The New Kadampa Tradition is an international association of Mahayana Buddhist meditation centers that follow the Kadampa Buddhist tradition founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
As an intern at Tricycle, I am also a degree candidate at the New School University, where I am the cohost of a radio show called Sex, Lies & Radiowaves. My partner-in-crime is a gorgeous, free-spirited female with hair that enters the room before she does, and a laugh so infectious it reaches your blood stream instantly. And guess what… I’m falling in love with her, which is entirely organic and something that I didn’t see coming. However I must confess, there’s a catch. She is not completely available.
There’s more to the story, of course, but I want to focus on the "falling in love" part, and how it brings up desire and the fear of being lonely. It was Chögyam Trungpa, in The Chronicles of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who made me think when he said, "I don't think anybody can fall in love unless they feel lonely."
I suppose what I'm getting at (and I’ve only been able to come to this practice as an ardent Buddhist and meditator) is that it’s all an opportunity to take what comes up—the joy and the sorrow—and apply it to the sacred path: the path of feeling, of experiencing without bias, and being present. And nothing else. Which is easier said than done. I heard that's why it's called "practice."
In that same vein, in the Shambhala Sun recently, the great master Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche said, “When a confused thought or emotion (Desire, Loneliness) arises, we make use of it, instead of throwing it away. Then our life is meaningful…. Our emotions are no longer ordinary; they are sacred. Why? Because we are taking them onto the path.”
® Photo by Shane Michael Manieri