”Why Not To Lose Yourself In A Relationship”

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“The only person you should ever fear losing in a relationship is you yourself.” 
― Miya Yamanouchi

If you’re anything like me, the minute you commit yourself to a partner, everything starts to revolve around him or her. You want to make sure you meet his or her needs, but you’re also unconsciously always thinking of ways to make him or her happy. You genuinely like striving to be the perfect partner. Totally understandable. But while you’re submerging yourself in the life of this other person, you may not be making your own the priority it should be.

How do you find the balance between giving to your partner and holding onto yourself in the process?

The goal of a relationship is to be close and still maintain an identity as a separate person. When people are in an individuated state(link is external), they are happier and more optimistic. They have a stronger sense of themselves so they are capable of more intimacy, love and passion in their relationship.

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The only way to stay yourself in a relationship:-

Maintain your interests: –When two people fall in love, they experience themselves and each other as separate individuals with distinct identities, and their own ideas, interests and friends.  Their individuality makes them interesting to each other.

* Maintain interests that were important to you before becoming involved in your relationship.

* Keep up friendships that were important to you when you were single.

* Encourage your partner to maintain interests that have always been meaningful to him/her.

* Support your partner maintaining friendships that were important to him/her before knowing you.

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Establish meaningful communication: –Two people sharing life together have much to talk about. It is important for them to develop an open and compassionate style of talking and listening to one another.

* Keep your communication with your partner meaningful by making sure it is more than from just small talk, superficial chit-chat or practical conversations.

* Make time to sit down together and talk about yourselves personally.

* Make eye contact with one another when you talk.

* Don’t just discuss your relationship or the kids; each of you should make a point to talk about him/herself while the other listens.

* Listen to your partner with compassion and without judgment; with the same respect, you would offer any other human being.

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Give importance to your sexual relationship:-Sexuality is not only an intimate expression of love between two people, it is a significant aspect of who you are as an adult. Pay attention to your sexuality: enjoy the playfulness of flirting, the tenderness of affectionate contact, and the passion of lovemaking.

* Be flirtatious: it’s intimate, sexy and it’s fun! It is also a way of acknowledging each other as a separate people.

* Make time to be romantic, plan a date night. Give romance equal time to the other aspects of your life together (children, career, etc.).

* Be fully present in your lovemaking. Maintain eye contact, talk; shut out the rest of the world and really be together.

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''UNDERSTANDING LETTING GO AND GOING WITH THE FLOW''

What has to happen inside a person before he can let go of attachments that are harming him? The attachment can be physical, such as a house or keepsake; it can be emotional, such as resentment about an incident or fear of an unwanted outcome. Attachments can be needs—the need to understand everything completely, or the need to force things into an order he can manage. Attachments can be relationships or jobs, or even dreams.

By the time we’ve reached midlife, most of us have had to grapple with an attachment that needed detaching. We will go through this many times before we’re done with our journeys. It might help us to reflect on what the process of detachment is for us because each of us has a process that is unique to our personality, history, and situation.

”When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need”.

While sitting in a Tibetan temple sanctuary, after days of silence in a meditation retreat, I suddenly felt a strong flow of energy and awareness falling deep into the cave of the heart, that spaciousness to the right of the center of the chest that the great Indian sage ”Guru Rama” described as a connecting point with pure consciousness. Although I had been a meditator and a student of spiritual traditions for many years, there was still a twinge of fear, as the sensation was one of losing myself, my mind, my history — losing everything I knew if I allowed myself to fall.

Among the fearful impulses, there was a single thought that arose to support me: “I don’t care if I lose it all — I’ve wanted freedom all my life”. At this, consciousness began falling, falling through my body and into another space, one that had the sensation of ever-expanding light ether, the kinesthetic feeling of love, and the quality of no-boundary, no limitation and no me. Awareness was above a vast sea that I now feel represented human thinking and confusion, where arms were outreached to be pulled out. I had fallen out of my mind! The heart was so expanded with radiant love it felt as if it had burst.

I’ve no idea how long this vision lasted, or when awareness of separation returned along with my body. I had no interpretation at the moment, only the sensation of ecstasy. Later that night I was wired with energy and consumed by joy, so I sat in my car in order not to disturb all the people at the retreat who were sleeping, and I shouted my thanks to all the people and moments in my life that had led up to this experience. I felt completely graced and completely connected to every part of the universe.

This was the most profound letting go of my life.

Since that day I have found many other moments in which letting go was the only way to freedom. Every day there is an opportunity to hold on to a belief, a position, a painful memory or resentment, irritation, or having my own way. In spiritual circles, the focus is often surrendered, and students struggle to “surrender” themselves in hopes of discovering more of who they are. But this letting go is much more clear. It is simply not allowing a thought to control the moment, but instead to step aside and consider “Perhaps this does not matter.” To what degree is the belief, position, emotion or memory really supporting the Truth you are seeking, the spiritual depth you desire, the quality of life or relationship you have committed to? Aren’t most of the things to which you hold the only habit? Aren’t they just the patterns of an identity that defines you as separate?

