Encountering Loneliness

There are no authentic cures or pop wisdom methods for freeing us from loneliness. It is not pathological that we experience loneliness but it in fact reflects something essential that is missing in our experience of being in life. If we take the time to explore beyond the barriers of learned convention into the depths from where these feelings emerge,  we may discover something more real about life than we have known since a shift to relating to the world through more superficial resources occurred.There are consequences for moving away from a more intimate way of relating to life that human conditioning requires.

From the description from Amazon, in “Zen Encounters with Loneliness” Terrance Keenan weaves together poetry, memoir, and raw insight to give voice to the lonely “nobody” in everyone. From his memories of early childhood to his struggles with addiction, writer’s block, and human relationship, Keenan delivers a heart-rending portrayal of the human hunger for selfhood and connection. Through his beautifully crafted literary reflections, he finds that Zen does not comfort our dream of being somebody, rather, it reveals connection only when we face who we really are—nobody. Zen Encounters intimately calls us to recognize that the well of emptiness is also a well of potential—to grow, learn, and overcome adversity.

I am enjoying this book. I find that Keenan explores some subtleties of existence and his relation to others and to life and how that has changed and allowed for a more authentic relating. There is much about our conditioned lives that prevents us from intimately knowing ourselves and Terrence Keenan looks to uncover some of  what is hidden and how we hide it in authentic heartfelt reflection. He touches a depth that many do not recognize, that our conditioning hides from us in our conventional lives. He probes even deeper into these depths with his poetry that captures what words can not.