Love, Impermanence, and Tenderness

March 4, 2020

Shambhavi basically rants about the limitations of ordinary love and falling in love. There’s something better. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

Podcast First Words

Today I’m going to talk about love. The first thing to say is that probably whatever idea you all have about love, it’s not that. I think I once described being in love as being at a party standing in a corner talking to only one person the whole night, and then leaving.

I hardly ever talk about love. That’s because that word just doesn’t match what you feel when you really open to what I would say is something much greater than what any of us think of as love.

There’s a poem that I’ve quoted before by Abhivnavagupta. The first line is “Shiva showers grace without any restraint, and, thus, there is always the presence of anutara, the supreme state.”

Lord Shiva—aka God, aka reality, aka living presence—showers grace without any restraint. Throughout all times and spaces, everywhere, without any restraint. There’s no restraint. There’s no lack of the presence of grace.

I’m just going to say grace and I’ll explain why. I don’t really resonate that much with the word love. It seems too limited. There’s not only the presence of grace, but it’s continually being offered. It’s not just there, is actually being offered. And when I think of love or grace, when I go into that experience of that, what I experience is tenderness, compassion, intelligence, and an incredible subtlety of what you could call, in an ordinary way, empathy.

So when we feel empathetic towards other people it’s because we feel something of their condition, right? That’s what empathy is. It’s not just thinking, in an intellectual way, how does someone else feel?  Empathy is much more of an instant—I feel something that you feel. I grok it.


Satsang with Shambhavi is a weekly podcast about spirituality, love, death, devotion and waking up while living in a messy world.