We, humans, get caught in our conditioned systems, like computers that keep spinning at those moments we are seeking new information. As long as they spin we cannot see what we need. Our recycling thoughts hold us back from the grace of the moment, by generating fear, doubt, stubbornness, resistance, depression, anger — we each have our own unique patterns. The concept of surrender makes us feel we will completely let go of ourselves forever. The thought itself tends to cause resistance as all the other parts of us that want the expression to stand up to be counted. But letting go can happen at any moment, and needs to happen moment-by-moment when we are faced with the parts of our personal identity that are blocking our ability to be free. It is not a forever releasing, at least not at first. We can grow into it. It is in the small moments of taking a position we can learn to let go.

There are many opportunities to practice letting go. We can let go when there is a flush of anger when we are cut off by a car, or by someone in line. We can let go of resentment when someone gets a promotion we missed. We can let go of thinking about the time we said the wrong thing in an embarrassing moment. We can let go of believing we are not good enough to awaken or experience the truth of who we are. We can let go of beliefs about ourselves, about others, even about our spiritual traditions.

These kinds of letting go opportunities do not trigger a permanent shift at first, but are a practice. Some letting goes just happens, like a wave of energy that passes through and drifts into the ethers. At others we must sit with the energy of our feelings, allowing awareness to fully fall into and penetrate what is beneath, get at the deeper feeling or memory, and meet it with love and acceptance. Very often the hurt of the moment is simply a recycling of an event in the past that has not been released energetically. Meeting it with compassion opens our capacity to let it go and to be free to meet whatever will arise next with more openness and dispassion.

Letting go of an issue or position or feeling does not mean one does not respond. It allows the response to come from a deeper place with more clarity and less emotion, to see possibilities that did not exist before. I had a friend tell me once that her grandfather, an American, had taught her to always look for 3 explanations for whatever arises. I’ve found this an intriguing way to explore those things I might disagree about or fail to understand. It promotes openness, creativity and the willingness to let go of a locked-in point of view. It encourages looking from the heart and not just the head, which is primarily governed by those recycling thoughts of our history and conditioning.

”Holding on is believing that there’s a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future”.

Letting go of the little things allows a quality of peace and appreciation to grow within because it opens up much space inside of us where we have been holding on to old out-dated experiences — much like a closet needs to be emptied out from time to time. Awakening to our true nature requires an empty closet, a quiet and open space inside, a fearless meeting of nothing. We can be filled with grace when we are willing to let go of what we think and feel even momentarily, and just be completely open to this very moment. Letting go of the little things is a way to prepare for the beauty of realizing what really matters to you if you are seeking spiritual liberation.

”The truth is unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”

Pain will leave you when you let go”

”UNDERSTANDING LETTING GO AND GOING WITH THE FLOW”

What has to happen inside a person before he can let go of attachments that are harming him? The attachment can be physical, such as a house or keepsake; it can be emotional, such as resentment about an incident or fear of an unwanted outcome. Attachments can be needs—the need to understand everything completely, or the need to force things into an order he can manage. Attachments can be relationships or jobs, or even dreams.

By the time we’ve reached midlife, most of us have had to grapple with an attachment that needed detaching. We will go through this many times before we’re done with our journeys. It might help us to reflect on what the process of detachment is for us because each of us has a process that is unique to our personality, history, and situation.

”When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need”.

While sitting in a Tibetan temple sanctuary, after days of silence in a meditation retreat, I suddenly felt a strong flow of energy and awareness falling deep into the cave of the heart, that spaciousness to the right of the center of the chest that the great Indian sage ”Guru Rama” described as a connecting point with pure consciousness. Although I had been a meditator and a student of spiritual traditions for many years, there was still a twinge of fear, as the sensation was one of losing myself, my mind, my history — losing everything I knew if I allowed myself to fall.

Among the fearful impulses, there was a single thought that arose to support me: “I don’t care if I lose it all — I’ve wanted freedom all my life”. At this, consciousness began falling, falling through my body and into another space, one that had the sensation of ever-expanding light ether, the kinesthetic feeling of love, and the quality of no-boundary, no limitation and no me. Awareness was above a vast sea that I now feel represented human thinking and confusion, where arms were outreached to be pulled out. I had fallen out of my mind! The heart was so expanded with radiant love it felt as if it had burst.

I’ve no idea how long this vision lasted, or when awareness of separation returned along with my body. I had no interpretation at the moment, only the sensation of ecstasy. Later that night I was wired with energy and consumed by joy, so I sat in my car in order not to disturb all the people at the retreat who were sleeping, and I shouted my thanks to all the people and moments in my life that had led up to this experience. I felt completely graced and completely connected to every part of the universe.

This was the most profound letting go of my life.

Since that day I have found many other moments in which letting go was the only way to freedom. Every day there is an opportunity to hold on to a belief, a position, a painful memory or resentment, irritation, or having my own way. In spiritual circles, the focus is often surrendered, and students struggle to “surrender” themselves in hopes of discovering more of who they are. But this letting go is much more clear. It is simply not allowing a thought to control the moment, but instead to step aside and consider “Perhaps this does not matter.” To what degree is the belief, position, emotion or memory really supporting the Truth you are seeking, the spiritual depth you desire, the quality of life or relationship you have committed to? Aren’t most of the things to which you hold the only habit? Aren’t they just the patterns of an identity that defines you as separate?

