Tag Archives: relationship

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Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi Devi)

The common expression is ‘I love you.’ But instead of ‘I love you,’ it would be better to say, ‘I am love — I am the embodiment of pure love.’ Remove the I and you, and you will find that there is only love. It is as if love is imprisoned between the I and you. Remove the I and you, for they are unreal; they are self-imposed walls that don’t exist. The gulf between I and you is the ego. When the ego is removed the distance disappears and the I and you also disappear. They merge to become one — and that is love. You lend the I and you their reality. Withdraw your support and they will disappear. Then you will realise, not that ‘I love you,’ but that ‘I am that all-embracing love.’

— Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi Devi)

(image source: hinter-den-schlagzeilen.de)

Love

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Eckhart Tolle

Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgments, and definitions that blocks all true relationship. It comes between you and yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God. It is this screen of thought that creates the illusion of separateness, the illusion that there is you and a totally separate “other.” You then forget the essential fact that, underneath the level of physical appearances and separate forms, you are one with all that is.

— Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now

(image source: belovingawareness.wordpress.com)

The illusion of separatedness

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Is it possible to hear criticism, even insult, and find deep acceptance in any response that emerges in the moment – grounded in the unshakeable knowing that what you really are doesn’t need defending? And then, being radically open, is it possible to find a nugget of truth in what they are saying, even if it results in momentary humiliation, and destruction of the image of the one you thought you were? This doesn’t mean you become passive and weak. Quite the opposite. You stop identifying as ‘victim’ or ‘hurt one’, and stop seeing the other as ‘enemy’, and you remain open and vast, the infinite capacity for all life, for all thought and sensation and feeling. And here, in the midst of conflict, you discover the place where conflict ceases to be conflict at all – and wake up to a love beyond reason. Yes, every human relationship is a constant invitation to let go. Your mother, your father, your friends, your lovers, your co-workers, everyone you meet – here are your final gurus, your ultimate teachers. Listen to them.

— Jeff Foster

Listen!

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Your partner is your mirror. Except for the way you perceive him, he doesn’t even exist for you. He is who you see he is, and ultimately it’s just you again, thinking. It’s just you, over and over and over, and in this way you remain blind to yourself and feel justified and lost. To think that your partner is anything but a mirror of you is painful. So when you see him as flawed in any way, you can be sure that that’s where your own flaw is. The flaw has to be in your thinking, because you’re the one projecting it. You are always what you judge us to be in the moment. There’s no exception. You are your own suffering; you are your own happiness.

— Katie Byron – A Thousand Names for Joy

The Mirror of Relationship

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We cannot exist without depending on others. When I go to the grocery store and buy an apple, I might feel very independent. I walk in, grab an apple, pay with my own money, and go home to eat it by myself. But in fact I can only enjoy this apple because it is connected to so many people and conditions: the store owner, the shelf stockers, the truckers, the farmers, all the way back to the seed and the Earth. There’s so much connection, all the time.

Of all of the relationships we have in this interdependent experience of ours, the most direct, most emotional, and most apt to bring great joy and suffering is a close, intimate relationship with another human being. We give it great, special prominence in our mind, but it helps to remember that it is the same as the apple. It’s about interconnection, interdependence.

Relationship is a great mirror. It is the mirror in which we see ourselves, in which we discover ourselves. That mirror can be distorted. I remember the first time I saw myself in a funhouse mirror: “Oh, what happened to me? I’m all stretched out.” The mirror can also be very clear. We can see ourselves and what we are up to so directly. That makes relationship a beautiful experience.

When we sit by ourselves, it’s easy to enjoy our mental games, fantasies, ego trips, and so forth. We can go on and on and on without any problem. But try that with your partner! Then here comes the mirror. The mirror will reflect and show you your ugly ego trips. A mirror is very neutral—it just reflects. It doesn’t take any sides. It is just a mirror for both of us.

In this mirror, we discover ourselves—our tendencies, our weaknesses, and our strengths. We discover our good qualities as well as our negative qualities. This mirror becomes a very precious teacher for us, a very precious path. The mirror of relationship becomes a very precious teaching for us to discover who we really are, and where we are on the path and in the world altogether.

This is a lot to take in, so our tendency is to see what we want to see in this relationship mirror. The problem with this approach is that two people in a close relationship can see two different things. If I want to see something and she wants to see something else, we’re both seeing two different things. As a result, we’re being thrown off from the balance, the benefit, the preciousness of the relationship, the mirror. We would rather idealize our relationship; we would rather escape. We would rather live in the future than in this very immediate present moment. But if we can practice being in this present moment, relationship becomes a path and the mirror a great teacher.

