The gift of presence

Talk about relationships in the context of Spiritual Enlightenment
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xkatex
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Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:29 pm

The gift of presence

Post by xkatex » Sat May 21, 2011 3:14 pm

My boyfriend is not interested in the teachings of Eckhart whatsoever. He refers to it jokingly as 'spiritual crap', and we both laugh about it, as I can see how kooky the ideas sound! Most of my friends also laugh about it, but my spiritual idiosyncracies are one of the things they love me for :) I have no desire to preach to them or anything like that, as I know it won't work. As you might expect, my friends can get deeply frustrated with life, especially issues about sex and relationships; one of my girlfriends was being used by a guy for sex, and it was her first time. I can see how that's really painful because she hasn't found the source of love within herself yet, but she really wants to read the PON after our exams our done so hopefully it will resonate. I have another friend who's completely given up on love already (she's only seventeen!!!!), and I think she's deeply unhappy, I just find it so sad that they haven't discovered how beautiful a relationship can be, even if only one partner is present. I've given up trying to explain to them, and just trying to hold the presence myself because I watched a video where Eckhart said that if people aren't open to the words then it's the best way to teach.

Bear in mind that I'm seventeen, so this is a hard time for many people. I've noticed in particular how girls in particular feel this need to have a boyfriend, and also there's a lot of fear of men in general (I go to a girls' grammar school), and it's true that teenagers are so obsessed with appearance and sex, and it's sad. My boyfriend and I have a wonderful relationship for the most part, but I don't like to think of him or my friends as unhappy. I've accepted that it's my ego that wanted to change everything, and Eckhart said that sometimes people just need to continue their suffering if they're not open to it, and to allow that is compassion too. I've contented myself with knowing that the greatest gift we can give is presence, and that it will affect them on a deeper level, if it isn't visible.

So, sorry for the long winded context! Just out of interest, I wanted to hear other people's experiences with this. Does just holding presence in your life and relationship help reduce other people's suffering in a way that you can see? Have they even started to ask questions after a while? Or perhaps the most unlikely person you could think of asked what you 'do' or to be introduced to the teachings? Maybe you are in a relationship where both partners are becoming conscious? Any experiences are welcome; it would be nice to hear about how presence is intiating positive change in the world, and it would just be interesting to see how it manifests in relationships for you, as people still seem pretty unhappy where I am! Lol

Peace and blessings :)

xkatex
Posts: 83
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Re: The gift of presence

Post by xkatex » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:33 pm

As no one's commented yet, I thought I'd mention a few experiences.

Being with a partner who is unconscious spiritually speaking can certainly be a challenge. My boyfriend associates my spirituality with 'airy fairy' stuff, and has a deep dislike for most religions, which is fair enough as he can see the unnecessary suffering and societal control that institutionalised religions have caused. I don't know if this is me kidding myself, but I take his distancing himself from dogma as evidence of slightly increasing consciousness, even if it does inhibit him from seeing the deeper truths within religion. Anyway, I digress :P He tends to be very entrenched in his opinions, but I've found that since I've let myself go into the emptiness, instead of endeavouring to do a particular 'practice' when I'm with him, there's a different quality in the way that I relate to him, and I've noticed that now, even though I never talk about spiritual things directly, he finds it easier to see both sides and has even changed his opinion sometimes and become more liberal (gasp!!) :P

The usual emptiness (not the good emptiness, the scary horrible one) that I feel in the moments just after we part in the evenings or whatever is something I have decided to completely allow and have the courage to face, rather than avoiding it with a practice. I've noticed that when I do this, it's like the emptiness flowers and becomes radiant, wonderful and light, it's presence itself! Just amazing, but you need the courage to push through the fear and deadness. The emptiness can be evoked by anything, by the way, not just leaving a loved one, but for me it's often after he leaves.

Also, I find myself becoming less anxious when it's been a long time between text messages, for example, and more patient with his controlling mother, who often asks that he is home at seven pm, even though he's eighteen in a few months. I've realised that my frustration with her and expecting her to be more conscious of how she is constraining her son is the same desire to control which she is in the grip of! So I was being a hypocrite! Also, holding the presence when my boyfriend naturally expresses anger about the way in which his mother behaves, means I don't necessarily have to say anything, and I find myself just holding his hand and giving him a kiss on the cheek which says 'I'm here for you.' Then we laugh, as if at the silliness of humans :lol: And it's like I cannot help but love his mum unconditonally, even though I don't like her on the relative level or desire to spend time with her (I have to occasionally, of course!)

Fears about whether the relationship will end have also become less intense as they have been completely allowed, without even the intention of transmuting the emotions. I expect that they will re-emerge next year, when our going off to university (likely separate ones) becomes closer, but now I recognise that love and completeless is within, and that relationships are impermanent. I heard that Adya's wife, Mukti said to him after a meditation 'I don't need you, but there's no one else I'd rather be with', and this is often exactly how I feel. Sure, it would be great if we could stay together forever and ever, but I'm willing to face the sadness if we do break up, as I have inner peace beneath it and feel love, love, love, everywhere! I'm going to let decisions about the relationship be guided by spacious, empty awareness and the innate sense of what is right (hopefully I won't forget).

