Daily Meditations



It is only in this aloneness, this utter solitude, that dependence and desire will die, and the capacity to love is born. For one no longer sees others as means to satisfy one’s addiction.

Only someone who has attempted this knows the terror of the process. It is like inviting yourself to die. It is like asking the poor drug addict to give up the only happiness he has known and to replace it with a taste for bread and fruit and the clean fresh morning air and the sweetness of the water from the mountain stream, while he is struggling to cope with his withdrawal symptoms and with the emptiness that he experiences within himself now that his drug has gone.

To his fevered mind nothing can fill the emptiness except his drug. Can you imagine a life in which you refuse to enjoy a single word of approval and appreciation, or to lean on someone’s arm; in which you depend on no one emotionally, so no one has the power to make you happy or miserable anymore; you refuse to need any particular person or to be special to anyone or to call anyone your own?

Even the birds of the air have their nests and the foxes their holes, but you will have nowhere to rest your head in your journey through life.

If you ever get to this state you will at last know what it means to see with a vision that is clear and unclouded by fear or desire. And you will know what it means to love. But to come to this land of love you have to pass through the pains of death.

For to love persons is to have died to the need for persons and to be utterly alone.

How would you ever get there? By ceaseless awareness, and the infinite patience and compassion that you would have for a drug addict. It will also help you to undertake activities that you can do with your whole being, activities that you so much love to do, that while you are engaged in them, success or recognition or approval simply do not mean a thing to you.

It will help too if you return to Nature: Send the crowds away and go up into the mountain and silently commune with trees and flowers and animals and birds, with sea and sky and clouds and stars. Then you will know that your heart has brought you into the vast desert of solitude. There is no one there by your side, absolutely no one.

At first it will seem unbearable, but that is only because you are unaccustomed to aloneness. But if you manage to stay there for a while the desert will suddenly blossom into Love. Your heart will burst into song. And it will be springtime forever.

~Adapted from Anthony De Mello, The Way to Love:  The Last Meditations of Anthony De Mello