Appreciating Our Teachers: Mother Teresa

Posted January 10th, 2013 by Erin under Appreciating Our Teachers, Student Writings.

“Love must be incarnated in the smallest pore of the skin, the smallest cell of the body, to make them intelligent so they can collaborate with all the other ones in the big republic of the body.  This love must radiate from you to others.”   -BKS Iyengar

I guess the thing about Mother Teresa is that her life is a testament to that truth that’s important to understand in doing this work: that there’s no separation between knowing (Jnana), loving (Bhakti), and doing (Karma).  She’s known for her deeds of service, so much so that her name is almost synonymous with her service work.  But when you read her words, it’s all, all about love.  She’s so in love with Jesus.  Her works are an expression of her love, the lowest common denominator, into which everything fits, by which everything is encompassed.  And cyclically, in her loving urge to draw nearer, she’s come to know the teachings of her faith intimately…The knowing and the doing are loving acts.  It all starts with Bhakti and ends with Bhakti.  We learn this through the teachings of yoga: that Bhakti gets you there the fastest.  What also comes to mind is the capacity to know when something is true  when it is accompanied by an open heart.  But Love is more: Love is all.  I guess it’s the way that Mother Theresa’s teachings are so steeped in it.  And in such a simple way.  A basic way.  She teaches that each action we make is (or has the potential to be) an act of Love for God.  That when she ministers to the poor, she’s ministering to God because God is there.  And how close she must feel to God to be tending to the Divine continuously in this way.  How much would you have to know before your knowing was enough to feel yourself in contact with the Divine? How much would you have to do before your actions bring you to God?  What is it about Love that touches so, to the quick?  That it only has one direction: outwardly flowing?  Like hot liquid honey, spreading to engulf whatever it meets, sweetening all? Claiming all?

Knowing claims ownership of the known.

Acting is an expression of “I”.

And what is Love? How can Love stand alone so?  Love is the entire dissolution of the self.  And what is dissolved can merge with the substance that holds it… And we are held by God.  And anything that is not Love is the containment of the self.  And so, the more we practice Love, the real Love, the humbling, the opening, the outwardly flowing, the seeing in real recognition, the dissolving Love, well, you see, right?  It’s all in there.  It takes all.  Carries all.  Borderless.  Open and raw.  Give yourself up.  What do you need to know, what can you possibly do to be willing to surrender in this way?  Love kills fear.  Love burns off everything but itself (ask Adyashanti). Love gets you there, dissolved into the Divine, where we all came from, where we’re all headed…

Vanessa Serotta is a Yoga teacher at Karuna. She shares her Love Monday mornings, 9-10:30

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