For an agnostic computer developer groom & an ABC (American Born Chinese) nature-oriented bride a ceremony was crafted using a Buddhist mindful loving structure * with Einstein quotes, a Chinese Tea ceremony, and the imagery of nature...and delivered on a beautiful Summer day on Carmel Beach on the California coast.
The introduction and welcome begins:
An ancient Chinese legend holds that a couple is bound at birth by an invisible red thread which continuously shrinks over the years until the couple is united in marriage. The legend says that nothing can sever it, not distance or changing circumstances. Marriage is their destiny
The ends of that red ribbon have come together today.
Friends and family, we have been invited here today to celebrate the union of Alexandra and Jonathan in their new lives together on this good Earth – as husband and wife.
Marriage is a sacred union – it creates a sweet spot in the fabric of our community. Our own connections are made stronger by their love and commitment. It is a center for our hearts, for our children, for our families and for our friends. It creates a holy, tender place for a child to grow in.
Einstein said that the most important question anyone can ask is “Is the Universe a friendly place?” Your answer affects whether your life is a battleground or a love story.
And who doesn’t love a good love story? But, this is not a fairy tale – these two are grounded in their intentions to pay attention not just when it is fun and exciting – like this moment – but when it’s inconvenient.
First reading:- Gift from the sea – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Second reading: Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 116
Homily begins here (weaving in beach venue and meaning of 1st and 2nd reading)
Every religion speaks about love because the human heart longs for it every day of our lives on this good Earth. Of course there are as many kinds of love - and misunderstandings of love - as there are kinds of Earth. The beach under your feet is a kind of Earth but can you rely upon it? The sand under our feet feels good but we want a rock upon which to build a life. As the last reading said, “Love is not love which alters when alteration finds…” But really sand might be a better metaphor for the way we need to change and grow. As the first reading mentioned “The only real security is living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.” The paradox is we need them both through the course of time.
Alexandra and Jonathan stand before you ready to make a pledge of love – and timelessness. There is nothing more sacred to offer to another human being –than our time and our love. Nothing is more profound or precious in a human life.
Einstein was a master of time and a pretty smart guy. He was surprisingly wise in the ways of the heart. This is what Einstein said about the five kinds of love that the Buddhists call mindful love.
The first quality of mindful love is ATTENTION and this is what Dr. Einstein said about attention:
“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”
The second step to mindful loving is APPRECIATION Einstein said this of appreciation: “There are two ways to live your life – one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.”
The third key to mindful loving is ACCEPTANCE and here is what Einstein said “Once we accept our limits, (only then can) we go beyond them. “
And of AFFECTION- the 4th key to mindful loving- Albert Einstein said this:
“Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts”.
Who knew Einstein was such a lover?
And finally the 5th quality of mindful loving is allowing –This is what Albert said of ALLOWING:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a ladder, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
* Derived from David Richo inspired book "The 5 Keys to Mindful Loving" How to be an adult in relationship