Do You Love Me, Master?
As we sit every day struggling with our mind in meditation, we invariably prepare ourselves for yet another set of hours that will be spent in an attempt at obedience with no good odds in our favour as far as rewards.
And by rewards we mean the kind that we get in our daily lives when we try to please a loved one and which come in the form of phrases like, “I love you” and “You’re the best!” or gestures like bright smiles and warm hugs.
Wouldn’t we love to interact in this manner with our Master too? Isn’t this, in fact, why we get up to ask him all those questions, which we already have the answers for? Sometimes the questions come in the form of, “Master, can you talk about love?” or “Can you throw some light on the relationship between a Master and his disciple?” All along what we really want to know is, “Master, do you love me? Do you see me when I sit for meditation? Are you happy with me?”
We are always told that our relationship with our Master is internal; time, matter or space does not bind it. Therefore, if what we are looking for is some sort of a hint from his side that will prove that he is, in fact, interacting with us at all times, then we will have to learn to recognize those subtle phrases and gestures that Master uses to converse with us, a dynamic conversation that we may not be aware of but which is definitely there.
If a child were to ask his mother, what it was that she actually did for him, what would she say? How can a mother account for all those sleepless nights that she spent trying to pacify her sick child at his slightest discomfort? How can she account for all those times that she brought him to school and quietly watched him through a back window to make sure that he was fine? How can she even begin to account for the pain that she felt in her heart every time her child would cry?
When we are sitting in an airport alone, Master is sitting on the chair right in front of us. When we are at the doctor’s office getting stitches, Master is blowing the sting away. When no one is there to help us in times of our need, Master is holding out his hand.
We can’t even begin to imagine what our Master does for us, and how very much he is a part of everything that is happening in our lives. If we could only be more receptive to his presence, life would be so much easier, even exciting!
The question that we may wish to ask ourselves then is not whether Master loves us or whether he is watching us. Instead, a more suitable question would be, “Can I see him?” or in fact “Am I looking his way?” When a child does all his homework, picks up his mess, eats all the food on his plate and does all the things that his parents want him to do, he doesn’t for a moment hesitate to run to them with his head held up high, knowing that he can ask for whatever he wants, convinced of the fact that they are pleased with him. On the other hand, if that child has not done his homework, has left his room in a mess and has fed his meal to the dog under the table, then chances are he will instinctively hide himself from his parents out of shame.
If we are not obedient disciples, which equates to not doing our meditation regularly, then unconsciously we too hide from our Master, for how can we face him? At that point, it is not that he is not with us, it is we who are just too embarrassed to look his way.
On the other hand though, when we wake up early, when we do our meditation and follow our Master’s instructions to the best of our ability, we will also intuitively know, for a fact, that Master is pleased with us, that he is watching over us and that he loves us very, very much.