Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

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Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Ogyen » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:31 pm

The one painful most difficult topic in no-self application is intimate relationships. Your wife, husband, mother in law, your children... The reality is that it's our day to day lives are messy, imperfect, and for me, this topic is very glossed over in general and ignored in many areas where Buddhism is discussed.

How do you address the HOW-TO, when you have a major difference with your spouse, or even betrayal, or your kids defy your values, or you need to work daily with people who don't share your vision of impermanence, any infinity variations of very complex daily situations in which we don't have the luxury of being a lama or monk who is supported by thousands of people for their spiritual path, or people around us don't speak Dharma.

For the lay person who has to struggle with family bills and intimate relationships where no self needs to be constantly applied, the practice doesn't end with the sutra, the meditation, the solitary time to contemplate. Life is constant motion...

How do you tackle the challenges of expectations and dealing with the "other" when you meet the whole other dimension of another perception outside your own in your intimate relationships when they go completely against what you believe or think, and how do you integrate them into your daily practice with nonviolence?

I specify intimate relationship because any relationship that doesn't touch us as deeply is easier to shrug off.

Please share your method/experiences.

(Any vinaya folk welcome too.. don't feel excluded)
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"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by The Cicada » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:38 am

This reminds me of a koan I read when I was young:

  • There was an old woman who supported a hermit. For twenty years she always had a girl, sixteen or seventeen years old, take the hermit his food and wait on him.

    One day she told the girl to give the monk a close hug and ask, “What do you feel just now?”

    The hermit responded, “An old tree on a cold cliff; midwinter – no warmth.”

    The girl went back and told this to the old woman.

    The woman said, “For twenty years I’ve supported this vulgar good-for-nothing!” So saying, she threw the monk out and burned down the hermitage.


I don't know what kind of sadistic old woman goes sending 16 year old girls to a celibate monk's hermitage for years on end and then gets upset when he's overcorrected himself so badly to keep his vows that he perceives a hug from one as a cold tree, but this story is supposed to be relevant to your question somehow!

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by muni » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:10 pm

Hi Ogyen,

That is a great topic because it is easy for me to share texts by realized Masters, it is easy to remain peaceful in a temporary meditation, it is easy when things go easy.

Each one sees its’ own world, which is little different from another fellow. This little created world all want to protect and those in it who are loved so much as well. But beloved ones do not always agree with us.

I have not really difficult contacts with family members. So I lack a bit being challenged by them.
In any case: I would not “debate” with "other views". It increases grasping-clinging to " an own view", on self.
A friend ( other cultural and religious background) from before however tried to convince me I was lost, completely deluded and on the wrong way. I then each time turned the talk in a direction where we could find each other back. Not that this was a success but at least it helped me to maintain patience. We finally both concluded that when we do not harm another, we cannot so much be wrong.

Keeping tolerance becomes a bit easier when I see how long already I perceive from "my world" through own limited karmic colored glasses of “me-mine-my”, which is causing lots of suffering and needless energy. And knowing this, the variety of people are viewing as well by their own world, by which talks result often in a colorful crossing. Again I would not debate, can only result into clinging to views.

Perhaps all these little karmic worlds of “us” are like drops of the ocean. Each drop is such a world where reflections are seen as objects which are then feeding our desires - resulting into suffering. In fact suffering is inviting to see own delusions, other ways I perhaps should deny them and remain thinking they are perfect and of good standing quality and others are wrong.

Remaining tolerant, keeping harmony among all easy to say. Even some challenge can help to see own clinging. Damned! Oops, patience! Sh…
Meditation, remaining aware sustaining clarity and calm mind (for what is not created ) I guess is asking strength, and never give up ( cannot count the times I said: I give up!).
Conditioned by own desires and losing patience-tolerance-compassion-kindness, and then becoming angry, this destroys completely inner peace and we swimm in own suffering.

Dalai Lama says: “the ultimate source of my mental happiness is my peace of mind. Nothing can destroy this, except my own anger.”
Last edited by muni on Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness.
May they be free of suffering and the cause of suffering.
May they never be disassociated from the supreme happiness which is without suffering.
May they remain in the boundless equanimity, free from both attachment to close ones and rejection of others.

