There is an important distinction between intimacy and merging. To be intimate means to be very close, familiar, or friendly with someone or something. Spacious intimacy refers to an essential closeness. In regard to people, we know the apparent other as an expression of our deepest nature as spacious awareness. They are not essentially separate from us, even as they are clearly distinct. It sounds paradoxical, but it is a question of levels. We feel a shared ground with others and, at the same time, acknowledge and even celebrate their diverse, individualized form. Metaphorically, the same ocean gives rise to countless unique waves. True intimacy requires autonomy. We are able to be very close and to stand on our own. This is not something that the ego can do. ~John Prendergast
our unique offerings are a bit intangible….. mesmerizing mish-mash not always readily acceptable- yet we endear ourselves with honesty…….and we soon learn there is much soft power in our reactions to others…..be kind, be kind……..
When we talk of the bodhisattva vow in Buddhism, we talk about extending our arms and our hearts outward, about reaching out to the whole world and embracing all, without exception. We talk about truly seeing the ones standing before us and loving them deeply, just as they are, with their many faults. That’s the secret of the spiritual path. ~Vanessa Sasson
Here’s the good news and the bad news: human beings can be greatly influenced by those around them. It means that when we behave badly (and we all have our moments,) we encourage others to do likewise- and when we have a moment of remembering our shared humanity, that too can ripple out.
Walking down a main street in Toronto during rush hour, I paused to help an elderly woman who was walking toward me, crossing the street. She was vibrant and shining but a little shaky on the uneven pavement. No big deal. To my amazement, the bumper to bumper traffic not only paused to let us cross slowly, but then waited until I returned to the other side of the street to continue on my way.
I hadn’t expected that, had turned prepared to wait for cars to go through, but several drivers smiled and waved me across. I waved back in thanks. Honestly, I could have been in the village of twelve hundred close to the rural home where I lived for a decade. But I was in this huge, noisy, busy city where drivers were jockeying for position on crowded roads at the end of a long work day.
It lifted my heart to be reminded that we all have generosity within us and a thousand little opportunities to take turns encouraging each other to behave well every day. I know it was a small thing that did not ask much of anyone in the moment, but It felt like- we might just pull this living together thing off after all.
~Oriah Mountain Dreamer