Sunday, February 23, 2014

Direct Intimacy with Daily Life

     "Suddenly I was experiencing the vitality and immediacy of life itself - in the flowers, the people, the clamor of traffic - without the walls of resistance that human beings are heir to.
     What is this resistance? Why do we again and again resist our feelings of joy or happiness or love? We don't do it intentionally, but our conditioning, our habits of mind, and our culture all seem to work to build up the walls between what we naturally feel and what we allow ourselves to feel. Ironically, it is often the times when we are forced to feel intensely - times of grief, or physical pain - that catapult us into feeling joy. That is why we often hear people say they are grateful for the losses or difficulties they have encountered. They are grateful because the shock forced them into an intimacy with life that had been hidden from them. Intimacy seems hidden, but it is actually available to us all the time: in the world we inhabit with people, in the natural world, in our work, and in all our relationships. Once we are willing to be directly intimate with our life as it arises, joy emerges our of the simplest of life experiences."

       Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara "Simple Joy. Becoming Intimate with all of Life's Circumstances." Tricycle, Spring 2014 

William McIntosh

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