Sacred Partnership

“Self inside self, you are nothing but me. Self inside self, I am only you. What we are together will never die. The why and now of this? What does it matter?” Lalla (1320-1392, the 14th Century North Indian female mystic)

BlueLotus

The majority of us search for the idealistic notion of, ‘true love’. To share our lives with an unfathomable beloved, in which we find complete union through the depth of love and bliss of the partnership. The search for such a sacred union is rarely the reality. There are numerous factors that determine the partner that we end up with in life; if we are meant to have a long relationship, numerous partners, or no partner at all. Obviously, for those who know the law of karma as a reality, we may have some unfinished business to share with another person, thus attracting partnerships that may not be as ideal as we had envisioned.

We always attract what we embody within ourselves. Thus, the true depth of finding this divine love and keeping the essence of this union burning, often has more to do with who we are on an inner level. This can be seen as our personal relationship with ourselves, as well as our level of maturity in life.

I felt inspired to write about love and partnership, after celebration the 15th year anniversary with my husband. We meant in our middle twenties and despite a life of constant change and challenges; we have endured. The truth of the matter, is that we have more than endured, we are living a relationship that is a ‘sacred union’. As with most new relationships when we first meant, we experienced a depth of love that seemed to transcend time, space, and causality, it was as though we had always known each other, effortlessly merged into one another; as separate entities, yet as one. This experience of fathomless love, true friendship and the depth of connection has endured for 15 years, despite facing more challenges in our time together, than one can imagine.

I have several absolutely beautiful female friends who are constantly moving through various partnerships, that come and go. These friends are constantly searching for their ‘sacred partner’ to share their life with, yet are not seeming to find this ideal person.

The truth of the matter is that, who you are as a person greatly depends on who you attract to yourself. In the case of my husband and myself, when we meant, both of us were very much focused on living a spiritual life. Thus, we were constantly finding greater self awareness and working with our self reflexivity, towards understanding our own minds. When we dedicate our life to this practice, we realize that everything in the transient external world, including other people will never make us happy; we must find true joy and contentment on an inner level. Therefore, when we came together, we were not dependent on each other for eternal love, peace, or happiness. Instead, throughout our time together we have always been very independent people, working on ourselves, yet sharing our space with each other; without the projected dependence of trying to extract love or joy from each other.

Of course, when you find a life long partnership that is very powerful, there are often other factors. We apparently have no, ‘karmic’ ties between us, meaning we were not brought together to work out some karmic lesson, which is a good thing. Instead, our relationship, is referred to as a ‘spouse of destiny’, as one vedic astrologer told me. We are together to evolve spiritually through our partnership. In this way, we have never tried to change each other, instead we have always allowed the uniqueness of each other to shine forth, supporting the strengths and beauty of our own personal evolution.

In my experience, even the most compatible partnership there will still be issues and fights. Yet, when we take self responsibility for our words and actions, it is easier to reach a greater understanding of the other person’s point of view. Another factor essential in maintaining clear communication and harmony, that I learned from my husband, is the ability to be very honest and straightforward. Thus, when there are differences of opinion, when discussed directly, the issue can be resolved very efficiently and quickly.

The energy of love, is a universal energy that is not just allocated to people in ‘love’, thus with this understanding there is greater compassion and compromise when facing difficult situations. It is my opinion that no one should settle for a mediocre or dependent relationship, it is far more productive to be alone. I have always said, ‘never settle for less’, even if that means you abstain from dating for a certain period of time, this will help to give the capacity to be detached and find an awareness of what the most complimentary partnership looks like.

The truth is that the advice I give to others, is the same advice I have used in my own life. When I was in my very early twenties, I had the great opportunity to travel and live all over the world for over six years. Thus, at that time in my life, I also understood very clearly what I was seeking, through the clarity of my own understanding of myself and the partner I wanted to spend my life with. I focused most of my energy living in other countries, travelling,  and doing sadhana. Instead, I waited very patiently for a partner that I could spend my life with, rather than the constantly revolving relationships that I had already witnessed.

