John Amodeo is a licensed marriage and family therapist who has been engaged in Buddhist wisdom for more than 40 years. He lectures on love and relationships and can be reached at www.johnamodeo.com.
In this edifying paperback, Amodeo charts a spiritual life that is based on intimacy and mindful of the longings and feelings that comprise the dance of life. This emotionally engaged path emphasizes romantic love, friendship, and the ties which bind us together with others in all our relationships.
For Amodeo, the root of suffering is in disconnection and isolation. We exist in relationship and our connections with people are what give our life meaning and depth. The challenge of everyday experience is to savor the pleasure of intimacy with others and with ourselves. Amodeo gives us fresh approaches to attachment, desire, and positive thinking with his suggestion that we view all three through the lens of mindfulness. He believes meditation is a practice that can enrich our experience of self-intimacy. Amodeo wants us to honor the meaning of our longings and feelings:
"Feelings are a shorthand word for how life affects us, ranging from intense emotions to more nuanced feelings and sensations. Being open to life means attuning to our felt reactions to it. Being present with our ever-changing felt sense of being bodily alive requires a courageous mindfulness and holding what comes with kindness. This self-compassion creates a foundation for being kindly disposed toward others. As we become tender toward our own humanity, we can more readily extend our caring toward the world."
Intimacy as a sacred experience can be so abundant that it overflows into our relationships with nature and community in all of their diverse manifestations.
Dancing with Fire by John Amodeo offers fresh takes on attachment, desire, longing, love, intimacy and spiritual meaning in relationships.