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Simon E. » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:39 pm

The Cicada wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:38 am
This reminds me of a koan I read when I was young:

  • There was an old woman who supported a hermit. For twenty years she always had a girl, sixteen or seventeen years old, take the hermit his food and wait on him.

    One day she told the girl to give the monk a close hug and ask, “What do you feel just now?”

    The hermit responded, “An old tree on a cold cliff; midwinter – no warmth.”

    The girl went back and told this to the old woman.

    The woman said, “For twenty years I’ve supported this vulgar good-for-nothing!” So saying, she threw the monk out and burned down the hermitage.





I don't know what kind of sadistic old woman goes sending 16 year old girls to a celibate monk's hermitage for years on end and then gets upset when he's overcorrected himself so badly to keep his vows that he perceives a hug from one as a cold tree, but this story is supposed to be relevant to your question somehow!
It seems to me to be absolutely on the money.
The idea that the Buddha or any genuine Buddhist teacher advocated a state of impersonal detachment from emotion or relationships or suggested that we do not exist in the conventional sense, is one of the most pernicious of misunderstandings of Buddhadharma.
It results from psychological alienation and reinforces the same alienation.
The problem is that the misunderstanding of Buddhadharma by those psychologically alienated causes them to feel validated in their alienation by misunderstanding certain key teachings.
Last edited by Simon E. on Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Aryjna » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:46 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:39 pm
The Cicada wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:38 am
This reminds me of a koan I read when I was young:

  • There was an old woman who supported a hermit. For twenty years she always had a girl, sixteen or seventeen years old, take the hermit his food and wait on him.

    One day she told the girl to give the monk a close hug and ask, “What do you feel just now?”

    The hermit responded, “An old tree on a cold cliff; midwinter – no warmth.”

    The girl went back and told this to the old woman.

    The woman said, “For twenty years I’ve supported this vulgar good-for-nothing!” So saying, she threw the monk out and burned down the hermitage.





I don't know what kind of sadistic old woman goes sending 16 year old girls to a celibate monk's hermitage for years on end and then gets upset when he's overcorrected himself so badly to keep his vows that he perceives a hug from one as a cold tree, but this story is supposed to be relevant to your question somehow!
It seems to me to be absolutely on the money.
The idea that the Buddha or any genuine Buddhist teacher advocated a state of impersonal detachment from emotion or relationships or suggested that we do not exist in the conventional sense, is one of the most pernicious of misunderstandings of Buddhadharma.
Not necessarily, for a Hinayana practitioner that would probably be a good thing. And, even though this is most probably not a real story, the old lady was almost certainly a moron.

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Simon E. » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:51 pm

I am not a Hinayana practitioner, and this is not a Hinayana forum.
In the Vajrayana the emotions are a means, a vehicle, for Realisation. Not something to be in denial over or repress.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Aryjna » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:56 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:51 pm
I am not a Hinayana practitioner, and this is not a Hinayana forum.
In the Vajrayana the emotions are a means, a vehicle, for Realisation. Not something to be in denial over or repress.
The Buddha advocated this kind of practice unless I am missing something, just not for Vajrayana practitioners. I am pretty sure that the disgusting nature of the body etc. is practiced in Mahayana as well, as it is discussed at length in Bodhicaryavatara, Nagarjuna's letter, and probably many other Mahayana texts.

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Simon E. » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:11 pm

'Disgust for the body'.. which is a form of clinging with a minus sign in front of it, and other similar notions have no place in HYT or Dzogchen. Neither is seeing ourselves as some kind of disembodied spirit.
In HYT and Dzogchen, Enlightenment is found in this very body. These very skandhas.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Simon E. » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:27 pm

Ogyen wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:31 pm
The one painful most difficult topic in no-self application is intimate relationships. Your wife, husband, mother in law, your children... The reality is that it's our day to day lives are messy, imperfect, and for me, this topic is very glossed over in general and ignored in many areas where Buddhism is discussed.

