Salvation Through Relationship: Relationship As A Spiritual Practice
“It is not easy to live with an enlightened person, or rather it is so easy that the ego finds it extremely threatening. Remember that the ego needs problems, conflict, and “enemies” to strengthen the sense of separateness on which its identity depends. The unenlightened partner’s mind will be deeply frustrated because its fixed positions are not resisted, which means they will become shaky and weak, and there is even the “danger” that they may collapse altogether, resulting in loss of self. The pain-body is demanding feedback and not getting it. The need for argument, drama, and conflict is not being met.” ~Eckhart Tolle
This is the second part of my awakening story. You can read the first part here.
During my awakening I also saw glimpses of what relationship could be like when at least one partner changes him/herself: from being reactive to being non-reactive, from taking things personally to allowing your partner to work through his/her fear, from resisting to getting into the flow and being totally vulnerable, from separation to sacred union as the yin-yang symbol depicts.
In a nutshell, from relationship filled with strife to harmony, healing and…salvation.
Things then began to turn around for me upon this realization. The subsequent tuning in to Eckhart Tolle‘s teachings in The Power of Now brought me into my second awakening two weeks later on June 27, 2014.
I shared this experience in cycle 5 Journey Inward which made this cycle special to me cause I brought in new blood and vision into the course.
The entire chapter 8 of the book on Enlightened Relationships really spoke to me in such a moving and profound way that solidified my own conviction on the matter. Especially this part, when I heard it, it hit me like a ton of bricks:
If relationships energize and magnify egoic mind patterns and activate the pain-body, as they do at this time, why not accept this fact rather than try to escape from it? Why not cooperate with it instead of avoiding relationships or continuing to pursue the phantom of an ideal partner as an answer to your problems or a means of feeling fulfilled?
The opportunity that is concealed within every crisis does not manifest until all the facts of any given situation are acknowledged and fully accepted. As long as you deny them, as long as you try to escape from them or wish that things were different, the window of opportunity does not open up, and you remain trapped inside that situation, which will remain the same or deteriorate further.
With the acknowledgment and acceptance of the facts also comes a degree of freedom from them. For example, when you know there is disharmony and you hold that “knowing,” through your knowing a new factor has come in, and the disharmony cannot remain unchanged. When you know you are not at peace, your knowing creates a still space that surrounds your non-peace in a loving and tender embrace and then transmutes your non-peace into peace.
As far as inner transformation is concerned, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot transform yourself, and you certainly cannot transform your partner or anybody else. All you can do is create a space for transformation to happen, for grace and love to enter.
So whenever your relationship is not working, whenever it brings out the “madness” in you and in your partner, be glad. What was unconscious is being brought up to the light. It is an opportunity for salvation.
Every moment, hold the knowing of that moment, particularly of your inner state. If there is anger, know that there is anger. If there is jealousy, defensiveness, the urge to argue, the need to be right, an inner child demanding love and attention, or emotional pain of any kind ― whatever it is, know the reality of that moment and hold the knowing.
The relationship then becomes your Sadhana, your spiritual practice. If you observe unconscious behavior in your partner, hold it in the loving embrace of your knowing so that you won’t react. Unconsciousness and knowing cannot coexist for long ― even if the knowing is only in the other person and not in the one who is acting out the unconsciousness.
The energy form that lies behind hostility and attack finds the presence of love absolutely intolerable. If you react at all to your partner’s unconsciousness, you become unconscious yourself. But if you then remember to know your reaction, nothing is lost. Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race. This will affect every aspect of your life and close relationships in particular.
Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict ridden as they are now. As you may have noticed, they are not here to make you happy or fulfilled. If you continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world.
For those who hold on to the old patterns, there will be increasing pain, violence, confusion, and madness.
I suppose that it takes two to make a relationship into a spiritual practice, as you suggest. For example, my partner is still acting out his old patterns of jealousy and control. I have pointed this out many times, but he is unable to see it.
How many people does it take to make your life into a spiritual practice?
Never mind if your partner will not cooperate. Sanity ― consciousness ― can only come into this world through you. You do not need to wait for the world to become sane, or for somebody else to become conscious, before you can be enlightened. You may wait forever. Do not accuse each other of being unconscious.
The moment you start to argue, you have identified with a mental position and are now defending not only that position but also your sense of self. The ego is in charge. You have become unconscious. At times, it may be appropriate to point out certain aspects of your partner’s behavior. If you are very alert, very present, you can do so without ego involvement ― without blaming, accusing, or making the other wrong.
When your partner behaves unconsciously, relinquish all judgment. Judgment is either to confuse someone’s unconscious behavior with who they are or to project your own unconsciousness onto another person and mistake that for who they are.
To relinquish judgment does not mean that you do not recognize dysfunction and unconsciousness when you see it. It means “being the knowing” rather than “being the reaction” and the judge. You will then either be totally free of reaction or you may react and still be the knowing, the space in which the reaction is watched and allowed to be.
Instead of fighting the darkness, you bring in the light. Instead of reacting to delusion, you see the delusion yet at the same time look through it. Being the knowing creates a clear space of loving presence that allows all things and all people to be as they are. No greater catalyst for transformation exists.