We, humans, get caught in our conditioned systems, like computers that keep spinning at those moments we are seeking new information. As long as they spin we cannot see what we need. Our recycling thoughts hold us back from the grace of the moment, by generating fear, doubt, stubbornness, resistance, depression, anger — we each have our own unique patterns. The concept of surrender makes us feel we will completely let go of ourselves forever. The thought itself tends to cause resistance as all the other parts of us that want the expression to stand up to be counted. But letting go can happen at any moment, and needs to happen moment-by-moment when we are faced with the parts of our personal identity that are blocking our ability to be free. It is not a forever releasing, at least not at first. We can grow into it. It is in the small moments of taking a position we can learn to let go.

There are many opportunities to practice letting go. We can let go when there is a flush of anger when we are cut off by a car, or by someone in line. We can let go of resentment when someone gets a promotion we missed. We can let go of thinking about the time we said the wrong thing in an embarrassing moment. We can let go of believing we are not good enough to awaken or experience the truth of who we are. We can let go of beliefs about ourselves, about others, even about our spiritual traditions.

These kinds of letting go opportunities do not trigger a permanent shift at first, but are a practice. Some letting goes just happens, like a wave of energy that passes through and drifts into the ethers. At others we must sit with the energy of our feelings, allowing awareness to fully fall into and penetrate what is beneath, get at the deeper feeling or memory, and meet it with love and acceptance. Very often the hurt of the moment is simply a recycling of an event in the past that has not been released energetically. Meeting it with compassion opens our capacity to let it go and to be free to meet whatever will arise next with more openness and dispassion.

Letting go of an issue or position or feeling does not mean one does not respond. It allows the response to come from a deeper place with more clarity and less emotion, to see possibilities that did not exist before. I had a friend tell me once that her grandfather, an American, had taught her to always look for 3 explanations for whatever arises. I’ve found this an intriguing way to explore those things I might disagree about or fail to understand. It promotes openness, creativity and the willingness to let go of a locked-in point of view. It encourages looking from the heart and not just the head, which is primarily governed by those recycling thoughts of our history and conditioning.

”Holding on is believing that there’s a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future”.

Letting go of the little things allows a quality of peace and appreciation to grow within because it opens up much space inside of us where we have been holding on to old out-dated experiences — much like a closet needs to be emptied out from time to time. Awakening to our true nature requires an empty closet, a quiet and open space inside, a fearless meeting of nothing. We can be filled with grace when we are willing to let go of what we think and feel even momentarily, and just be completely open to this very moment. Letting go of the little things is a way to prepare for the beauty of realizing what really matters to you if you are seeking spiritual liberation.

”The truth is unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”

Pain will leave you when you let go”

''Love, Affection Or God Connection''

Most of us have been confused about love all of our lives. In fact, we often begin the inner life as a search-conscious or unconscious- for a source of love that can’t be taken away. We may have grown up feeling unloved or believing we had to perform heroic feats to deserve love. Our parents, the movies we see, our cultural and religious milieu give us ideas about love that goes on influencing us long after we have forgotten their source. When we read spiritual books and encounter teachers, our understanding about love can get even more complicated, because depending on what we read or whom we study with, we get slightly different takes on what love means in spiritual life.

Some teachers tell us that our essence is love; others say love is a passion, an emotion that leads to addiction and clinging. If we’re often taught that the way to enlightenment is to fall in love with God and let that grow until it engulfs us and we become one with the Beloved. If we’re on a more knowledge-based yogic path, we may be taught to look askance at the feelings of bliss and love that arise in practice, because we’re told, the spaciousness that is our goal beyond such feelings. We are soon left to wonder where the truth lies in all of this. When spiritual teachers use the word love, what kind of love are they talking about? Is Eros(romantic or sexual love) really different from agape, the so-called unconditional or spiritual love? Is devotional love the same as compassion, or love for humanity? Is love something we have to feel, or is it enough to offer kindness and direct positive thoughts toward ourselves and others? And how is it that some teachers tell us that love is both the path and the goal, while others seem to ignore the subject altogether?

In spiritual life alone, the word love is used in at least three ways and our experience and understanding of love will differ according to which aspect of it we are thinking about. for the sake of discussion, let’s refer to these three aspects of love as:-

  • Absolute Love, or the Great Love,
  • Individual Love;
  • Love As Sadhana.

”Absolute Love”-

Love with a capital L: That’s that Great Love, love as the source of everything, love as radical unity. At this level, love is another name for Absolute Reality, Supreme Consciousness, God, the Tao, the Source- that vast presence thee Shaivite tradition sometimes calls the Heart. The yoga tradition often describes Absolute Reality – meaning that it is pure begins, present everywhere and everything, that it is innately conscious and that is the essence of joy and love.

The Great Love is woven into the fabric of the universe, which of course also puts it at the centre of our own being. Most of us get glimpses of the Great Love at some time in our lives-perhaps in nature, or with an intimate partner, or in the moment of bonding with our children. We remember their numinosity, the feeling of deep connectedness they give us, and the fact that even when the love we feel seems inspired by someone or something, in particular, it has a profoundly impersonal, universal quality. And sometimes, the Great Love hits us unveiled, as it were, and changes our lives.

It happened like, one evening, I was sitting with a friend in my living room, listening to a Grateful Dead album, when without warning, an overwhelming experience of joy welled up in me. The state sprang up seemingly out of nowhere, a sensation of tenderness and ecstasy that seemed to ooze out the walls and the air, carrying with it a sense that everything was a part of me.

This experience inspired a burning desire to get back to it and ultimately became the motive for my spiritual practice. At the time, however, I did what most of us when we get a glimpse of unconditional tenderness: I projected my inner experience onto the person I happened to be with and decide(rather disastrously, as it turned out)that he was the love of my life and the mate of my soul.

