August 6 – The Heart’s Pleasure – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

We are born with this need to cry our naked cry inside each other.

We are so shy about our sexuality that we often miss the quiet teachings that over come us in moments of true intimacy. The deep intensity of sensitivity during orgasm, for instance, is a sweet paradox in how we all cherish that moment and want to return there, over and over, and yet none of us can endure that ecstasy for very long.

This heightened moment reveals a great deal to us about both our very human limitations and our deepest moments of being alive. It is not by chance that we feel compelled to be naked and vulnerable in the presence of another, that despite all our fears and defensive styles, we want to be held and touched completely just at the moment when we are unbearably sensitive.

This is the heart’s definition of pleasure, and though we need this moment of exposure and release to feel complete, we also must accept that we cannot bear it for very long.This is why the cries of ecstasy and agony often sound the same. That we need to feel such complete sensitivity and vulnerability in union with another is proof that no one can live this life alone. In this way, true intimacy cannot happen without trust. When we let our bodies become this sensitive while holding back the heart, we forego ecstasy and experience its smaller echo, climax.

In actuality, this moment of ecstasy, of holding nothing back, can be experienced not just during sex, but in the being and doing and truth telling of all our relationships—in the ecstatic moment when we allow ourselves to be completely revealed and held at the same time. In this daring and fragile moment, the heart rehearses all its gifts: being who we really are, holding nothing back, trusting another, being complete, and witnessing the completeness of another.

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