Passionate Encounters — Living Passionately

  1. Intimacy as a Way Inside
  2. Intimacy and Passion in Relationships
  3. Passion’s Flow
  4. Passionate Encounters — Living Passionately
  5. Passionate Engagement

Passionate Encounters — Living Passionately — many people want to talk about, or define passion. Far better to live it as we encounter true being. Featuring ideas from my most popular book, This Endless Moment 2nd. edition

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Many moons ago, I got into an online discussion about passion.

There quickly developed two “camps”: one espousing the experience or expression of passion, and the other wishing to ‘define passion.’ Here’s what I wrote:

The penultimate Western (ideologically, not geographically) obsession seems to be with “meaning making.” I suspect this is a left-over from the ‘ego project’ — the socialization and ego boundary building that is the basis of infancy, childhood and adolescence — and its emphasis on objectification, naming, individuation and intellectualizing meanings.

An Eastern approach, on the other hand, might be described as “simply noticing.”

Now, I think that the ego project is only supposed to be one stop along the way of a life long “train trip” (to steal Ben & Jock’s train story from The New Manual for Life.) And what if the next step beyond the ego project is “letting go and simply noticing?”

To take this next step requires our willingness to “transcend and include” — we bring our egos with us, along with our need to make meaning. In other words, we build upon the previous step as opposed to getting stuck there.

I’m pretty good at meaning making, and yet it has never occurred to me to wonder what I “should” be “doing with,” nor “what is the meaning of” my passion. To ask, “Whatever will I do with my passion, should I ever allow myself to release any blocks I have to it?” seems to me designed to keep me firmly in my head, and as far away from feeling my passion as is possible.

Passion, from a Bodywork perspective, resides in the pelvic, second chakra region, which corresponds to the Lower Dan Tien (the storehouse for chi) in Chinese theory. A major block for passion is at the diaphragm level, which corresponds to third chakra, (self esteem — big surprise, eh?) and perhaps to kidneys.

Again, in the Chinese system, kidneys are both “the feet that propel us forward” and the locus of fear. My life often feels like I’ve got one foot on the accelerator, one foot on the brake. My sense is that I am blocking myself from total engagement with life, surely out of fear.

I’m trying to say that the free flow of passion is one piece, and the choice of expression, another. Thus, I concur with Ben Wong’s comment that:

Passion is the pressure of the soul to be expressed.”

One of the ways, I “free my passion” is through painting. Some years ago, I was staring at a photo I like. I became aware of an energy crawling up my spine, and began to imagine a painting. My head quickly dismissed this, as I “had no time.”

Never Quite Sure — painting by Wayne C. Allen

I patted my little head, which was busy coming up with all kinds of reasons not to paint, went out into the garage, grabbed my easel and a canvas — and 7 hours later the painting was almost finished. First “real” painting (as opposed to “touching up” old paintings) I’d done in a decade. I finished it the next night.

To wrap this up, I’m suggesting that one goal of the ego project is to teach us to tighten up and behave. There is little tolerance for passion in our tribes. We learn socially acceptable releases — sports, sex, etc. — but are reluctant to really let go, for fear of “what happens next.”

Indeed, clients, upon feeling the chi and passion flow, (which is directly the result of the “letting go” of the tightness, accompanied by the release of emotions) will often exclaim, “This is terrific, but what do I do with it?”

My answer: “Be with it, and see what emerges.” Sometimes a poem. Sometimes a painting. Sometimes a dance. Elegant therapy. A warm embrace. A passionate encounter. Or a quiet moment as Amazing Grace plays and the sun sets.

>I’ve lost my desire to know about passion.
It seems enough to simply be in its flow.

About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

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