” Individual Love”

All of us, throughout our lives, constantly do what I did, project onto other people and things the feelings of love that actually come from within. ”It was the Music, It was the surf! It was my teacher’s presence!” Yet the yogic view is that all of our experiences of human love are actually glimpses of the Great Love. It is only when love gets filtered through the prism of the human psyche that it begins to look specific and limited. It becomes veiled by our thoughts and feelings, and we start to think that love comes and goes, that we can feel it only for certain people, or that there’s not enough love to go around. We can’t help doing this.

Our senses, mind and ego, hardwired to give us the experience of separateness and distinction, set us up to think that love is outside us, that some people and places and things are lovable and others are not, and furthermore that love has different flavours: mother love, romantic love, love of movies, love of nature, compassionate love, sexual love, love of the cozy feeling of being under the covers at the end of a long day.

In short, if the Great love is naturally unifying, our individual, human experiences of love is subject to change and loss, moods and tides, attachments and aversions. It doesn’t matter who or what we love; at some point, the object of our love will disappear from our life or disappoint us or stop being lovable, simply because change is the nature of existence. So individual love is always touched with suffering, even when the love we feel is ”spiritual.”

I once heard someone ask a great spiritual teacher, ” Will loving you cause me to suffer the way I’ve suffered from loving other people?” The teacher replied,”If you love me in the way you’ve loved other people, you’ll suffer. ”He was saying that as long as we think that love comes from something outside ourselves-even from God or a spiritual master-we are going to experience pain. Think of the agonies of the Sufi poets!! Think also of the pain we suffer when we don’t feel loving enough, or when we can’t force love to come in the form we want it to, or when we feel lonely or unappreciated or self-deprecating, or when, despite the fact that we know attachment leads to suffering, we can’t help thinking that the love we were feeling came from Joe or Alice, and that love is gone because Joe or Alice is gone!!!

To say that our individual experience of love can be unsatisfying or changeable or incomplete is not to say it is less real than the Great love. It is a Great Love, which has simply been subject to filtration. The practice yoga is about removing the filter, closing the gap between our limited experience and the experience of greatness we all hold inside. That’s the whole point contemplative practice-especially the practice of loving.

”Love and practice (Sadhana)”

 

The third kind of love-love as a practice- is the medicine for the terrible discrepancy we sometimes feel between our sense of what love can be and the actuality of our ordinary experience of it. The practice of love, actions, and attitudes that create an atmosphere of kindness, acceptance, and unity in ourselves and in those around us is not only the basis of spiritual life, it is also the basis of civilization. We can’t always feel gratitude, but we can remember to say thank you. We can’t always like other people, but we can try to pay attention when they talk to us and help them out when they’re in trouble. We may not feel good about ourselves all the time but we can practice treating ourselves gently, slowing down and breathing when we want to rush, or talking back to our inner voices of self-criticism and judgement. When it comes to daily life, feeling love may actually be less important than acting loving.

This isn’t meant as an argument for pasted on smiles, or for the common game of hiding anger and judgement behind a mask of false sweetness. The practice of love is never about presenting a false front. Instead, it’s an active answer to one of the life’s greatest questions: How can I, in spite of what I may be feeling at a particular moment, offer my best to myself and other people?

If you pose this query to yourself or better yet, ask yourself, How would I act If I were feeling love?- you will eventually discover the practice that helps melt your frozen heart, so the love that always hides behind our emotional barricades can show its face. One of my students, caught in an argument, asked herself, ” How would I be if I really felt love right now?” The answer that came up was ”relaxed”. So she practised relaxing with the breath and was able to talk without the clutch of fear and judgement that had been polarizing the two of them.

”Reconnecting With The Source Of Love”

Over the years, two practices have helped me reconnect with the source of love. Both cultivate the feeling of unity and both are based on the insight that the best way to bypass the ego, which cuts off from love, is to learn how to undermine our feeling of separation.

The first is the practice of recognizing that the awareness in another person is the same awareness that is in me. Years ago, I had to work with a demanding, critical, narrow-minded boss. One day, when she was being prickly, and I was especially aware of my discomfort in her presence, I gazed into her eyes, focused on the light reflected in her pupils, and reminded myself that the awareness, the life force, the presence that was looking out through her eyes was exactly the same as the awareness that looking out through mine. Whatever differences there were in our personalities, our mental and emotional states, she and I were the same on the level of pure awareness. Not different but one. It’s amazed me to see how quickly the feeling of alienation and irritation disappeared. The practice of recognition became the strategy that allowed me to work comfortably with this women, and I fall back on it now whenever I feel the absence of love. More than any practice I’ve ever done, It helps clean away the germs of alienation, irritability, and jealousy that block my mind and form barriers to the Great Love.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine you are sitting in the centre of a vast flow of love. Imagine that love is flowing towards you like water or passing into you like a gentle wind. Whether you actually feel this love or not, keep imaging that it is flowing towards you and into you.

Another way to receive love is to imagine that just outside the window of your room sits a compassionate and loving being, someone wise and incredibly forgiving. This person is watching you through the window; her glance projects you and surrounds you with sweetness.

Allow yourself to receive the love that is flowing towards you from this being. It thoughts come up to block it- like ” I don’t deserve this” or ”This is just an exercise; it’s not real”- notice them and let them go as you might in meditation saying, ” Thinking,” and then breathing the thought out. Your only task is to receive.