How do you address the HOW-TO, when you have a major difference with your spouse, or even betrayal, or your kids defy your values, or you need to work daily with people who don't share your vision of impermanence, any infinity variations of very complex daily situations in which we don't have the luxury of being a lama or monk who is supported by thousands of people for their spiritual path, or people around us don't speak Dharma.

For the lay person who has to struggle with family bills and intimate relationships where no self needs to be constantly applied, the practice doesn't end with the sutra, the meditation, the solitary time to contemplate. Life is constant motion...

How do you tackle the challenges of expectations and dealing with the "other" when you meet the whole other dimension of another perception outside your own in your intimate relationships when they go completely against what you believe or think, and how do you integrate them into your daily practice with nonviolence?

I specify intimate relationship because any relationship that doesn't touch us as deeply is easier to shrug off.

Please share your method/experiences.

(Any vinaya folk welcome too.. don't feel excluded)
Apologies for the detour.
My method is so simple I am a little embarrassed to mention it. And I am not pretending that I am always successful at applying it.
My relationship with my daughter, in particular, was/is often strained. In part, I think because I was a relatively young dad. I am far more skillful as a grandparent. Mostly, whatever is going on, I do my best not to put them out of my heart.
Just that.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Jeff H » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:42 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:46 pm
Simon E. wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:39 pm
The Cicada wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:38 am
This reminds me of a koan I read when I was young:

  • There was an old woman who supported a hermit. For twenty years she always had a girl, sixteen or seventeen years old, take the hermit his food and wait on him.

    One day she told the girl to give the monk a close hug and ask, “What do you feel just now?”

    The hermit responded, “An old tree on a cold cliff; midwinter – no warmth.”

    The girl went back and told this to the old woman.

    The woman said, “For twenty years I’ve supported this vulgar good-for-nothing!” So saying, she threw the monk out and burned down the hermitage.





I don't know what kind of sadistic old woman goes sending 16 year old girls to a celibate monk's hermitage for years on end and then gets upset when he's overcorrected himself so badly to keep his vows that he perceives a hug from one as a cold tree, but this story is supposed to be relevant to your question somehow!
It seems to me to be absolutely on the money.
The idea that the Buddha or any genuine Buddhist teacher advocated a state of impersonal detachment from emotion or relationships or suggested that we do not exist in the conventional sense, is one of the most pernicious of misunderstandings of Buddhadharma.
Not necessarily, for a Hinayana practitioner that would probably be a good thing. And, even though this is most probably not a real story, the old lady was almost certainly a moron.
As a teaching story, I think both interpretations are valid. And especially in the context of Ogyen's OP, not to mention her "Academic Learning" thread, I think that discussing the merits and faults of each interpretation does not require insinuation that either view ought to be the One Right View of it.

I just want to say I am absolutely delighted to see Ogyen burst in here like a ray of light. I was never on ESangha and when she left DW six years ago I hadn't even found DW yet. I believe I have grown thanks to the rough-and-tumble of DW, but how refreshing her views are!! (Sorry, does that count as ad hominem?)
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Aryjna » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:51 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:42 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:46 pm
Simon E. wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:39 pm


It seems to me to be absolutely on the money.
The idea that the Buddha or any genuine Buddhist teacher advocated a state of impersonal detachment from emotion or relationships or suggested that we do not exist in the conventional sense, is one of the most pernicious of misunderstandings of Buddhadharma.
Not necessarily, for a Hinayana practitioner that would probably be a good thing. And, even though this is most probably not a real story, the old lady was almost certainly a moron.
As a teaching story, I think both interpretations are valid. And especially in the context of Ogyen's OP, not to mention her "Academic Learning" thread, I think that discussing the merits and faults of each interpretation does not require insinuation that either view ought to be the One Right View of it.

I just want to say I am absolutely delighted to see Ogyen burst in here like a ray of light. I was never on ESangha and when she left DW six years ago I hadn't even found DW yet. I believe I have grown thanks to the rough-and-tumble of DW, but how refreshing her views are!! (Sorry, does that count as ad hominem?)
I agree that it can help a practitioner to whose practice it is relevant, but as a general story out of specific context I don't think it makes much sense.

