Being Loved Requires Being, Feeling Loved Requires Loving


1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor , and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; 6 rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; 7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 10 but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child: now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known. 13 But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13

When I was a very young child I noticed how unhappy everyone in my family was. I then began to notice that there was so much of the same unhappiness all around me. I watched it, but I also shared it. Everyone felt unloved. At least, I know that is what we believed we felt. It is as though we are all standing in line facing and focusing all of our effort on receiving the love we need from the person standing in front of us, whose back we are facing. If we could all just turn around and give exactly what we are seeking to the person behind us, seeking the same love and approval, we would all, in turn, receive what stands between wholeness and ourselves.

I believed that if someone married me, I would feel loved; I would be happy. Then I believed that if I had a child of my own, THEN I would feel loved and be happy. When my only hopes for happiness left me still feeling worthless, I entered therapy. I went to the Alfred Adler clinic in New York City. On the intake questionnaire they asked: If you died, what would you want written on your gravestone. My response was, “Denise was WELL LOVED”. I believed that if by the time I died, my legacy was having been loved by many then I would know that somewhere along my journey on this earth I had found the happiness that I was seeking. All I thought I ever wanted was to feel loved. But what feeling loved really meant to me had nothing to do with another person loving me, but having some person convince me that I was worthy of loving.

I think about that gravestone often, and at various points in my life I have revisited the inscription considering what I would want written at each of those points in my life. At one point, about ten years ago, I arrived at my final revision of that stone. I realized that I would know that my life was all that I could have asked of it, if my gravestone says, “Denise LOVED WELL”. The reality is that the only way that the void of love within remains constantly filled is if it is constantly poured out to others. Here is a story that I read somewhere:

“With an angel for his guide, the visitor is first ushered through the gates of Hell, which, he is surprised to find, are made of finely wrought gold. The gates, in fact, are incomparably lovely, as is the verdant land¬scape that lies beyond them. All this is quite astonishing to the visitor, who turns to his angelic guide in disbelief. “It’s all so beautiful,” the man says. “The sight of the meadows and mountains . . . the sounds of the birds singing in the trees … the scent of thousands of flowers. . . .” And then another scent catches his attention: the aroma of food being prepared.
The angel leads the visitor toward an immense banquet table laden with every sort of delicacy. However, something is terribly wrong. Hundreds of people are seated around the table, but they all appear to be starving. Their emaciated condition is painful to see in the midst of such bounty, but even worse is the frustration and anger they are obviously experiencing. Each person at the table has a long-handled spoon chained to his wrist. The handles are so long that no one can place food in his mouth. But that does not prevent the condemned souls from trying. For all eternity, they are struggling to feed themselves a meal that is right before them, but that might as well be a hundred miles away. Taken aback by the tragic spectacle, the visitor is now more than ready to visit Paradise, and the angel immediately complies. At once they pass through an¬other set of golden gates, alike in every detail to the gates of hell. In fact, a great deal about the two locales seems to be identical, including the banquet table and the diners chained to their utensils. But the people around this table are well fed and happy, despite the fact that their circumstances are identical to those of the damned. The difference is not in the physical situation, but in how they respond to it. As you might have guessed by now, instead of trying to feed themselves, each of the souls at this table feeds the one across the table.”

Remembering that the ego through which we incarnate in each lifetime is little more than an accumulation of experiences and beliefs of our past lives. Change – growth and the merging of the ego and higher self are instigated by the soul. Each life is the next chapter in the evolution of the soul. This plotline of this life carries with it a repetition of situations from prior lives that were not resolved, not balanced. It also contains new areas experiences and challenges for further growth, and the fruit of lessons that we have mastered from past lives to share with others in this one. All souls who are late young, mature or old have lived through lifetimes of conditioning as beings stained at birth by original sin. Few adults living today were not there at the birth of this age, which is drawing to a close, and this age was born with the imprint of original sin.

The majority of people on earth, or at least in the western countries feel in some way inferior to almost everyone else alive. I have admired to so many people who I believed were confident, and self-assured only to find out that the singular difference between them and me was that they were better at pretending. Some assuage their feelings of inadequacy by telling themselves that they are superior to others. The more they immerse themselves in their superiority the less they have to acknowledge their feelings of inferiority. Some make a great show of telling everyone how great they are, while others find a skill, talent, or physique that they use to draw a constant flow of accolades. Then of course, there are embellishments such as wealth, fame and power to make one look superior.

