Archive for the ‘relationships’ Category

While there are many thoughtful academic and journalistic works on what defines and creates a culture of oppression, patriarchy and rape, I offer here subtle energy realizations through awakening and embodied living. These aren’t offered for analysis and dis/agreement, but for checking by direct seeing. If you are able, do set aside intellectual and philosophical arguments, and simply look. Look and see, and you’ll know what is meant when it is said that the world doesn’t exist outside of us. Or, that it is manifested as a reflection / projection of our identity of separateness and the conditioning it carries!

(Also, it would be easy to read this and think I am advocating some brand of puritanism or offering a critique and shaming of sex, materialism and consumerism. Quite the contrary, I am speaking of a total and unconditional (loving!) allowing of all the conditioning so that it can be wholly seen, accepted, embraced and integrated… dissolved. And I am speaking of the realization that until it is integrated — brought into integrity as whole — it continues to project the “reality” we collectively experience… no matter who it is that “personally” acts out the “worst.”)


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We all say we want to be seen, and when someone truly sees (through) us, we want to run for the hills 🙂

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When we miss and long for a loved one, no matter who they are or have been to us, we are actually missing the alignment with Self/Love we experience when we flow Love toward them in their (physical) presence. (The mind has attached to them the source of our Love and the good feeling of alignment and home, instead of our abiding in Self, remaining wakeful to their being the external reflection of Self to whom we flow Love, always sourced in Self.) We are not missing them, we are missing alignment with Self/Love, and we are feeling that distance, that gap, between (the concept / identity of) me and Me, the most excruciating rift of all. And all arising emotion is the signal to return to alignment and close that (illusory) gap!

All longing is always for the Self!! The Holy Longing!

The moment we realize this and return home to Self, to alignment, we not only experience the missing dissolve, but also experience all other perceived gaps and distances dissolve. And so, we have an instantaneous and visceral sense of the loved one’s presence, as One-Self, no matter where they are physically, and no matter whether they exist in the physical or have passed on in body. The paradox is that it is the missing and longing that separates us from our beloved… as it separates us from Self, and ‘the other’ is none but One-Self in reflection!

The Holy Longing
a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and a favorite of all time  (more…)

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Sometime early last year it hit me. Duh! That’s what the term “gentleman” really means (or ought to, anyway)! No, no, not the idea that finally, the savage, brawny creature becomes cultured and cultivated, reigning in his natural instinct for rough-and-tumble and emerging the gentleman. And no, neither do I mean that the gentleman is someone who “is in touch with his feminine side.” Rather, I actually mean that gentleness is at the very core of every man. It is the true nature and true power of the masculine essence! (**Please see P.S. for a note on gender.)

I came to understand this not intellectually, but experientially, inspired by the profound influence of a singularly special man in my life. My phrase (and poem below) for the experience is Like Water to Earth — Water, the most powerful sculpting agent of Earth, all the while doing it with a softening, molding, cleansing, nourishing and life-giving power. Once I saw this, though, it somehow extended to become my all-encompassing view and understanding of all the wonderful men I have (had) in my life — as friends, partners, (partners of friends), brother- or father- or grandfather-figures, and in recent years, also several “son-figures.” (It seems that I am surrounded by and inevitably close to mothers with boys!) And also through the many incredible men who have contributed to the heArt work in publishing Courageous Creativity for over 4 years now — men who transform the world every single day with the extraordinary power of gentleness. (I can’t help giving a special shout out to Nipun Mehta!) Writing this post quickly in the heels of Father’s Day, I have to mention noticing (through social media) that many women appear to be experiencing and acknowledging this quality in the fathers of their children regardless of whether it “worked out” between them or not, (or are/were fortunate to experience it in their own fathers, like I too am now). One particularly beautiful phrase that stuck with me was about the power of fathering with “gentle strength and tender affection.” (more…)

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In our social consciousness, we have grown to place a premium on empathy, and often mention it in the same breath as compassion or loving kindness. I’ve long been reflecting on the differences, and in this last year I’ve been profoundly experiencing the subtleties through my body and energy states.

Empathy is the ability to feel and share another’s feelings. This is considered a very good thing because we want human connection and understanding to grow, since these in turn promote humanitarian and peaceful relations among otherwise different peoples and groups. We think that if I can feel what you feel, if I can identify with you, I can have a sense of our “sameness” and our differences will cease to matter.

Loving kindness (metta or maitri) is independent of the particulars of the external situation. At our highest and best, loving kindness is our innate state of being, rather than an identification with another’s feeling state. It is the warmth and light we feel in the presence of an enlightened being, who is simply emanating her Love without becoming entangled or mired in our day-to-day troubles (while lending a loving listening ear whenever necessary). Like the sun giving us warmth and light and Vitamin D by virtue of its very existence, like a tree giving us shade, fruit or oxygen by virtue of its very existence, loving kindness is the “sunshine” and “oxygen” given off naturally by an enlightened being, by virtue of her very presence and existence.

What is so significant about the difference between the two? Well, for starters, empathy is an avenue of showing caring that is predicated on identification — that sense of “sameness” I mentioned before. Loving kindness, on the other hand, is independent and free of whether I can resonate with you (in a particular situation you are facing) or not. (more…)

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Buddhist monks are known to create beautiful, elaborate sand mandalas and then wipe them clean. A clean slate, a blank canvas, an empty space for new creation to become possible again and again. Over the last year I have come to realize that perhaps the most loving gift someone can give you is his keen, inquiring, interested, attentive presence, but with utter, unwavering neutrality. Like providing a completely clear mirror in which to look at your true self. Like that clean slate, the blank canvas, the empty space, so you may create yourself anew. (more…)

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I’ve written extensively on the nature of true Love before, both on this blog and in my book Thrive! Falling in Love with Life. Still, continuously practicing Love inspires and compels me to write more about it time and again. And each time I reflect brings forth a more evolved and nuanced understanding.


True Love is a way of being and therefore, acting in the world, not merely a bunch of good feelings, though these feelings are a natural corollary to Love. Love is first an innate quality of oneself, independent of a relationship or situation or another person. Because it originates and emanates from within oneself, how much Love there is only depends on how much one’s heart is open and willing to give and receive. As Marianne Williamson, author of Return to Love recently said in an interview, “The only thing lacking in any situation is what you are not giving it,” and I would add, “receiving from it.” And as Benjamin Zander, author of The Art of Possibility said in a TED Talk, “Who am I being that (your) eyes are not shining?” (more…)

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