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Lions Roar : March 2015
I AM STRUCK BY HOW DIFFICULT it is to get back to something we knew to be true once we have been converted, forced by circumstances, or simply denied and turned away from that knowledge, to whatever lonely mess we have managed to make since. It is as though the experience of unhappiness were more valid than that of joy. We all know the experience of wanting something badly, only to have it disappear as we approach it. Rarely do we look at the wanting self. My shadow- less shadow. We don’t cope with much grace, neither the grace of civility, nor the grace of physical being, nor the grace of the spirit. There is at bottom no real distinction between them any- way. Perhaps I am too often absent from my own being. When I was eighteen or nineteen, I lived with my parents and sisters on Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands. At the northeast tip of the island is a mountain pine forest called Las Mercedes. We lived a short ride from there, near the old city of La Laguna. One day I determined to take a camping trip to the forest. I borrowed a sleeping bag from a colleague of my No One Is Alone In this preview of Zen Encounters with Loneliness, TERRANCE KEENAN suddenly feels a welling love burst in him. Although in that instant there is no him—only the forest. HOT OFF THE PRESS SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2015 72