People insist that their religion is the only religion acceptable to God out of a need to feel superior. It is the need to feel superior that causes people to insist that their choice of worship is the only true choice of worship. Jealousy is a sign of insecurity – God could not be jealous unless He was insecure about all of the other gods being worshiped. However, if there is only one God then that one God is not jealous, not wrathful, and not angry because all of those are symptoms of insecurity. Regardless of how superior we appear, and how content we may be with that appearance, within ourselves there are no props that can change how we feel. So, we look to intimate relationships to give us that feeling of adequacy by showering us with love. The problem is that the material world or rather the external world is impermanent. Whatever fills us up today will be insufficient to the task tomorrow. Someone will always come along smarter, prettier, wealthier, more powerful, more famous, more creative, more talented, younger etc. Everything external that matters today will not matter tomorrow, next week, next year, or whenever. Whatever exists in the external world has a shelf life. If that is where we seek our value, or sense of lovability, then we must acknowledge the expiration date.

Our past lives of belief in original sin have convinced us that we are defective. Now is the time to understand and to instill in the young children born at the dawn of this new age that we are each created so perfectly, so flawlessly, that there will never be more than one of each of us. We are each so perfect that we cannot be duplicated. We are each original signed creations of our Source, and there is not now, and will never be an artist superior to our creator, nor will there ever be materials superior to those from which we are made because we are made from the Creator. It is the uniqueness of our design that makes us each so great. And we are each here to add that unique color, that unique quality that is each of us to the great work of art that is in a constant state of becoming, entitled “Life”.

Love is. It does not exist because of what we do, or who we are. Love is unconditional. Many people have found through regressions that they suffer from debilitating illnesses in this life so that they have the opportunity to be taken care of, and to feel love from others who receive nothing in return. It is the only way that their souls can guarantee the experience. If someone loves us and we push them away because the love does not come wrapped in the package that we are expecting, although may they move away – they do not stop loving us.

All of this concern over being loved and being lovable dissolves into itself when we stop worrying about being loved and strive to be love itself. No amount of love, adoration, worship or praise can change how we feel about ourselves when the lights go dim. Most people I know who do not feel loved are really not very loving. Whatever they give to others or do for others has some form of string attached, even if it is a required amount of expressed appreciation. They may not feel that they are measuring, but they can give an extremely accurate account of their expressions of love – for people who are not keeping track. Whatever experiences have closed them down do not matter.

I once thought that we were given love in proportion to the love that we give.  This is not true.  Many people who are too fearful to love are themselves loved unconditionally.  They are given this love so that if at any time they choose to understand what true loving is, they have it available to learn from.  However, it does not matter to these people that they are truly loved, because being loved is not the same as feeling loved.  So, until we are willing to open ourselves to give love – even if the whole world loved us – we would still feel unloved.  Feeling the love that is sometimes all around us is only possible when we give it.

If we want to feel loved we must take the risk of loving unconditionally. And what happens when we do this, is that we forget about what we are not getting because we are overwhelmed with the joy of what we are giving. Then suddenly, out of the blue, we look around and are astounded by the amount of love that is coming to us.

The Power Of Being

When we move from within, centered and one with our journey and our destination, this creates a power that can move any mountain.


When I was a child I was impressed by the way in which people responded to my father. It was clear that people treated him with respect. The atmosphere in a room took on an air of deference when he entered; people seemed to be drawn to him by some unknown force. His words drew an audience no matter how softly he spoke. He emanated power. He was as difficult to describe as to forget. Yet, he seemed to be completely unaffected.

He was my father, and although I enjoyed the way that I was treated because of that fact; I felt that my feelings for him were obviously based upon the fact that he was my father and so I could not understand why others looked at him with that same awe that I did as a daughter.

During the time when anyone with dark skin would have to enter through the back door, my father would enter through the front. Instead of stopping him; people would pretend that they did not see him. This was how my world worked. There were no rules, only agreements and when one did not agree; everyone else moved out of the way.