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Jeff H » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:05 pm

Exactly. Teachings crystallize in specific moments of direct communication, like bolts of lightening. That one story doesn't stand alone as one thing or another, but could be exactly the message needed for opposite blockages in different situations. In practice it can be directed from someone who knows to someone who needs to know; in discussion we can consider it from many sides, and possibly store it away for future use.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by muni » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:53 pm

How do you address the HOW-TO, when you have a major difference with your spouse, or even betrayal, or your kids defy your values, or you need to work daily with people who don't share your vision of impermanence
Dialogue is possible. I just had a talk today about impermanence without having to mention "Buddhism", it is perfectly possible. But as you say there will be those who do not accept. That is ok. It looks helpful for me to listen as well instead of to want to talk.

I certainly would not go in 'debate-fight to prove my right'. While dialogue can be very fruitful.
May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness.
May they be free of suffering and the cause of suffering.
May they never be disassociated from the supreme happiness which is without suffering.
May they remain in the boundless equanimity, free from both attachment to close ones and rejection of others.

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by The Cicada » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:47 pm

"Underneath this genius, I'm simply a human, you know? But I'm working on that."

—J.P., Grandma's Boy, 2006

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Grigoris » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:11 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:11 pm
'Disgust for the body'.. which is a form of clinging with a minus sign in front of it, and other similar notions have no place in HYT or Dzogchen. Neither is seeing ourselves as some kind of disembodied spirit.
In HYT and Dzogchen, Enlightenment is found in this very body. These very skandhas.
Well it may surprise you to know that not everybody here practices HYT or Dzogchen and thus renunciation teachings are 100% valid for them

You are in the General Dharma sub-forum so please tone down your act a couple of notches.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Simon E. » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:12 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:42 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:46 pm
Simon E. wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:39 pm


It seems to me to be absolutely on the money.
The idea that the Buddha or any genuine Buddhist teacher advocated a state of impersonal detachment from emotion or relationships or suggested that we do not exist in the conventional sense, is one of the most pernicious of misunderstandings of Buddhadharma.
Not necessarily, for a Hinayana practitioner that would probably be a good thing. And, even though this is most probably not a real story, the old lady was almost certainly a moron.
As a teaching story, I think both interpretations are valid. And especially in the context of Ogyen's OP, not to mention her "Academic Learning" thread, I think that discussing the merits and faults of each interpretation does not require insinuation that either view ought to be the One Right View of it.

I just want to say I am absolutely delighted to see Ogyen burst in here like a ray of light. I was never on ESangha and when she left DW six years ago I hadn't even found DW yet. I believe I have grown thanks to the rough-and-tumble of DW, but how refreshing her views are!! (Sorry, does that count as ad hominem?)
I agree Ogyen has cut through some pretty entrenched and repetitive stances here..including mine..
I would suggest that she should become a mod..but I am not that cruel. :smile:

Incidentally I don't think that is an ad hom. I think that there is a widespread understanding that ad-homs are framed in a negative way to prevent discussion by impugning.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by The Cicada » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:07 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:39 pm
The problem is that the misunderstanding of Buddhadharma by those psychologically alienated causes them to feel validated in their alienation by misunderstanding certain key teachings.
IMG_20180325_110606.jpg
IMG_20180325_110606.jpg (36.49 KiB) Viewed 402 times
How so? Seems like a good ideal to me.

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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Ogyen » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:28 pm

Apologies if what I said encouraged any controversy, that was the farthest intention in this thread.

And thank you to everyone for such thoughtful responses!!

I love the koan... it has a sticky quality that hasn't loosened it's grip on me and it's a very interesting and very profound puzzle.

Greg, I whole heartedly agree that renunciation works for some, I have dear Dharma sisters who have taken vinaya vows and by doing so have renounced all the elements that lead to the struggles of a householder in the matter of their intimidate relationships, and to be honest they aren't exempt from the same struggles by their families and the expectations that are socially imposed on their choices of life.. not all are magically supported by their peeps back home! One friend once told me jokingly... Sometimes I wonder if it might have been simpler to just be gay than being a nun, people have such strange reactions to my choices, and I am still me, I just follow this calling.

