THE BEST WAYS TO FIND
Look at the one
right beside you
It's very common for single people to spend their time searching and
searching for the "right person." Zen suggests that we stop running
around and instead see what is right in front of our eyes.
Look at a person who is close to you in your life right now. Whether
this is a friend, a potential mate or more, notice the ways in which
you push him away. Stop doing that. Just allow the two of you to be
together in whatever way you are. Accept everything about your
relationship as it is.
Do the same thing tomorrow with someone else. This doesn't mean that
you have to consider marrying every person who crosses your path.
It's just an exercise to see how commonly you might dismiss people
who are already in your world because you're busy waiting for the
"right one" to appear. But the more "right" you can be with
everyone, the more you can open up to the very real possibilities of
around with love
So many singles complain that they are not loved. The reason for
this can be quite simple. They are so busy playing games that
potential partners never get to know who they really are.
What roles or games do you play in relationships? What roles do you
expect others to assume? Chances are, you follow a pretty clear
pattern, but the question is: Are you falling in love with the
person, or with the role that he plays? If you're not sure about
your roles, turn them around for a little while. Try playing
different roles. Experiment with someone who plays roles that you
are not accustomed to. Notice how that feels.
The goal is to become aware of the difference between who you are
and the roles you play. Eventually you'll be able to let the roles
go and simply be who you are -- which is a Zen-like state of being.
Who you are is always lovable and beautiful. It's the roles that get
in the way.
Let partners come
One major obstacle in living a life of love is the tendency to hold
on. We grasp and cling to each other, preventing the freedom of love
from rising on its own. Zen asks us to let go.
When someone comes into your life, let him come. Welcome the person,
whoever he is. Enjoy what it is he brings, even if it's only for a
When it is time for a person to go away, let him go. Do not turn the
person's leaving into an experience of rejection, loss or
abandonment. Realize that his leaving has nothing to do with you. It
is simply time for him to go.
Do this with yourself as well. Let yourself come and go freely in
life, and don't get caught in unnecessary chains. The more you free
yourself and others, the more easily you fall in love.
Put your baggage
Many feel that love is not possible unless all their demands are
met. However, these same people are repeatedly amazed when they find
that these demands don't lead to happiness. Instead, the demands are
just obstacles to falling in love.
What are your "must haves" for relationships? If you're not sure,
write out the list and take a good look at it. Realize that this is
baggage that may be keeping all kinds of people and possibilities
away. This baggage may also make you fearful, rigid and closed off
to what is available for you right now. Zen asks us to break free of
Try letting one of these demands subside for just one day. Notice
how you feel without it. (Remember, you can always take it back
again.) Then try it another day. As you do this many times, you may
find that things you thought were crucial for your life were really
getting in the way. The more you do this, the more light and happy
you will feel. Plus, this openness allows all kinds of new people,
possibilities and situations to start coming your way. You will have
made room for them by putting your baggage down.
Giving and receiving are at the core of every relationship. When we
are in love, this is never a problem. We naturally give and are
happy with whatever is offered in return. If you want to open up to
falling in love, adopt this state of mind and start giving
What gifts do you give others in relationships? What do you hope to
receive in return? Now take a moment to consider what
you can give someone. Then give it. Do this every day. Each day,
give something else. It does not have to be fancy or expensive -- or
even a material object -- just something that will add to his or her
day. Then do this with all kinds of different people. Zen is about
doing this kind of thing quietly without great fanfare and without
expecting something in return.
Do this with yourself as well. Take a moment to find out what kind
of gift you would like. Simple examples are taking a walk in the
park, buying a new lipstick or spending time with someone you care
for. Now give yourself a gift each day.
Although this exercise is simple, it is extremely powerful. Doing
this daily can turn everything around in your relationships. When
you give, remember not to look for anything in return (not even a
smile or thank you). Just give to give, with no expectations, no
demands. By living with this open, generous mind, all kinds of other
gifts come to you naturally.
Make friends with
Many people say they are lonely, even when they have a partner at
their side. This is simply because they have not yet made friends
with themselves. According to Zen, once you come to terms with
yourself and appreciate who you are on a personal level, it is
impossible to be lonely anymore.
Make friends with yourself. Spend time noticing who you are. Accept
all parts of yourself. Stop judging and rejecting what is going on
inside. Be still and look within.
Start with this exercise. Pay attention to your breath and just
notice what is going on. Let it be. Accept it, and return to the
breathing. Understand that, breath by breath, underneath the clamor,
you are perfect just as you are. Can you choose to be this natural
self in relationships? Can you choose to have relationships with
those who want and appreciate just what you are? Making positive
changes in your life -- and your relationships -- can start with
something as simple as taking off your shoes.