When you open your eyes, look around you with the thought that the love you have been contemplating is still flowing towards you from whatever you see and from the air itself.

In truth, it is. The Great Love, the love that is the kernel of everything, is present in everything, peeking out during every moment in which we feel a spark of tenderness, appreciation, or affection. Any glimmer of love is a spark from that fire and leads us back to it.

”Love, Affection Or God Connection”

Most of us have been confused about love all of our lives. In fact, we often begin the inner life as a search-conscious or unconscious- for a source of love that can’t be taken away. We may have grown up feeling unloved or believing we had to perform heroic feats to deserve love. Our parents, the movies we see, our cultural and religious milieu give us ideas about love that goes on influencing us long after we have forgotten their source. When we read spiritual books and encounter teachers, our understanding about love can get even more complicated, because depending on what we read or whom we study with, we get slightly different takes on what love means in spiritual life.

Some teachers tell us that our essence is love; others say love is a passion, an emotion that leads to addiction and clinging. If we’re often taught that the way to enlightenment is to fall in love with God and let that grow until it engulfs us and we become one with the Beloved. If we’re on a more knowledge-based yogic path, we may be taught to look askance at the feelings of bliss and love that arise in practice, because we’re told, the spaciousness that is our goal beyond such feelings. We are soon left to wonder where the truth lies in all of this. When spiritual teachers use the word love, what kind of love are they talking about? Is Eros(romantic or sexual love) really different from agape, the so-called unconditional or spiritual love? Is devotional love the same as compassion, or love for humanity? Is love something we have to feel, or is it enough to offer kindness and direct positive thoughts toward ourselves and others? And how is it that some teachers tell us that love is both the path and the goal, while others seem to ignore the subject altogether?

In spiritual life alone, the word love is used in at least three ways and our experience and understanding of love will differ according to which aspect of it we are thinking about. for the sake of discussion, let’s refer to these three aspects of love as:-

  • Absolute Love, or the Great Love,
  • Individual Love;
  • Love As Sadhana.

”Absolute Love”-

Love with a capital L: That’s that Great Love, love as the source of everything, love as radical unity. At this level, love is another name for Absolute Reality, Supreme Consciousness, God, the Tao, the Source- that vast presence thee Shaivite tradition sometimes calls the Heart. The yoga tradition often describes Absolute Reality – meaning that it is pure begins, present everywhere and everything, that it is innately conscious and that is the essence of joy and love.

The Great Love is woven into the fabric of the universe, which of course also puts it at the centre of our own being. Most of us get glimpses of the Great Love at some time in our lives-perhaps in nature, or with an intimate partner, or in the moment of bonding with our children. We remember their numinosity, the feeling of deep connectedness they give us, and the fact that even when the love we feel seems inspired by someone or something, in particular, it has a profoundly impersonal, universal quality. And sometimes, the Great Love hits us unveiled, as it were, and changes our lives.

It happened like, one evening, I was sitting with a friend in my living room, listening to a Grateful Dead album, when without warning, an overwhelming experience of joy welled up in me. The state sprang up seemingly out of nowhere, a sensation of tenderness and ecstasy that seemed to ooze out the walls and the air, carrying with it a sense that everything was a part of me.

This experience inspired a burning desire to get back to it and ultimately became the motive for my spiritual practice. At the time, however, I did what most of us when we get a glimpse of unconditional tenderness: I projected my inner experience onto the person I happened to be with and decide(rather disastrously, as it turned out)that he was the love of my life and the mate of my soul.

” Individual Love”

All of us, throughout our lives, constantly do what I did, project onto other people and things the feelings of love that actually come from within. ”It was the Music, It was the surf! It was my teacher’s presence!” Yet the yogic view is that all of our experiences of human love are actually glimpses of the Great Love. It is only when love gets filtered through the prism of the human psyche that it begins to look specific and limited. It becomes veiled by our thoughts and feelings, and we start to think that love comes and goes, that we can feel it only for certain people, or that there’s not enough love to go around. We can’t help doing this.

Our senses, mind and ego, hardwired to give us the experience of separateness and distinction, set us up to think that love is outside us, that some people and places and things are lovable and others are not, and furthermore that love has different flavours: mother love, romantic love, love of movies, love of nature, compassionate love, sexual love, love of the cozy feeling of being under the covers at the end of a long day.

In short, if the Great love is naturally unifying, our individual, human experiences of love is subject to change and loss, moods and tides, attachments and aversions. It doesn’t matter who or what we love; at some point, the object of our love will disappear from our life or disappoint us or stop being lovable, simply because change is the nature of existence. So individual love is always touched with suffering, even when the love we feel is ”spiritual.”

I once heard someone ask a great spiritual teacher, ” Will loving you cause me to suffer the way I’ve suffered from loving other people?” The teacher replied,”If you love me in the way you’ve loved other people, you’ll suffer. ”He was saying that as long as we think that love comes from something outside ourselves-even from God or a spiritual master-we are going to experience pain. Think of the agonies of the Sufi poets!! Think also of the pain we suffer when we don’t feel loving enough, or when we can’t force love to come in the form we want it to, or when we feel lonely or unappreciated or self-deprecating, or when, despite the fact that we know attachment leads to suffering, we can’t help thinking that the love we were feeling came from Joe or Alice, and that love is gone because Joe or Alice is gone!!!

