June 20, 2011

Where is the Joy?

Week 3 of Zen teacher Ezra Bayda's Tricycle Retreat, "Relationships, Love, and Spiritual Practice" begins today! So far the retreat has been quite a success with lots of fruitful discussion as Ezra takes us deeper and deeper into the dynamics of relationships and the obstructions that plague them. Ezra's Week 3 talk begins:

Last week, we talked a lot about being present with our fears and about feeling them. Now it's possible that all of this may sound quite bleak to you. Perhaps it seems like a one-sided or somewhat dark view of relationships. Maybe you'd rather just lighten up and forget all about the grim talk of working with your pain and fear. Maybe you want to ask questions like, "What about the joy in relationships?" The answer to this is obvious: if we could simply lighten up and find joy in our relationship, we would! But to the extent that there are difficulties in our relationships and even to the extent that our good relationships can become better, we have to be willing to work with our own particular blind spots and stuck places.

There was a 19th century Christian existentialist named Soren Kierkegaard who came up with the great line, "Perfect love is to love the one through whom you became unhappy." If you want to put this another way, the more we work with our own reactions the more the path is clear for love to naturally flow through us. See, we don't have to open our own hearts. The heart is already open. But what we have to do is work with the obstructions that prevent us from experiencing that openness.

To take part in this retreat and further explore your own obstructions, open heart, and joy, please become a Tricycle Community Sustaining or Supporting Member.

 

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