Through this practice, I did find much more than a partner to share my life with, I have a sacred partnership with a man who is an extremely strong person, an infinitely kind human being, who tries his best to live his life with awareness. There are few people like my husband, yet we walk the same path, as individuals that are forged as one. Even as time passes, our moments together are as new as if we have just meant, yet are steeped in a profound love and strength that is unmeasurable and eternal. I know many people who also share such relationships, with constant work on ourselves, all things are possible.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2014

Advertisements

Into The Stillness

“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found.” Pema Chodron

Lotus_Flower_IMG_1463-375X450

Like all of us searching for a life of meaning and inspiration, there have been many times in my life where I have found a sense of deep joy; despite there being many factors in my life that would instead, compel a sense of unhappiness. As we all have realized in life, happiness is not dependent on our external circumstance. Of course, there are numerous connections that we experience where we are intrinsically tied to some event or shared experience with another that makes us feel happiness.

However, the truth of the matter is that regardless of our ability to see the external experience as bringing us joy, or if we can feel that the joy was actually already there. The reason that we were able to perceive this sense of happiness, that already existed within us, is that we were able to focus our minds on the present moment to such a degree that we experience a slowing of the mind. Similarly, when we invoke any kind of meditative, spiritual practice, or anything that allows us to use extreme focus, bringing our minds more to the present moment with a concentrated focus. It is during this silencing of the mind that we can tap into the inner joy that exists within all of us and is not dependent on any external stimuli.

I came to realize this experience through spending most of my life doing hatha yoga. This practice has fluctuated in my life, since I started almost thirty years ago, despite the fact that I am only forty years old. Yet, something has remained consistent, the deep inner peace generated. I noticed this when I was very young, through holding each asana for a duration of time, I would experience a deep sense of peace. Now, I don’t hold any posture for long, yet feel plunged into the present moment with each asana, each breath is a mantra and the focus becomes very concentrated. Through this practice, there is a bubbling of such inner joy, its like a warmth that spreads throughout my being, delivering a deep inner peace and contentment.

Most of us who have tried doing yoga maybe have not felt this type of experience. There are many reasons for this, the most obvious is that most of us go to classes, where our attention is very much outwardly directed. The second, is that the focus on proper posture has overtaken the body culture, that yoga has always been in the West. Proper posture is important, yet there are many schools of yoga that focus to such a degree on posture, it actually takes you completely away from the internal experience.

Despite having started doing yoga in the late 80’s, including going to classes in the early 90’s, my first opportunity to properly study Yoga was in India in 1997 when I did my teachers training at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala South India. Since this time I have continued to study with numerous well known teachers who specialize in various styles. Currently I do a combination of postures that have some Iyengar with a very energetic focus on the breath, using mantras for each inhale and each exhale.

This practice is very physical, yet allows the practitioner to go within to such a degree that your awareness can exist physically and energetically. However, doing any practice is a cumulation of repetitions that generates a specific energetic result. Each posture, like continuously chanting the same mantra, invokes a certain energetic response. Thus, the more one practices doing asana the more power the energetic experience one will have. The most important aspect of any practice is to allow our minds to slow down, where we can experience a deeper sense of inner peace and happiness.

When we can just let go of our self imposed ideas on what ‘mood’ we should assume, based on the day’s events. If we can just allow ourselves a small moment of being in the present moment; all possibilities open up and we realize that we can experience happiness and inner peace, regardless of what preconceived stress and ‘suffering’ we may be enduring.

The human mind is a very unpredictable aspect of our human experience, thus no one is static and perfected in any idealistic way. Thus, through the storm, we can find ways of experiencing peace and joy, even while we are surfing the eye of the hurricane. Inevitable, something inextricably amazing may be waiting right around the corner for us.

It has been my experience in life that if we cling too hard or long to painful experiences, we miss out on the beautiful gifts that are waiting for us to discover them. Thus, the goal of doing any spiritual practice or self improvement, is to move beyond extreme reaction, to have more equanimity, where we can experience suffering, yet allow it to be released; to make space for joy. Through our practices, may we find deep inner peace and joy.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2014