To say that our individual experience of love can be unsatisfying or changeable or incomplete is not to say it is less real than the Great love. It is a Great Love, which has simply been subject to filtration. The practice yoga is about removing the filter, closing the gap between our limited experience and the experience of greatness we all hold inside. That’s the whole point contemplative practice-especially the practice of loving.

”Love and practice (Sadhana)”

 

The third kind of love-love as a practice- is the medicine for the terrible discrepancy we sometimes feel between our sense of what love can be and the actuality of our ordinary experience of it. The practice of love, actions, and attitudes that create an atmosphere of kindness, acceptance, and unity in ourselves and in those around us is not only the basis of spiritual life, it is also the basis of civilization. We can’t always feel gratitude, but we can remember to say thank you. We can’t always like other people, but we can try to pay attention when they talk to us and help them out when they’re in trouble. We may not feel good about ourselves all the time but we can practice treating ourselves gently, slowing down and breathing when we want to rush, or talking back to our inner voices of self-criticism and judgement. When it comes to daily life, feeling love may actually be less important than acting loving.

This isn’t meant as an argument for pasted on smiles, or for the common game of hiding anger and judgement behind a mask of false sweetness. The practice of love is never about presenting a false front. Instead, it’s an active answer to one of the life’s greatest questions: How can I, in spite of what I may be feeling at a particular moment, offer my best to myself and other people?

If you pose this query to yourself or better yet, ask yourself, How would I act If I were feeling love?- you will eventually discover the practice that helps melt your frozen heart, so the love that always hides behind our emotional barricades can show its face. One of my students, caught in an argument, asked herself, ” How would I be if I really felt love right now?” The answer that came up was ”relaxed”. So she practised relaxing with the breath and was able to talk without the clutch of fear and judgement that had been polarizing the two of them.

”Reconnecting With The Source Of Love”

Over the years, two practices have helped me reconnect with the source of love. Both cultivate the feeling of unity and both are based on the insight that the best way to bypass the ego, which cuts off from love, is to learn how to undermine our feeling of separation.

The first is the practice of recognizing that the awareness in another person is the same awareness that is in me. Years ago, I had to work with a demanding, critical, narrow-minded boss. One day, when she was being prickly, and I was especially aware of my discomfort in her presence, I gazed into her eyes, focused on the light reflected in her pupils, and reminded myself that the awareness, the life force, the presence that was looking out through her eyes was exactly the same as the awareness that looking out through mine. Whatever differences there were in our personalities, our mental and emotional states, she and I were the same on the level of pure awareness. Not different but one. It’s amazed me to see how quickly the feeling of alienation and irritation disappeared. The practice of recognition became the strategy that allowed me to work comfortably with this women, and I fall back on it now whenever I feel the absence of love. More than any practice I’ve ever done, It helps clean away the germs of alienation, irritability, and jealousy that block my mind and form barriers to the Great Love.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine you are sitting in the centre of a vast flow of love. Imagine that love is flowing towards you like water or passing into you like a gentle wind. Whether you actually feel this love or not, keep imaging that it is flowing towards you and into you.

Another way to receive love is to imagine that just outside the window of your room sits a compassionate and loving being, someone wise and incredibly forgiving. This person is watching you through the window; her glance projects you and surrounds you with sweetness.

Allow yourself to receive the love that is flowing towards you from this being. It thoughts come up to block it- like ” I don’t deserve this” or ”This is just an exercise; it’s not real”- notice them and let them go as you might in meditation saying, ” Thinking,” and then breathing the thought out. Your only task is to receive.

When you open your eyes, look around you with the thought that the love you have been contemplating is still flowing towards you from whatever you see and from the air itself.

In truth, it is. The Great Love, the love that is the kernel of everything, is present in everything, peeking out during every moment in which we feel a spark of tenderness, appreciation, or affection. Any glimmer of love is a spark from that fire and leads us back to it.

”Relationship, Needs, And Desires”

First Lets Explore what is the difference between Relationship, Needs, And Desires.

* What is a Good Relationship?

A Good Relationship has-

# Trust,

# Encourage growth and change,

# Forgive quickly and truly,

# Accepting Things,

# Show Your Feelings,

# Never Expecting Anything Back.

So Why Trust?You have to trust your Partner. Why would you share your life with someone when you think they’re doing something wrong every time you turn your back? If you don’t trust your partner to be faithful, honest, caring or anything else, then you’re not in a good relationship. The Best Relationships begin with a deep trust, and even if problems come up(and they will)!! , the trust is strong enough to keep you together.

A Good Relationship Encourage growth and change-In a good relationship, both partners are encouraged to grow and change. You have one life to live- You should explore it to the fullest!! If you want to quit your job and go back to school, your partner should support you. If you want to try something new or go back to something old, you should find support in your relationship. And you should give these support in return. Encourage your partner to explore hobbies and interests and meet new people. If you want your partner to stay the same, you’re going to have a very boring life together.

Boring Life Together… I Know Nobody Wants That!!!!

Learn to Forgive quickly and truly-Whenever you have a fight, don’t worry about who is going to win or lose. Learn from the fight- from what was said as much as from how it was resolved. Once you learn from a fight, you can apply that lesson to your relationship to avoid trouble later. That’s all well and good, but you’re not done!! Forgive Your Partner!!Forgive Yourself. The Fight is over, you’re past it, now let it go. Never hold anything against your partner, because the resentment will build until you don’t want to be with them.

