The Tao of Intimacy and Ecstasy by Solala Towler

The Tao of Intimacy and Ecstasy by Solala Towler

Author:Solala Towler
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Sounds True

Developing a Kind Heart

Developing a kind heart begins with compassion. What do we mean by compassion? It might mean our sense of shared suffering. It must also include a sense of sharing in the joy of others, for it is sharing such primal experiences and feelings that binds us, that gives us our sense of belonging to something larger than what we experience as individuals. It is in that shared sense of belonging that we may find some relief from, and perhaps even some solution to, the human dilemma.

We all want to be happy. That is a basic drive and need of the human race. It is also true that no one likes to suffer. But life in the material world has its share of suffering built into it. And while joy is easy to share, suffering often isolates us and cuts us off from what we need the most—the comfort and presence of others of our own kind, those others we share our suffering with, whether we realize it or not, simply by being alive. To develop a kind heart, we must share our suffering as well as our joy.

Lao Tzu says that we must treat favor and disgrace as the same thing. In other words, when things are going badly for us, we must remember that the seed of change is inherent in any situation, just as in the yin/yang symbol, the seed of one concept is inherent in the other. As we saw in chapter 2, when we explore yin/yang, change is inevitable. Conversely, when things are going really well for us, we must always keep in mind that things can change or even reverse in a moment. This does not mean that we need to live in fear; just that when we are on an up cycle, we must always remember not to get so carried away with ourselves that we are crushed when the downward cycle begins.

It is by opening our heart, as deeply and widely as possible to each unending moment, that we are able to flow with the challenges that life offers us. We must cultivate a deep sense of gratitude for all that we have in our life—our relationships, our work, our health, our family—whatever blessings we can recognize in our life. With gratitude comes grace. This means that if we approach our lives with a sense of gratitude and openness, our lives will become richer and more fulfilling.

To really experience and express this feeling of gratitude, it can help to give thanks daily for the meals we eat, the time we get to spend with loved ones, the fact that we have been given another day of life in this beautiful world. Get in the habit of blessing your food before each meal or begin each day with a brief prayer of thanks for another day of life. Even if you are living in dire circumstances, there is always something to be thankful for.

Taking the time to acknowledge what is good


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