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Zen and the Art of True Love Maintenance

Zen and the Art of True Love Maintenance

Much of the methods for love we have learned are based upon the need for give and take. We have a conditional love that is fueled by the ego, love that is based on the receipt of certain things in order to continue. Without the satisfaction of certain prerequisites and quotas our giving begins to wane in the face of outer deficits. When our needs or expectations are not met we are often angry and feel dejected. Fears of unrequited love and being the fool, loom in our minds and provoke deep seated fears of betrayal and rejection. The awful feeling of being codependent to an abusive partner is real, a fear heavily promoted by our society. No one wants to be a doormat or a doorstop.

But sometimes these requests and requirements can prevent us from ever having a fulfilling relationship with anyone. Many times our wish list is too great and the burden is placed more on the other party than on our own actions. This is a great problem and at its heart the downfall of a lasting relationship. It is easier to abandon ship than to ride out the storm. Many quickly jump to sea and find themselves later marooned on a desert island, left alone with the characteristics that may have aided in drawing the initial disaster into their lives.

 Relationships are about being better stewards over the love we have before us. How often do we see serial daters, quick to find fault in each partner they pick, often times repeating again and again some similar behavior which is conveniently blamed on the other party. Had they been better navigators of their love ship, perhaps they could have ridden the storm or better calculated the impending signs of trouble. It may be that in the selection of the course or maintenance of the ship and its sails, somewhere care was not placed in the process. This extra attention, could have made the difference. Love is a daily effort, a minute or rather moment by moment endeavor. It requires great inner strength and mindfulness. True presence and awareness is required for true love to flourish.

 When walking the path of love there are many turning points and guide posts. There are many ports and places to stop along the way. Being mindful during the process is helpful in determining ones true allegiance to the journey. One can change direction at any of these bench marks. Often what happens is that the signs of neglect or wear and tear are ignored or not attended to in a productive manner. Rushing to get tasks done or to quickly solve problems creates a pending disaster which leads to a growing weakness that eventually serves as the breaking point. To approach the maintenance with a hand of a master craftsman is the secret to being a better steward over ones love. The master is at peace with all the aspects of the process of maintenance, even the more challenging aspects that are the keystones of growth and greater mastery.

 To approach love as a work of art, as the maintenance of a prized ship or vessel, is to be present and alive. Like a new baby puppy, who you love to feed and bathe and even reprimand for its silly antics; there is an art here, an art of love. Compassion for the follies and weaknesses of the beloved, understanding and acceptance of the challenges, a gentle hand that becomes more skilled with each mindful touch and adjustment; this is the true path of mastery in the realm of love.

Being a sailor myself I know there is a fine art in the craft of sailing a ship. There is a beautiful silent connection and feeling when both work together, and when making it back to shore after foul weather and storms. This is a bond of love and great depth. This is the way of true love.

 Work with your beloved, learn them, feel them, listen to the sounds and learn to move in sync. Harmony comes with patience and open-mindedness. The ability to keep centered and stay steadfast and true despite any odds. A labor of love. Love as a practice, like meditation or yoga. Love as an art like painting or music, a developing evolution. This is the zen of love.


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