If you practice this, your partner cannot stay with you and remain unconscious.
If you both agree that the relationship will be your spiritual practice, so much the better. You can then express your thoughts and feelings to each other as soon as they occur, or as soon as a reaction comes up, so that you do not create a time gap in which an unexpressed or unacknowledged emotion or grievance can fester and grow.
Learn to give expression to what you feel without blaming. Learn to listen to your partner in an open, non defensive way. Give your partner space for expressing himself or herself. Be present. Accusing, defending, attacking ― all those patterns that are designed to strengthen or protect the ego or to get its needs met will then become redundant.
Giving space to others ― and to yourself ― is vital. Love cannot flourish without it. When you have removed the two factors that are destructive of relationships: When the pain-body has been transmuted and you are no longer identified with mind and mental positions, and if your partner has done the same, you will experience the bliss of the flowering of relationship.
Instead of mirroring to each other your pain and your unconsciousness, instead of satisfying your mutual addictive ego needs, you will reflect back to each other the love that you feel deep within, the love that comes with the realization of your oneness with all that is. This is the love that has no opposite.
If your partner is still identified with the mind and the pain-body while you are already free, this will represent a major challenge ― not to you but to your partner.
It is not easy to live with an enlightened person, or rather it is so easy that the ego finds it extremely threatening. Remember that the ego needs problems, conflict, and “enemies” to strengthen the sense of separateness on which its identity depends.
The unenlightened partner’s mind will be deeply frustrated because its fixed positions are not resisted, which means they will become shaky and weak, and there is even the “danger” that they may collapse altogether, resulting in loss of self.
The pain-body is demanding feedback and not getting it. The need for argument, drama, and conflict is not being met. But beware: Some people who are unresponsive, withdrawn, insensitive, or cut off from their feelings may think and try to convince others that they are enlightened, or at least that there is “nothing wrong” with them and everything wrong with their partner. Men tend to do that more than women. They may see their female partners as irrational or emotional. But if you can feel your emotions, you are not far from the radiant inner body just underneath.
I got my total understanding how things work and salvation attained in relationship upon hearing this part, especially, “It is not easy to live with an enlightened person, or rather it is so easy that the ego finds it extremely threatening. Remember that the ego needs problems, conflict, and “enemies” to strengthen the sense of separateness on which its identity depends. The unenlightened partner’s mind will be deeply frustrated because its fixed positions are not resisted, which means they will become shaky and weak, and there is even the “danger” that they may collapse altogether, resulting in loss of self. The pain-body is demanding feedback and not getting it. The need for argument, drama, and conflict is not being met.”
I noticed the same restlessness in my boyfriend after my awakening. He noticed I was into something so deep and vast and he became uneasy and uncertain it actually triggered him -on top his own personal stuff- and he went through some crisis for 5 days.
But I no longer get triggered by him being triggered. I trust in him finding wholeness that is innate within himself through my own. This is how you let your partner work his stuff out through your holiness and in the process realizes his own holiness. Remember, he’ll see his own reflection in you. He’ll see the Buddha Nature (Christ Within) in himself through you.
This is how relationship can be a path toward salvation in which couples heal each other and become fully integrated.
It is said that one day the Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him, saying all kind of rude words.
The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man, “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”
The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”
The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger.
If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”
In relationship, you will find these instances with your partner a lot. You’re going to project on each other. If you are the more aware one which means you are not telling yourself stories about your partner and their intentions in your head, the projection will fall flat or even ricochet back at them so it won’t cause more co-dependency typical of a toxic relationship.
This will cause them to work on their own stuff cause they will see they’re the ones with issues they need to heal.
When you incorporate every part of you and accept yourself so fully, you will become a great master of life and a role model to others so you can usher them faster to higher level of consciousness.
Thus, transform yourself and you will transform the world.
The powerful message that this brings and that has been the focus of my teaching is when you change yourself you can’t NOT change your partner. You liberate him/her as you liberate yourself. Your partner can’t remain unconscious when you are conscious.
This has actually been my own philosophy that I’ve been injecting in my method and so far the results in my clients’ and my own relationships have been staggeringly consistent. This awakening only strengthens my resolve of the important of FULLY committing to the practice.
This whole awakening experience has been reassuring me to get it over with the wishy-washiness and excuses why we can’t accept our own True Nature as an enlightened human being right here right now as Tolle repeated over and over that salvation is here and now, not something you attain in the future.
At least to me it’s now or never. Accept that you’re enlightened and act accordingly or keep listening to the ego why you can’t do so.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Another quote from Tolle’s book that really spoke to me was:
“When you are enlightened, there is one relationship that you no longer have: the relationship with yourself. Once you have given that up, all your other relationships will be love relationships.”
How simply truly utterly beautiful and profound that statement is and that is why I’m doing the work I’m doing. Tears rolled down my face upon hearing it. I’ve seen it to be nothing but the truth.
This whole experience truly humbled me and I feel so blessed to be given the chance to taste it in this lifetime.
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