Sometimes You Can Only Accept Things, Not Fix Them-People have baggage. You have some. Your partner has some. Can you go back and erase all of this? Nope!! You’re stuck with it and have to learn to deal with it. Some things are easier to get over than others, but the reality is that sometimes, you can’t fix things. You can make problems go away. You have to accept it and get over it and move on, or else your relationship will crumble.

Show Your Feelings To Your Partner-The worst thing you can do in a relationship is play games. Don’t tease your partner; don’t “reward” good deeds with love and affection. You have to make sure your partner always feels loved. You can be happy with them or be mad at them- it doesn’t matter- they just need to feel loved. They need to know your feelings in the moment as well, don’t get me wrong. But make sure you’re showing your feelings in a way so they won’t be misunderstood.

The Best Thing In Relationship Is Never Expecting Anything Back In Return-Don’t expect your partner to read your mind, or to bring you breakfast in bed, or to offer to wash the dishes. It’s not going to happen. You can’t expect anything from anyone- You have to make your desires known. Communicate. Make sure your partner knows what you expect from the relationship, as well as your options for a wide variety of issues. This will help them act considerate towards you, But still- don’t expect anything back in return!!!!

So Then What Turn To Be A Bad Relation Than!!!!!

# Being Satisfied With Unsatisfactory Relationship,

# Negativity about love,

# Relation As Investment,

# Manipulation.

Being Satisfied With Unsatisfactory Relationship-In a recent research exploring women’s decisions about whether to stay in or to leave their relationships, the single most important determinant of women’s decisions to remain in their relationships was relationship satisfaction. How can we be satisfied with unsatisfactory relationships? Some individual, especially those with low self-esteem or those who perceive themselves to be less attractive, have low ”comparison levels”. Comparison level can be thought of as your ”standards,” or what you expect to receive from a relationship. Individuals with low comparison level, you may maintain a bad relationship because your low expectations are being met. Individuals with low self-esteem are more likely to become involved in a relationship which is of shorter duration, and they experience further declines in self Esteem when their relationship end.

Negativity about love-Psychologists distinguish among three different components of attitude; the cognitive components or thoughts, the effective component or feelings, and the behavioral component or actions. Frequently these components are not aligned with one another. For example, in the case of a bad relationship, your thoughts may be negative, telling you that your partner is not good for you, but your feelings may still be positive. We may continue to love our partners, even though we consciously recognize that we are involved in bad relationships. It is also possible that strong positive and negative feelings toward a partner my co-exist.

Relation As Investment-Other major obstacles to leaving a bad relationship includes our shared investments with our partners. Investing a lot of time in a relationship or sharing investment, such as a home or children, makes couples more likely to stay together.When we have already invested a lot of time, effort or resources in a relationship, many of us continue that investment even when it may not be best for us; we are biased toward continuing unhappy relationships once we have invested in them. When making relationship decisions, we often rely on emotions rather than rational deliberation which leads to staying in the bad relationship.

Manipulation In Relationships:-If your partner is aware that you want to leave the relationship, he or she may use different methods of manipulation to force you to stay. Emotional manipulation, such as belittling, demanding, or even threats of violence against future alternative partners, may be used to maintain the current relationship. Men with lower self- esteem, as well as men who are less physically attractive than their partners, may be more likely to use manipulation to prevent their partners from leaving their relationships. The distress associated with emotional abuse or the physical implications of intimate partner violence are strong deterrents to those seeking to leave a relationship.

So, What is the difference between our need and desires in ”Relationships”?

Our need reflects our humanity and is common to all of us.

Some needs we literally cannot live without, like air, water, and food. Some are most important for our emotional well-beings like acceptance and love, some our spirituals well-beings like the need for space and inspiration. Whatever the need without it our quality of life would be significantly worse off. The value we place on different needs make us unique but the underlying need for them is universal.

Our Desires Reflects Our Individual Uniqueness.

They are what we choose in our lives that say’ this is who we are. ‘ Our Desires are things we can survive without yet they are important aspects of how we experience, express and create our reality. The list of potential desires is as endless and varied as is the human race. Our Desires come in two different forms, desires that serve simply ourselves and desires that serve ourselves whilst benefitting others and the world around us.

Our Needs And Desires Are The Place In Relationship Where We Find Both Challange And Opportunity.

It’s not our partner’s obligation to fulfill our needs and desires, or ours to fulfill our partner’s. We commit to being together and supporting each other in whatever way we can, this is what builds love. Sharin each other’s desires brings creativity, aliveness, and growth.

''Relationship, Needs, And Desires''

First Lets Explore what is the difference between Relationship, Needs, And Desires.

* What is a Good Relationship?

A Good Relationship has-

# Trust,

# Encourage growth and change,

# Forgive quickly and truly,

# Accepting Things,

# Show Your Feelings,

# Never Expecting Anything Back.

So Why Trust?You have to trust your Partner. Why would you share your life with someone when you think they’re doing something wrong every time you turn your back? If you don’t trust your partner to be faithful, honest, caring or anything else, then you’re not in a good relationship. The Best Relationships begin with a deep trust, and even if problems come up(and they will)!! , the trust is strong enough to keep you together.