My parents made an odd couple in the early fifties. My mother was Hungarian and Jewish with blond hair and green eyes. One day in the mid-nineteen fifties, my parents were driving somewhere in the South and a Policeman pulled them over. My father knew that they were pulled over because he was Black and she was White, so he looked the officer straight in the eyes and told him that my mother was Black. The officer let them go. He just did not seem to be subject to the same rules as other people. I could not understand why the river seemed to flow in a different direction for him, I never noticed him asking it to.

When my father died, the minister said, “This was a man who was loved and hated, but whether you loved him or you hated him, you always called him Mr. Gibel, with respect.” The minister had never even met my father, but he knew of him.

His gift to me as a father was his passion for being. He demanded that I honor my own being, and compare myself to no one. My father believed in God and himself. He knew himself as a man and when he said it, it had meaning.

He was completely self-centered. By this I mean that his sense of being was centered within. He sought no outside approval and accepted no outside criticism. He set his own rules and he lived by them. He listened to the voice from within and no other.

I cannot say that he had self-confidence in the way that we think of it. Confidence was not an issue. He was secure in the belief that we create our own world whether we do a good job of it or a bad job of it is another issue. He did not look at himself in the mirror and say, “I love you”, it was more of, “I am”. He had no time for blaming society or hating anyone, he dealt with what was, faced it and walked through it.

This is The Power of Being. The belief that what God created only God can affect. The knowing deep within that God creates us in His image and for that reason we are fully capable of realizing any dream, accomplishing any feat and reaching any goal that we choose. It is only the One who created us that can judge for better or worse our lives and our living.

It was this centeredness that people responded to. Most people are not sure about anything. Most people will follow anyone who seems to know where he or she is going. Of course I did not know my father when he was young. I believe that he had a very difficult childhood. I feel certain that this acceptance was hard won. From what he told me of his life, I believe he came to this point simply because there was nowhere else to turn in his perspective. Being a survivor, the only way to survive is ultimately becoming your own strongest ally.

My father’s life taught me that things were not the way they appeared; there was something wrong with this picture. He would not allow me to be a victim because he showed me that no one could victimize us unless we give him or her that power. He showed me that nothing stops us that we do not buy into. He showed me The Power of Being through his living. When we create our lives from within, instead of simply trying to fit into the world that is without, we have all of the power that we need to succeed in anything that we attempt.

I am bi-racial. That didn’t help me find who I was as a child living in a world that begins with labels. On the surface it would seem that I was Black. But to Black children I was only Black until they saw my mother. Being is not how we are identified by others; it is how we identify ourselves. However, as children we identify ourselves with those around us, we identify ourselves first in the way that our family identifies itself. When our family has no single identity, we must find our own, skipping the first part. So, we begin to find where we fit in with others – since my family didn’t have a group identity, I didn’t have a place to fit in. After much rejection, and minimal acceptance, I chose to identify with my father. I chose to be Denise. I limited my identification to my being. So, from there I journeyed to find my roots, my history – and beginning, not with a racial or ethnic group, but with a single self – the only direction of that journey was within to find my soul and my true Being.

I did this because I felt like a rootless tree – easy to tumble – lacking in support. I needed to root myself, just for the sake of survival. However, when I did, I found that the world related to me in the same way that it related to my father. I found that people began to relate to me in the same way that I related to myself. They neither saw, nor looked for what group I belonged to as a reference as to how I was to be treated. They saw only me, they saw my Being and what they saw, what they related to was greater than the packaged and labeled version of a self, and they saw and related to a Being who was a reflection of a soul – instead of a reflection of a group identity. Seeing the change in how people responded to me taught me that we are no less and no more than we believe ourselves to be. If we release the history – the baggage of a race, a religion, a nationality or a family name, and become only who we really are, then the power of pure being becomes the essence of the energy that others feel in our presence. Our lives are no longer shaped by those who came before us, but by ourselves. This is the power of Being.

Faith In Mind

Seng Ts’an

The Supreme Way is not difficult
If only you do not pick and choose.
Neither love nor hate,
And you will clearly understand.
Be off by a hair,
And you are as far from it as heaven from earth.
If you want the Way to appear,
Be neither for nor against.
For and against opposing each other
This is the mind’s disease.
Without recognizing the mysterious principle
It is useless to practice quietude.

