By Jacqueline Maria Longstaff August 2004 Commitment to the highest purpose of relationship and not to the two individuals can help achieve real spiritual awakening Seven commitments 1. To consciously build up the shared energy field of the relationship and make important decisions in the light of the essence point. 2. To allow each other to ‘clean out’ emotionally and not try to prevent this out of fear that the other will grow more quickly etc. It is dangerous to ‘sit on the other’s subconscious!’ 3. To totally accept one’s own and each other’s emotional patterns, but never to fall into the trap of mistaking them as real. The one who is more clear and in balance when the other is upset emotionally will hold a clear space for the other, enabling him or her to more easily come back into balance. 4. To totally let go of blaming the other. 5. Never to go to sleep at night on negative energy. Perhaps you are going through real difficulties together, perhaps you are feeling hurt or defensive. No matter what has happened end the day with a loving touch or soft words—even just “sleep well” is enough. Do not ignore each other. 6. To regularly share a meditative space together. 7. To lovingly support each other’s visions and chosen spiritual practice.Themes to be addressed • Awareness of projections—which parts have you written into your dream script for your partner to play out for you? • Being grounded in reality—transcending romantic dreams. • Integration of anima and animus (the inner man and woman). • Sex, love and higher consciousness. • Moving through karma to the dharma of the relationship. • Chakra balancing as a couple. • Compassion. I am surprised to find myself writing this. Years ago I offered courses on relationship as a spiritual pathway and felt this work was now finished. However, I look around and see many people still spend much energy on relationship and see they often end up in great emotional turmoil. I also see many who have the idea that if they are really interested in spiritual awakening they should no longer focus on relationships, and yet something keeps bringing them back into it. So I decided to write a book about it and to again offer courses on this subject at the Ashram of the Singing Heart in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. My feeling was that if people want relationships then offer them a way to be at peace together in that relationship so that side by side they can focus on what is most important: real spiritual awakening. I also know that as more people heal and live enlightened relationships, the understanding gained goes into the collective energy field and can be accessed by many more. Real healing of archetypal man and woman will take place. Everything we learn, every aspect of life we transform and bring to a higher level, ultimately contributes to the collective energy field and benefits the whole. On a spiritual pathway, real commitment is needed, otherwise people walk away soon once the ‘honeymoon’ is over and the challenges begin to present themselves. The same thing happens in relationships. At the ashram I shall be offering to conduct marriage ceremonies where people commit to the marriage for a period of seven years. (Saturn cycles come in periods of seven years.) I say, “commit to the marriage” and do not say “commit to each other”. What I offer is a new understanding of commitment–commitment to the highest purpose of the relationship and not to the personalities of the two individuals. On a spiritual pathway people often surrender to a guru and the highest potential of the relationship becomes the guru. The couple surrender to this guiding light that, like a true guru, can then take them beyond identification with the drama they find themselves in to a place of real inner freedom. I can already hear some people protesting and asking why bother at all with the drama of relationships, protesting that the whole of the relative world is just an illusion, just a dream. Well, it is a dream that many still identify with so strongly that it is difficult for them to move beyond it. When one has awakened from identification with the dream it is then possible to again enter the dream and help people. As long as we are in physical incarnation we will in some way be playing within the illusion. I often encourage people to be aware of which parts of the illusion can bring them home. I am reminded of something said by my first guru, Osho. He said the master–disciple relationship was the final game and then added: “Play it as beautifully as possible.” He didn’t say do not play it! So let’s play the relationship game as beautifully as possible and with full awareness. Why extramarital relationshipsMany people in the West today are overstimulated and boredom in life often becomes an issue. One difficulty in relationships is that people often get bored with each other and embark upon what is called ‘extramarital affairs’. A so-called third party then seems to be the cause of the breakdown of the relationship, but really it had already broken down on a very deep, energetic level otherwise the affair would not have happened. As I speak with younger people here in India I see they are beginning to experience similar difficulties as they adopt western customs to find more freedom in personal relationships and choice of partners. This work is by no means only for westerners! What I suggest to people is that they bring in a third party already very early in the relationship, and that third party is God or whatever you wish to call the absolute. Some people talk about the soul or higher-self, etc. but normally I do not use these expressions. I cannot find a soul—I only sense the oneness. I, however, talk about surrender to what could be called the higher self of the relationship, the essence point, and teach couples to contact this point together. It is an energetic point that can be contacted by the couple just as individually we can contact chakra points within the subtle body. This point becomes the ‘guru.’ Remember that guru means ‘the dispeller of darkness’ and is actually a principle found deep within each heart–a principle often projected out onto a person. Contact with the deepest potential of the heart takes you beyond the illusion of separateness. Nothing like a cold heartThe heart holds such a deep secret that is still waiting to be discovered by most people. Let me say one thing very clearly: There is no such thing as a closed heart. It is the heart’s nature to be open, to be in love and to embrace all and everything within that love. There’s no such thing as a cold heart or a hard heart—this is simply not the nature of the heart. It’s like talking about a flame that has no fire—impossible! A flame’s nature is fire. Yet what can happen in life is that, due to difficult circumstances and your inner reaction to them, you turn away from the heart. You forget to visit it! Then it can feel as if the heart is closed and that love and compassion are far away. If you go to your heart at such difficult times you will begin to discover what the heart really has to teach you. It is never closed—it is always there waiting for your return. Please do not believe what I say here. Try for yourself so that you are really in touch with the secret of the heart. A spiritual teacher I knew many years ago once said that most people were not in touch with the space inside where love is. He said most were in touch with a place from where love comes and goes and that when love began to go more than it came people moved on to another partner. Ultimately, my book, Relationship as a Spiritual Pathway is about love–pure, unconditional love–so much needed in the world today. It is about coming home to the space inside where love just is. Excerpted from a forthcoming book, Relationship as a Spiritual Pathway, by Jacqueline Maria Longstaff, a Dane who runs the Ashram of the Singing Heart in Tiruvannamalai. She holds satsang, meditation retreats and courses in relationship as a spiritual pathway. Relating with feelingby Anita AnandMadhu, in her early 40s, is divorced with two children and lives with her parents. She blames her father for forcing her into marriage with an abusive husband. Her relationship with her teenage children is difficult and while living under the same roof, she didn’t speak to her father for years. She has an intimate relationship with a man she knew before she was married—who is now married with children. • Ameeta, in her late 20s, is single and lives at home. She has an unsatisfactory relationship with both parents and feels unloved and unwanted. With little interest in life, Ameeta feels she is unintelligent and has very little to look forward to. She has a boyfriend, who she actively communicates with and sees once a week. • Mallika, in her mid-30s, is also single and lives at home. With a fairly long history of abuse, she feels betrayed by her father, who she feels did not protect her as a child and through her teenage years. She faced physical and mental violence from her mother and a boyfriend during a very difficult adolescent period. She has a difficult time in intimate relationships with men. • Prem, in his late 50s, lives next door to his brother, but doesn’t talk to him. Four years ago, Prem developed severe coughing and asthma, a severe eye problem, and eventually loss of sight in one eye. This coincided with his father being hospitalised and his having a major row with his brother. Married, with two children who live independently, he is fast moving to being a recluse. • Rajeev’s mother took him and his sister away from their father wh
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