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Lions Roar : September 2017
sensitivities, preferences, ways of doing things, and, finally, their destiny. In the words of Swami Prajnanpad, “To see fully that the other is not you is the way to realizing one- ness. Love is the appreciation of difference.” Two partners not holding themselves separate, while remaining totally distinct—“not two, not one”—may seem like an impossible challenge in a relationship. Bernard Phil- lips, an early student of East/West psychology, likens this impossibility of relationship to a Zen koan, a riddle that cannot be solved with the conceptual mind. After continu- ally trying and failing to figure out the answer, Zen students arrive at a genuine solution only in the moment of finally giving up and giving in. In Phillips’ words: Every human being with whom we seek relatedness is a koan, that is to say, an impossibility. There is no formula for getting along with a human being. No technique will achieve relatedness. I am impossible to get along with; so is each one of you; all our friends are impossible; the members of our families are impossi- ble. How then shall we get along with them? ... If you are seeking a real encounter, then you must confront the koan represented by the other person. The koan is an invitation to enter into reality. In the end, to love another requires dropping all our narcissistic agendas, movies, hopes, and fears, so that we may look freshly and see “the raw other, the sacred other,” just as he or she is. This involves a surrender, or perhaps defeat, as in George Orwell’s words about being “defeated and broken up by life.” What is defeated, of course, is the ego and its strategies, clearing the way for the genuine person to emerge, the person who is capable of real, full-spectrum contact. The nobility of this kind of defeat is portrayed by Rilke in four powerful lines describing Jacob’s wrestling match with the angel: Winning does not tempt that man For this is how he grows: By being defeated, decisively, By constantly greater beings. In relationship, it is two partners’ greater beings, gradually freeing themselves from the prison of conditioned patterns, that bring about this decisive defeat. As this starts reverberat- ing through their relationship, old expectations finally give way, old movies stop running, and a much larger acceptance than they believed possible can start opening up between them. As they become willing to face and embrace whatever stands between them—old relational wounds from the past, personal pathologies, difficulties hearing and understand- ing each other, different values and sensitivities—they are invited to “enter into reality.” Then it becomes possible to start encountering each other nakedly, in the open field of nowness, fresh and unfabricated, the field of love forever vibrating with unimagined possibilities. ♦ CE’S AVAILABLE FOR NURSES AND SOCIAL WORKERS SENSEI KOSHIN PALEY ELLISON & SENSEI ROBERT CHODO CAMPBELL FOUNDAtIONS IN CONtEmpLAtIVE CARE: A tRANSFORmAtIVE tRAININg IN CAREgIVINg CONtEmpLAtIVE CARE REtREAt: JOy AND COURAgE IN CAREgIVINg ONLINE CONtEmpLAtIVE CARE SympOSIUm: LEARN FROm thE LEADERS IN pALLIAtIVE AND END-OF -LIFE CARE pRECEptS StUDy: LIVINg AN EthICAL LIFE September 2017-May 2018. Now taking applications CLASSES MEET TWO DAYS A MONTH October 19-22 . Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY Visit ny zccc.teachable.com September 2017- June 2018 ONE SUNDAY A MONTH TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR UPCOMING PROGRAMS AND EVENTS, VISIT ZEN-CARE.ORG 119 W. 23rd Street, #401, New York, NY 10011 NEW YORK ZEN CENTER FOR CONTEMPLATIVE CARE LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2017 80