Of course she knows any path she would have chosen would have been a challenge, such is samsara, but it is just as trying (in a different aspect) being ordained and still have to work with mundane relationships (not romantic) but even one's mother, brother sister, or dear friends have their challenges... No? In the end we always conclude it is all practice in our conversations.

Muni - I really resonated with what your write about dialogue, and how wonderful that you have that level of harmony in your intimate social sphere!! I find it is really difficult to initiate dialog when the majority of people around me know zero about the dharma. I've had to be creative and not use any dharma lingo to talk about emptiness and compassion.

For example, in my intimate circle of friends, very few in my real day to day life are Buddhist. I used to be filled by insecurities and doubts that I would never find people I could relate to because the only places I could talk to other Buddhists about the dharma.

I was mistaken. This was made clear to me, more than ever, that my relationships weren't about making everyone agree with me, and being Buddhist like me. It was about harmonizing with the world and reality as is, with the people that come into my life due to karmic conditions ripening.

I have a few concrete stories that showed me this.. The most salient is that of a very dear friend of mine. Let's call her Jane.

Honestly I don't even know how Jane and I are friends sometimes, we are completely different, from completely different background, socio-economic status, and education. Jane is extremely "difficult", for most people, she gets upset easily, really struggles to communicate clearly, is always subject to misunderstandings and arguments with people over what was meant and what as understood, especially where money is concerned. She is an incredibly soft-hearted caring, yet misunderstood and thus "difficult character" and has a really hard time in her relationships. It doesn't help matters that as part of her own karmic conditions she has an addict son, and has tried to work on herself for a long time thinking this was her fault.

We've now been friends a long time, and in that friendship we've had a million misunderstandings, including her son robbing my house one time. This would have broken most friendships, and in the situation, it almost did... I had young children and I had to think of the welfare of my family with exposure to a person with such problems via Jane. Jane understood perfectly that she hadn't committed any wrongdoing against me nor I against her, so we found a common ground and healthy boundaries which excluded her son from any of our interactions given my priorities to see that my children were safe. The one thing was apply the practice according to the instructions I was given. This was 5 years ago.

A couple of years ago, she told me she wanted to know more about dharma because how I have always treated her changed her perspective on many things and it made her try to also emulate the same spirit. She said she knows how difficult she is but because I never look for her defects, she cherishes me as one of her dearest friends. I didn't talk to her about dharma when she brought it up. Still it was important to me to never make her feel bad for her struggles or when she was upset about things with her son, I always applied the practice. It was never my place to judge or qualify her battles, I always focused on what would be most useful to her condition to understand its true nature. I couldn't understand it, I wasn't living it for her. But I could provide practical tips, ways of looking at it, in plain English (or Spanish depending on the moment). What she didn't know in so many words is that I was applying my teachers instructions to relax, and be present, and I began seeing it as a waking dream.

In this waking dream I make a conscious choice to respond to her struggles by addressing what my limited capacity reveals to really be the issue, not what seems to be the issue. I've got good chops with not believing appearances and I don't try to fix her life for her, I don't get involved in her struggles, but I am always available to listen and be present. That's all. I don't always like or agree with her. But I always respect her experience and being-ness as just as valid as my own. When I don't like her, I take that to my practice and come to find that it's me I don't like much. She is just a mirror of that thing that irks me. And I've made this a practice with my partner, kids, friends, and I'm a pile of defects practicing the great perfection, and always remind myself she is me.. in a different color, in a different lens, in a different set of relative conditions, but we are both struggling in this invisible cage of our choices, karma, and everything that makes arise that haunts and tortures us...

She overcame many many hardships in the years we've been close. In many cases it was her fear of being alone, or people respecting her boundaries. Every six months or so she asked me again about what it was to be Buddhist. I didn't answer much again about Dharma specifics, instead talked about compassion and trying to live with more harmony when things get really hard. Pema Chodron really helped making this a very practical application. After the 3rd time she asked me, an opportunity emerged with a retreat with a visiting Tibetan Nyingma lama who was going to give empowerment and do a full retreat on world peace with 24-hrs of chanting Vajrasattva. I invited her to come check it out.

