Dominion of heart, our path into sacred intimacy
In his timely book, “Dancing with Fire: A Mindful Way to Loving Relationships,” John Amodeo wisely provides us with the insight and wisdom related to what we must become aware of when pursuing a spiritual life.
He says, “When our pursuit of our spirituality becomes disconnected from our longing for intimacy, we perpetuate a dissonance between our spiritual views and our human experience.”
Our human experience includes our heart and our body’s felt intelligence. This interaction between our self and with another human being invites a sacred intimacy that is the dominion of the heart.
I think our heart sense invites us to be with the sacred experience of intimacy; it also may open the way to potential transcendence from individual and collective annihilation.
Through the profound wisdom of nature, our heart has been calibrated in such a way that it may never be completely fulfilled.
True as this may be for each of us, we do experience temporary fulfillment with others when we listen, and learn to attune ourselves to what lives within and beneath our desires, and to allow ourselves to experience our innate longing for connection.
In his book, “How to Be an Adult in Relationships,” David Richo informs us of how love from another adult can satisfy us beyond the present moment.
“It ripples back in time for us, repairing, restoring and renovating an inadequate past!” Our spiritual path develops, as Amodeo wisely describes “through authentic relationships.”
Perhaps this is what underlies our spiritual quest – our heart’s longing for meaningful connection. Our longing is bodily felt. We live our longing through our proprioceptive, visceral process.
When we are open to sense our longing, our desires arise.
Many of us have been wounded emotionally and psychologically in our history; a history that has informed us that we should be ashamed to reflect and sense our desires.
However, if we allow ourselves to listen to what we haven’t embraced within us, we open our inner gates to what Richo describes as the five A’s: “attention, acceptance, appreciation and affection.”
We affirm our life, as well as the lives that we interact with, when we allow ourselves the opportunity to be loved and to love in this way.
Our inclination toward intimacy can be intricately woven into our spiritual journey. As we include intimacy with self and others on our spiritual path, we gradually recognize and become attracted to what we identify as spirituality.
However, when listening to our quiet wisdom, we discover more than what we think spirituality is. John Amodeo points to this realization as, “a longing for connection!”
And, when we accept our longing for connection, we discover further that:
“An authentic spiritual life coaxes us beyond the boundaries of our own skin. Opening our heart to a felt sense of something larger than ourselves frees us from a prison of isolation. Life touches us in tender, surprising ways, as we befriend our sacred longing.”
If we choose to develop an “intimacy-based life,” the personal “me” at the center of our universe becomes permeable without a self-image to protect or hold on to.
Amodeo continues this realization by saying, “Instead, there is a flow of interactions, an ease of relating to whatever comes our way, an availability to engage wholeheartedly in our daily encounters.
“As the cult of the individual yields to a celebration of our interconnectedness, we live with a more porous, accessible heart.”
I am reminded of a wonderful story someone shared with me about her dying grandfather. One afternoon, she walked into her grandfather’s nursing home to visit him, and she greeted him with “How are you, Grandpa?”
He rose up from his bed, and he said, “Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!” She smiled and asks him why he was feeling beautiful. He responded by saying, “I watched two people get married, and at their age, they can still love!”
He annunciated once again, “Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,” and she experienced this glowing sensation through her immediate experience with her grandpa, whom both in that miraculous moment transcend beyond their individual hardships to embrace what John Amodeo referred to as a “sacred experience.”
It is an intimacy-based life that invites and naturally allows “the cult” of our individuality to yield and celebrate our interconnectedness, as we experience this wonderful flow of a porous and more accessible receptive heart!
In my upcoming columns, I will focus more upon how spirituality yields us into “intimacy as a sacred experience,” by exploring five areas that Amodeo discusses: presence, equanimity, compassion, loving kindness toward ourselves and others, mindfulness/self-awareness, right speech/kind communication.
Thank you John for the wonderful gift of your book, and for sharing your timely wisdom with all of us!
May we continue upon our journey of intimate connection as a sacred experience. Tea is always steeping in the pot with two or more cups ready to share. Until we engage in intimate connection – beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!