The Way is perfect like great space,
Without lack, without excess.
Because of grasping and rejecting,
You cannot attain it.
Do not pursue conditioned existence;
Do not abide in acceptance of emptiness.
In oneness and equality,
Confusion vanishes of itself.
Stop activity and return to stillness,
and that stillness will be even more active.
Merely stagnating in duality,
How can you recognize oneness?

If you fail to penetrate oneness,
Both places lose their function.
Banish existence and you fall into existence;
Follow emptiness and you turn your back on it.
Excessive talking and thinking
Turn you from harmony with the Way.
Cut off talking and thinking,
And there is nowhere you cannot penetrate.
Return to the root and attain the principle;
Pursue illumination and you lose it.
One moment of reversing the light
Is greater than the previous emptiness.
The previous emptiness is transformed;
It was all a product of deluded views.
No need to seek the real;
Just extinguish your views.

Do not abide in dualistic views;
Take care not to seek after them.
As soon as there is right and wrong
The mind is scattered and lost.
Two comes from one,
Yet do not even keep the one.
When one mind does not arise,
Myriad dharmas are without defect.
Without defect, without dharmas,
No arising, no mind.
The subject is extinguished with the object.
The object sinks away with the subject.
Object is object because of the subject:
Subject is subject because of the object.
Know that the two
Are originally one emptiness.
In one emptiness the two are the same,
Containing all phenomena.
Not seeing fine or coarse,
How can there be any bias?

The Great Way is broad,
Neither easy nor difficult.
With narrow views and doubts,
Haste will slow you down.
Attach to it and you lose the measure;
The mind will enter a deviant path.
Let it go and be spontaneous,
Experience no going or staying.

Accord with your nature, unite with the Way,
Wander at ease, without vexation.
Bound by thoughts, you depart from the real;
And sinking into a stupor is as bad.
It is not good to weary the spirit.
Why alternate between aversion and affection?

If you wish to enter the one vehicle,
Do not be repelled by the sense realm.
With no aversion to the sense realm,
You become one with true enlightenment.
The wise have no motives;
Fools put themselves in bondage.
One dharma is not different from another.
The deluded mind clings to whatever it desires.
Using mind to cultivate mind
Is this not a great mistake?

The erring mind begets tranquillity and confusion;
In enlightenment there are no likes or dislikes.
The duality of all things
Issues from false discriminations.
A dream, an illusion, a flower in the sky
How could they be worth grasping?
Gain and loss, right and wrong,
Discard them all at once.

If the eyes do not close in sleep,
All dreams will cease of themselves.
If the mind does not discriminate,
All dharmas are of one suchness.
The essence of one suchness is profound;
Unmoving, conditioned things are forgotten.
Contemplate all dharmas as equal,
and you return to things as they are.
When the subject disappears,
There can be no measuring or comparing.

Stop activity and there is no activity;
When activity stops, there is no rest.
Since two cannot be established,
How can there be one?
In the very ultimate,
Rules and standards do not exist.

Develop a mind of equanimity,
And all deeds are put to rest.
Anxious doubts are completely cleared.
Right faith is made upright.
Nothing can be remembered.
Bright and empty, functioning naturally,
The mind does not exert itself.
It is not a place of thinking,
Difficult for reason and emotion to fathom.
In the Dharma Realm of true suchness,
There s no other, no self.

To accord with it is vitally important;
Only refer to not-two.
In not-two all things are in unity:
Nothing is excluded.
The wise throughout the ten directions
All enter this principle.
This principle is neither hurried nor slow
One thought for ten thousand years.

Abiding nowhere yet everywhere,
The ten directions are right before you.
The smallest is the same as the largest
In the realm where delusion is cut off.
The largest is the same as the smallest;
No boundaries are visible.
Existence is precisely emptiness;
Emptiness is precisely existence.
If it is not like this,
Then you must not preserve it.

One is everything;
Everything is one.
If you can be like this,
Why worry about not finishing?
Faith and mind are not two;
Non-duality is faith in mind.

The path of words is cut off;
There is no past, no future, no present.

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S kineskog preveo Shih-fu Sheng Yen
© Dharma Drum Publications, New York
S engleskog prevela Guo-qu
© Dharmaloka budistička zajednica, Đorđićeva 23, Zagreb—>