She went with me and during the retreat had a total recognition of Lama, and felt the profound connection with him. About a year ago she took refuge with him, in another retreat on Chod. I feel today that if I had been more righteous about being Buddhisty it would have missed the point completely, which was to have this human connection. Now she is my vajra sister, and we are like family. We still don't talk so much in academic terms about the dharma, but it's purpose as a vehicle is a central theme in our bond of friendship.

I've learned I do not have to speak in jargon to convey compassion in actions. I now have more experience talking about dharma through the human lens than through the academic one because most people around me are NOT buddhist and the language sounds strange and vaguely culty to them. I don't want to create blockage for the dharma in the future just because they formed a poor emotional association with words or concepts they didn't understand.

I've seen several of my contacts who started out as awkward odd associations find the dharma through just knowing someone who practiced. I'm sure I'm not at all unique, so I've come to really value this matter of intimacy and intimate relationship because it is what makes and breaks many people's practice of the dharma. How can it be ignored in favor of academic conversation about emptiness (which is really important, but it's more important that it is integrated and practiced in real time).

Thank you for all your contributions, you're giving me lots to reflect on!
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"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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Ogyen
Posts: 694
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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by Ogyen » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:54 pm

The Cicada wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:07 pm
Simon E. wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:39 pm
The problem is that the misunderstanding of Buddhadharma by those psychologically alienated causes them to feel validated in their alienation by misunderstanding certain key teachings.
IMG_20180325_110606.jpg

How so? Seems like a good ideal to me.
This reminds me of a vignette I saw with two guys arguing, and one was being all tough saying how bada$$ he is how he showed someone else up for being so stupid, and the other snaps back something to the effect of, "Yeah...You wanna show how tough you are, open your heart and be 100% vulnerable and honest. With everyone. Go ahead Mr. Tough Guy."

:rolling:

I suppose alienation can be another path that leads to the same understanding. I am not one to judge. Many conditions, many paths, same need to not suffer. Alienation just has always been "simpler" for me personally than dealing with the messy business of relationship to other humans suffering like me... But honestly it doesn't make me a kinder a person and I go deeper into illusion and neurosis so I've come to understand at this stage in the Game, it doesn't give me the correct antidote for my specific brand of suffering.

I've known a few hermits too.. they seemed to be fine with alienation from everything.

Also... I think it depends on karmic conditions. At some point we will all reach a space of complete retreat... At others we need to go thru those relationships.

All in its timing according to karmic ripening ....
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The Heart Drive - nosce te ipsum

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget." –Arundhati Roy

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The Cicada
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Re: Intimate relationships -the "other", no self, and practice

Post by The Cicada » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:48 pm

Ogyen wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:54 pm
open your heart and be 100% vulnerable and honest. With everyone. Go ahead Mr. Tough Guy."
I'd like to address something to you.

So, your (re)appearance in this forum is not unlike the appearance of the goddess in the Vimalakirti Sutra. You seem to be a person of some accomplishment, both externally and inwardly, and yet I can't fathom why you would insist on punishing others in this way. Our minds are full of error that passes through them like clouds in the sky. Why insist on, first, making someone hold on to that error or reify it, and then expose it under the banner of "honesty?"

Why must we be punished in this society with demands for emotional transparency?

It's a bit like the old woman. Why not simply let the monk's passion fade away quietly instead of burning a celibate in his passion daily by sending a young woman of marriageable age to feed him, hoping he will learn platonic "love?" I want to take up this creative interpretation of that story, because I've never read an interpretation that faulted the old woman, and I detect, (or perhaps project,) clumbsy "grandmotherly compassion" in it.

That monk should have left to seek out other monks or to find genuine solitude before her well-intentioned meddling ripened in the habits of his heart and mind, I think. Not all relationships are healthy and neither is all emotional intimacy.

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