Saturday, September 8, 2007
East Village, Sept. 2007
My teacher gave a terrific talk on Thursday about intimacy. Not only how to be intimate with others, and let down all the barriers that prevent us from really knowing other people, but also how to be intimate with ourselves. Before we can know and trust anyone else, we have to really know, and really trust, our own self.
I am terrible at this. And even that sentence is an example.
I tend to intellectualize everything -- not that I’m particularly smart, but just that I see the world through a very cerebral lens. As a result, I often cut myself off from what I’m really feeling. My body and my emotions become secondary to intellect and reason.
I also label everything -- like calling myself “terrible” above. As my teacher said:
“For whatever reason, all the causes and conditions that have led to where we are right now, so often we pull away -- and we separate our self from our self. We tell ourselves we’re very bad or we tell ourselves we’re very good, and it really doesn’t matter which, except one feels a little better than the other temporarily. Or we ought to, or we should, or we can’t -- and we separate and we separate.”
She points out that sitting is a way of training ourselves to really BE with ourselves -- our physical being, our breath -- as we watch the mad scramble of our minds. It’s a way of learning intimacy. And boy, do I need that.
My teacher has been posting many of her dharma talks online, and if you’re interested, you can hear this talk here. It really spoke to me, reminding me of some of the elementary reasons for practice.