In our relationship with another, we often misunderstand how we are connected. We may think we are two made into one, or we may think we are completely independent. My father taught me that a marriage or partnership, an intimate relationship with another human being, is like two rings coming together. You can illustrate it with your fingers. Make a ring with each hand, then join the rings together. There’s a common space in the center. There is mutual responsibility, joy, and sharing, yet at the same time we must understand there are also the two sides. There is not only the middle. Individual space is also necessary, and if we try to overlap these two rings totally, we lose balance.

There is a common bond, but there are also two individual mind streams. We must respect that and allow the other independence. The common space respects the individual space. We cannot overpower the other or make them just like us. The other not only has needs but also individual habits that you cannot change. They need to initiate change themselves; you cannot forcibly change them.

That’s the basic principle in a relationship—we share. We share our wisdom, our knowledge, we allow ourselves to be a mirror, but it’s up to the individual to make the choice. We must respect that. We must know that the other acts out of habit pattern, just as we do. Just as we cannot be forcibly changed from the outside, so too with them.

Problems begin when we lose the balance that comes from understanding the interplay of connection and separateness. We lose the sense of mindfulness when we lose the basic balance of the selfless, egoless teaching, and become selfish, ego-centered, or even ego-maniacal.

That’s where suffering begins and joy ends, where the joy of relationship ends and the suffering of relationship begins. When a relationship is troubling, that will stimulate our path. We can’t expect it always to be perfect. In the mirror of relationship, we discover all these things. We discover the real nature of relationship and we discover how we go off balance, how we lose the egoless, selfless view, how we lose the sense of love and caring.

Practicing mindfulness and awareness can help us see in the mirror more clearly. Mindfulness can tame the mental wildness that causes us to go so off balance. Mindfulness puts the wild mind in a corral. Once the wild horse of our mind is a little settled, we can train it by tying it to the post of awareness. Then we can train the horse to do all sorts of things, including to exert itself on the path of relationship and take joy and delight in loving.

— Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche – Right Here With You: Bringing Mindful Awareness Into Our Relationships

The Great Mirror of Relationship

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Let us live in joy, not hating those who hate us.
Among those who hate us, we live free of hate.
Let us live in joy,
free from disease among those who are diseased.
Among those who are diseased, let us live free of disease.
Let us live in joy, free from greed among the greedy.
Among those who are greedy, we live free of greed.
Let us live in joy, though we possess nothing.
Let us live feeding on joy, like the bright gods.

Victory breeds hate, for the conquered is unhappy.
Whoever has given up victory and defeat
is content and lives joyfully.

There is no fire like lust, no misfortune like hate;
there is no pain like this body;
there is no joy higher than peace.

Craving is the worst disease;
disharmony is the greatest sorrow.
The one who knows this truly
knows that nirvana is the highest bliss.

Health is the greatest gift;
contentment is the greatest wealth;
trusting is the best relationship;
nirvana is the highest joy.

Whoever has tasted the sweetness
of solitude and tranquillity
becomes free from fear and sin
while drinking the sweetness of the truth.
The sight of the noble is good;
to live with them is always joyful.

Whoever does not see fools will always be happy.
Whoever associates with fools suffers a long time.
Being with fools, as with an enemy, is always painful.

Being with the wise, like meeting with family, is joyful.
Therefore, one should follow the wise, the intelligent,
the learned, the patient, the dutiful, the noble;
one should follow the good and wise,
as the moon follows the path of the stars.

— Siddharta Gautama (The Buddha) – The Dhammapada

Let us live in joy

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How does the observer come into being? When you look at this flower, at the moment you observe it closely, there is no observer, there is only a looking. Then you begin to name that flower. Then you say, “I wish I had it in my garden or in my house.” Then you have already begun to build an image about that flower. So the image-maker is the observer. Right? Are you following all this? Watch it in yourself, please. So the image and the image-maker are the observer, and the observer is the past. The “me” as the observer is the past, the “me” is the knowledge which I have accumulated: knowledge of pain, sorrow, suffering, agony, despair, loneliness, jealousy, and the tremendous anxiety that one goes through. That’s all the “me”, which is the accumulated knowledge of the observer, which is the past. Right? So when you observe, the observer looks at that flower with the eyes of the past. And you don’t know how to look without the observer and, therefore, you bring about conflict.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Mind in Meditation, pages 8-9

Why is that we human beings have not been able to solve this problem of relationship though we have lived on this earth for millions of years? Is it because each one has his own particular image put together by thought, and that our relationship is based on two images, the image that the man creates about her and the image the woman creates about him? So in this relationship we are as two images living together. That is a fact. If you observe yourself very closely, if one may point out, you have created an image about her and she has created a picture, a verbal structure, about you. So relationship is between these two images. These images have been put together by thought. And thought is not love.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Network of Thought, page 87

The observer, the images he has created and his relationship to these images