A Good Relationship Encourage growth and change-In a good relationship, both partners are encouraged to grow and change. You have one life to live- You should explore it to the fullest!! If you want to quit your job and go back to school, your partner should support you. If you want to try something new or go back to something old, you should find support in your relationship. And you should give these support in return. Encourage your partner to explore hobbies and interests and meet new people. If you want your partner to stay the same, you’re going to have a very boring life together.

Boring Life Together… I Know Nobody Wants That!!!!

Learn to Forgive quickly and truly-Whenever you have a fight, don’t worry about who is going to win or lose. Learn from the fight- from what was said as much as from how it was resolved. Once you learn from a fight, you can apply that lesson to your relationship to avoid trouble later. That’s all well and good, but you’re not done!! Forgive Your Partner!!Forgive Yourself. The Fight is over, you’re past it, now let it go. Never hold anything against your partner, because the resentment will build until you don’t want to be with them.

Sometimes You Can Only Accept Things, Not Fix Them-People have baggage. You have some. Your partner has some. Can you go back and erase all of this? Nope!! You’re stuck with it and have to learn to deal with it. Some things are easier to get over than others, but the reality is that sometimes, you can’t fix things. You can make problems go away. You have to accept it and get over it and move on, or else your relationship will crumble.

Show Your Feelings To Your Partner-The worst thing you can do in a relationship is play games. Don’t tease your partner; don’t “reward” good deeds with love and affection. You have to make sure your partner always feels loved. You can be happy with them or be mad at them- it doesn’t matter- they just need to feel loved. They need to know your feelings in the moment as well, don’t get me wrong. But make sure you’re showing your feelings in a way so they won’t be misunderstood.

The Best Thing In Relationship Is Never Expecting Anything Back In Return-Don’t expect your partner to read your mind, or to bring you breakfast in bed, or to offer to wash the dishes. It’s not going to happen. You can’t expect anything from anyone- You have to make your desires known. Communicate. Make sure your partner knows what you expect from the relationship, as well as your options for a wide variety of issues. This will help them act considerate towards you, But still- don’t expect anything back in return!!!!

So Then What Turn To Be A Bad Relation Than!!!!!

# Being Satisfied With Unsatisfactory Relationship,

# Negativity about love,

# Relation As Investment,

# Manipulation.

Being Satisfied With Unsatisfactory Relationship-In a recent research exploring women’s decisions about whether to stay in or to leave their relationships, the single most important determinant of women’s decisions to remain in their relationships was relationship satisfaction. How can we be satisfied with unsatisfactory relationships? Some individual, especially those with low self-esteem or those who perceive themselves to be less attractive, have low ”comparison levels”. Comparison level can be thought of as your ”standards,” or what you expect to receive from a relationship. Individuals with low comparison level, you may maintain a bad relationship because your low expectations are being met. Individuals with low self-esteem are more likely to become involved in a relationship which is of shorter duration, and they experience further declines in self Esteem when their relationship end.

Negativity about love-Psychologists distinguish among three different components of attitude; the cognitive components or thoughts, the effective component or feelings, and the behavioral component or actions. Frequently these components are not aligned with one another. For example, in the case of a bad relationship, your thoughts may be negative, telling you that your partner is not good for you, but your feelings may still be positive. We may continue to love our partners, even though we consciously recognize that we are involved in bad relationships. It is also possible that strong positive and negative feelings toward a partner my co-exist.

Relation As Investment-Other major obstacles to leaving a bad relationship includes our shared investments with our partners. Investing a lot of time in a relationship or sharing investment, such as a home or children, makes couples more likely to stay together.When we have already invested a lot of time, effort or resources in a relationship, many of us continue that investment even when it may not be best for us; we are biased toward continuing unhappy relationships once we have invested in them. When making relationship decisions, we often rely on emotions rather than rational deliberation which leads to staying in the bad relationship.

Manipulation In Relationships:-If your partner is aware that you want to leave the relationship, he or she may use different methods of manipulation to force you to stay. Emotional manipulation, such as belittling, demanding, or even threats of violence against future alternative partners, may be used to maintain the current relationship. Men with lower self- esteem, as well as men who are less physically attractive than their partners, may be more likely to use manipulation to prevent their partners from leaving their relationships. The distress associated with emotional abuse or the physical implications of intimate partner violence are strong deterrents to those seeking to leave a relationship.

So, What is the difference between our need and desires in ”Relationships”?

Our need reflects our humanity and is common to all of us.

Some needs we literally cannot live without, like air, water, and food. Some are most important for our emotional well-beings like acceptance and love, some our spirituals well-beings like the need for space and inspiration. Whatever the need without it our quality of life would be significantly worse off. The value we place on different needs make us unique but the underlying need for them is universal.

Our Desires Reflects Our Individual Uniqueness.

They are what we choose in our lives that say’ this is who we are. ‘ Our Desires are things we can survive without yet they are important aspects of how we experience, express and create our reality. The list of potential desires is as endless and varied as is the human race. Our Desires come in two different forms, desires that serve simply ourselves and desires that serve ourselves whilst benefitting others and the world around us.

Our Needs And Desires Are The Place In Relationship Where We Find Both Challange And Opportunity.

It’s not our partner’s obligation to fulfill our needs and desires, or ours to fulfill our partner’s. We commit to being together and supporting each other in whatever way we can, this is what builds love. Sharin each other’s desires brings creativity, aliveness, and growth.