My Introduction to Love
It’s quiet and peaceful. My roommate has been out of town for work. I don’t know when she’s due home. It doesn’t matter. I’m happy. I’m happy to have the solitude. And I’ll be happy to see her home.
Right now, though, I’m here — the only place that ever really matters. And so I don’t waste an ounce of it, not a sliver of this eternal now.
Temporally, ‘here’ is autumn of 2018.
Spatially, ‘here’ happens to be in my armchair, which in a deeper sense holds no real or lasting significance but, on some level, feels quite sacred to me. Here, in this wonderful space alone I have clocked over 15,000 minutes of meditation. That’s over 250 hours of some of the most intimate encounters with Experience, with my Self. And that’s nothing to say of the countless books, the countless minds I’ve peered into, from this humble armchair I bought in college.
Spiritually, ‘here’ is inseparable from experience, ‘here’ is with the continuous flow of experience, at one with the ever-changing contents of experience, ‘here’ is in the space-less, time-less, self-less, center-less space of awareness, ‘here’ is everywhere and nowhere, ‘here’ is where there are no boundaries or separations anywhere. Spiritually, I am ‘here’, in love.
The Door Opens — My First Encounter With Another Kind of Love
As I bathe here in love, I hear the door open. I lift my eyelids and turn to see who’s at my door. I smile. Kels is home. And she’s brought a friend.
“John, I’d like you to meet Love.”
I’m immediately struck by Love’s eyes. They demand my full presence. The light of her soul, of her attention, shines through them as brightly as the sun — there’s nowhere to hide. I feel naked, completely exposed. But her smile, as it’s expressed on her lips and in the wrinkles at the sides of her eyes, makes me feel safe and warm.
“Hi Love. Welcome to our home.”
Kels continues, “I’m excited for you two to meet. Love left the Church just over a year ago and she wants to try drugs.”
“Well,” I say with mischief in my smile, “You’ve come to the right place.”
Some Context — A Detour of Faith & Other Drugs
I grew up in a loving Mormon home, you see, but never accepted the faith myself. And because I went through the pains associated with rejecting the faith in a highly devoted Mormon home and community, because I’ve spent years searching for truth, I’ve been able to reach out my hand to dozens of lost souls who have had the foundations of their belief system crumble from beneath their feet.
Now, as far as drugs are concerned, well…let’s say I’m more familiar with them than I like to admit (I’ve been experimenting with essentially every class of drugs since I was 15).
*Disclaimer* Please don’t do drugs that early in life. Wait until you have a solid foundation, a solid footing in the world with sobriety, before you explore that terrain of experience. And even then, please do it with extreme care, responsibility, and intentionality. And remember, not all drugs are equal. Do your research and, if possible, explore the terrain with someone who’s been there and with someone whom you trust.
With that said, there is no doubt that psychedelics (and even MDMA and MDA) have played a central role in my self transformation. They’ve helped me to heal and let go of my pain, my loneliness, my anger. They helped me find forgiveness, to see religion and the world’s belief systems in a new light. They helped me connect to myself, to others, and to the world around me. They helped me embody Love. They helped me to become Whole. They showed me a path to peace and happiness. They pointed me to freedom.
Psychedelics alone, though, didn’t bring me to where I am today. Psychedelics can provide a window into the eternal peace and freedom that sits at the core of your being, but psychedelics alone are not enough to keep you awake to the freedom that is your birthright.
Every day continues to be the best day of my life. And there’s no doubt psychedelics were a catalyst to this ascent. But the root cause of this dramatic transformation was not a quick fix, a pill or a drug that made everything all better. No, like all good things, this ascent took hard work (and a heavy dose of luck).
In part, a root cause has been my commitment to truth, to philosophy, to understanding, yes. But by and large this rapid acceleration to the heavens has been a direct consequence of my vipassana practice — otherwise known as insight meditation, a Buddhist practice that seeks to cultivate mindfulness, a clear and direct understanding of experience, of Love.
A Conversation — The Beginning of a New Beginning
“Well, did you have a particular drug in mind?” I ask. “You name it, and I’m sure I have it.”
Love is an artist and poet and had heard that LSD, or acid, has the potential to open new dimensions of perception and imagination. But because she had an early flight the next morning, I told her an eight to ten hour trip probably isn’t the best option. So, I recommended we try MDA, or sassafras.
“MDA provides an incredibly clear experience — an experience that is open, expansive, connected, and vulnerable. It allows you to stay composed and in control, it’s great for conversation, and it lasts about four to six hours. It’s a great place to begin your exploration of this world.”
“Great,” she said. “Taking drugs from a stranger goes against all reason and everything I’ve been taught, but my heart tells me I’m completely safe.”
I smile and give her a hug before we take the MDA. And because Kels invited another friend to come over, I told Love that it can often be hard when a new and sober person enters the space when you are on MDA, or many other drugs. The energy can cause fear, paranoia, and agitation. “If this happens,” I told her, “just come put your hand on my back or shoulder, and we’ll go find a quiet place to sit and connect.”
Sure enough, the new person’s presence carried a bit of an anxiety to it, which Love was oversensitive to. So, we went and sat down across from each other, grounded ourselves in each other’s gaze, and then shared the most intimate and vulnerable pieces of our hearts with one another — our deepest pains and sorrows, our highest hopes and aims, our uncensored and unedited stories.
Our eyes remained locked for the next six hours. The world dissolved around us. Love was all that remained.
This was the beginning to a new life, the beginning to a place, a feeling, a presence, I now call Home.
My Love, My Home, My Human — For the Rest of Forever
Love, anyone who has shared a moment with you can attest to the power of your eyes and voice. I will never forget the feeling of their force tugging at me when I first met you.
The moment you stepped through my door the first time, you spoke to me as if we had never existed apart. Yet your lips didn’t move. In just a few moments, you spoke to me volumes with your eyes. I was stunned. Never had my spirit been penetrated so deeply. Never had I seen eyes radiate so much presence, so much honesty and understanding. I felt naked. You had exposed me entirely.
Yet I felt safe. Your trust I felt immediately. And not once since then has it flickered. Your warmth, your safety, your understanding — my home — continues to strengthen and expand in all directions with no limits in sight.
“My Night With Love”
“Let’s fly paper airplane’s on top of the cabinets. They can be love letters for the next owners to find – a kind of time capsule,” Love said with those trenchant eyes that reach to the depths of your soul…
“My Snow Leopard Angel”
Everyone needs a friend like my Snow Leopard Guardian Angel — a bright light, a beacon, a North Star, a teacher, a wise counselor, a polished mirror to see your own reflection.
“The Divine Connection”
You don’t need to search far and wide for the Divine connection. It’s that without beginning or end. See and feel – know directly – the love that both surrounds you and fills you. Know the Love that is you…
“Cultivating Loving Attention”
How many of your words and actions are reactive & automatic? How many are reflective and intentional? What would it be like, what would it feel like, to intentionally love yourself, others, and the world?
“The Current of Stillness”
She moves in Her Stillness | Understands in Her Wholeness | Creates endless though Formless | And embraces the Boundless | She gives freely Her Charity | Paints marvelously Her Beauty…
“By Way of Introduction”
It’s spring in Salt Lake City. I’ve been writing at my desk all day and my back’s painfully aware. I glance out the window and see that the morning’s storm has washed out the pollution and left a soft blue sky…