compassion and love make room for the healing that too much attachment to a specific outcome prevents.

Compassion manifesting as loving detachment from a specific outcome.

I sure do like the picture of dynamic creative balance of compassion and attachment in Stephen Levine's imagery.

The Dream said...

Indeed. Indeed.
Detachment with Love ... an ongoing theme for me. As a member of Alanon, I am reminded to lead with Love and to be compassionate toward the alcoholic/addict. The good news for me today is that I don't have to be an active participant in chaos.

The big thing is that I can love my son NO MATTER WHAT ... but sometimes, for the sake of my own well-being/sanity, it must be from a distance.

I am also trying to be mindful that everyone I encounter, on any given day, is into their own thing. So, I continue to TRY to be compassionate, especially when my knee-jerk reaction would be "get over it, get on with it." I am exactly where I need to be .... and so is everyone else.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for writing about this painful truth about love, attachment and loss. Something to ponder during my rest day in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. Incidentally, today was my birthday,am. Celebrated by having an early night - safe and warm in my sleeping bag by 9pm!

am said...

Happy Birthday, Solitary Walker!

am said...

dream -- Thank you for stopping by!

Do you know the song "Series of Dreams" by Bob Dylan?