Tuesday, October 13, 2020

From Alienation to True Intimacy

     "Americans suffer inordinately with what therapists call problems of the self - an inability to self soothe; an inability to sustain a satisfying and cohesive sense of self over time; an inability to warmly love the self; an inability to maintain an ongoing sense of belonging and a deep sense of meaning and purpose in life. … we live cut off from a sense of our true deep mutual belonging & interdependence, and we suffer from a painful sense of separation – a separation from the life of the body; a separation from the hidden depths of life, its mystery and interiority; a separation from the source of our own guidance, wisdom, and compassion; and a separation from the life-giving roots of human community.”
       Stephen Cope. “The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living.” Bantam Books, 2006.

      “If you pin your hopes on things outside your control, taking upon yourself things which rightfully belong to others, you are liable to stumble, fall, suffer, and blame both gods and men.
      But if you focus your attention only on what is truly your own concern, and leave to others what concerns them, then you will be in charge of your interior life. No one will be able to harm or hinder you. You will blame no one, and have no enemies.”
       Epictetus (55 – 135 AD), Greek Stoic Philosopher

     "... the philosopher and psychologist Eugene Gendlin, creator of a therapeutic approach called ‘Focusing,’ beautifully clarifies the nature and character of what is known through interoception, the viewing & experiencing of the body from the inside. Gendlin developed the widely influential notion of ‘felt sense,’ referring to what the body knows directly of itself, without the mediation of the thinking mind. For Gendlin, the felt sense, the ability to know one’s own interior, somatic experience, is the 'open sesame' of successful psychotherapies.
     Through (body-centered meditation practices), we learn how to extend our awareness into our body and we begin to sense what is there ... we are softening the boundary between our highly intentional, restricted, conscious ego mind and the limitless, unconscious domain of the body. When we do this, our conscious mind begins to tap into and connect with the somatic awareness that is already going on - mostly unbeknownst to us - in our body. In this larger field of consciousness, we are still conscious but in a very different way.
     It is as if we are waking up, within our Soma, and we suddenly find ourselves in a new world. We are uncovering a completely different experience of what our body is. We begin to see that what we formerly took to be our body was just a made-up version with little correspondence to anything real. We find in our body previously unimaginable vistas of spaciousness, experience arising that is ever surprising & fresh, an endless world of possibilities for ourselves and our lives.”
      Reginald A. Ray. "The Awakening Body. Somatic Meditation for Discovering Our Deepest Life." Shambhala, 2016.

       “When we sit in meditation, we can discover a way of being that is very different from our typical interactions with the world. For the period of time that we sit, we agree within ourselves to quiet the familiar internal chatter that goes on most of the time. We sit so that we can discover in ourselves this capability for stillness, for intimacy with our self. We can uncover the heart.
     This process of stilling the mind and opening the heart brings a great feeling of ease that courses through the body, releasing the sensation of holding back, of fragility or tightness, and freeing us to work with the challenges of life. I call that true intimacy. When we can actually feel what we are feeling, experience what we are experiencing, and recognize what we are thinking, then we become intimate with ourselves. This intimacy is a closeness, a quality of interiority, a nearness. To be intimate with yourself is to be so attuned to your own feeling-state and mind-state and perception-state that nothing is hidden, your whole being is available to your life. In this intimacy with self, we begin to recognize the habits of thinking that stop us from living confidently, generously, and vigorously. And we begin to trust ourselves.”
      Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara. “Most Intimate. A Zen Approach to Life’s Challenges.” Shambhala, 2014.

     "In human relationships, as mutual love deepens, there comes a time when the two friends convey their exchanges without words. They can sit in silence sharing an experience or simply enjoying each other's presence without saying anything. Holding hands or a single word from time to time can develop this communication. This kind of relationship points to the level of interior silence ..." Fr. Thomas Keating

"The flute of interior time is played whether we hear it or not,
What we mean by 'love' is its sound coming in.
When love hits the farthest edge of excess, it reaches a wisdom.
And the fragrance of that knowledge!
It penetrates our thick bodies,
It goes through walls —
Its network of notes has a structure as if a million suns were arranged inside.
This tune has truth in it.
Where else have you heard a sound like this?"

May I meet this moment fully;
May I meet it as a friend
Sylvia Boorstein


Susan Paterson "Strawberries and Cream" fogforestgallery.ca

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