I'm sorry if this post seems self obsessed or boastful in any way. I just wanted to share my experience with you guys here, as you're all so welcoming, and it might give some people hope regarding relationships, which was the hardest thing for me, and I can imagine for most of us, to allow realisation to embody after awakening.

Blessings on your journey, and love! I'm so happy, thank you all for being here and for all your helpful posts on the forum :) :)

snowheight
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Re: The gift of presence

Post by snowheight » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:27 am

xkatex wrote:Just out of interest, I wanted to hear other people's experiences with this. Does just holding presence in your life and relationship help reduce other people's suffering in a way that you can see?
I've posted this experience before -- two years ago, on a beach, while I'm reading TPON, my wife of 16 years whom I've known for 23 literally knocks the book out of my hand as she sing-songs "Eckhart Tolle the little troll!" ... the book was half read, so there was noone there to get annoyed with this ... she wanted my attention, she wanted me in the Now. That is perfect.

Our pain bodies resonate together much less frequently and usually on an attenuating basis (we fight less often and less intensely). Never got her to read the book all the way through or to buy in completely on a conceptual level.

This is an amazing journey that you are at the start of and know that you've found a valuable point of reference in Tolle -- there is much ahead of you, and remember, that when the chips are down is when this stuff is put to the test.
xkatex wrote:He tends to be very entrenched in his opinions, but I've found that since I've let myself go into the emptiness, instead of endeavouring to do a particular 'practice' when I'm with him, there's a different quality in the way that I relate to him, and I've noticed that now, even though I never talk about spiritual things directly, he finds it easier to see both sides and has even changed his opinion sometimes and become more liberal (gasp!!) :P

The usual emptiness (not the good emptiness, the scary horrible one) that I feel in the moments just after we part in the evenings or whatever is something I have decided to completely allow and have the courage to face, rather than avoiding it with a practice.
Far from being boastful, this is very poignant and insightful. At the risk of sounding like the creepy old dude at the disco, I look forward to hearing more of your experience as it unfolds. Know that posts like yours that are written from obvious stillness often elicit the same in response. That's ok, at the very least you will have a breadcrumb to come back and reflect on past experience ... a diary of a sort.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

xkatex
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Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:29 pm

Re: The gift of presence

Post by xkatex » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:49 pm

Thank you creepy old dude at the disco!! :D It's interesting to hear about your experience in marriage, because I can imagine the pain body stuff comes up a lot more intensely when you're together all the time. What seems great to me is that you don't need or expect your partner to read the book or the way through, or be interested or practise presence. I wanted this for a long time, even after I'd given up 'preaching' but then I read this by Kim Eng:

http://www.eckharttolletv.com/newslette ... mber-2010/


Another thing that's come on recently is oneness, with everyone, even at the shop today when I buying a massive bar of chocolate. You know you read these things, 'we are all one', and 'enlightenment brings you oneness', and you agree, knowing it's true on some level but you don't really get it experientially? Well today, I got it and it was beautiful. I was the car and the trees and the cashier man. I dropped the inner body, dropped mindfulness, dropped everything and it was just awareness, then it finally hit without even having to think that we are one.

I'm really interested in everyone else's experiences, so don't hesitate to post :)

nutrition
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Re: The gift of presence

Post by nutrition » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:25 pm

Another thing that's come on recently is oneness, with everyone, even at the shop today when I buying a massive bar of chocolate. You know you read these things, 'we are all one', and 'enlightenment brings you oneness', and you agree, knowing it's true on some level but you don't really get it experientially? Well today, I got it and it was beautiful. I was the car and the trees and the cashier man. I dropped the inner body, dropped mindfulness, dropped everything and it was just awareness, then it finally hit without even having to think that we are one.
Buying chocolate does that to most human beings.. :lol:

snowheight
Posts: 1958
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Re: The gift of presence

Post by snowheight » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:59 pm

xkatex wrote: Another thing that's come on recently is oneness, with everyone, even at the shop today when I buying a massive bar of chocolate. You know you read these things, 'we are all one', and 'enlightenment brings you oneness', and you agree, knowing it's true on some level but you don't really get it experientially? Well today, I got it and it was beautiful. I was the car and the trees and the cashier man. I dropped the inner body, dropped mindfulness, dropped everything and it was just awareness, then it finally hit without even having to think that we are one.
Someone posted an experience here a while back that is worth experimenting with. If we are particularly present in a situation with strangers, such as a waiting room or a line etc (my favorite is on the Gondola here), you can notice the other apparent individuals picking up on and sharing a sense of calm and joy ... even though they are in what for many is a situation of some level of stress.

Thanks for sharing that!
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

xkatex
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Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:29 pm

Re: The gift of presence

Post by xkatex » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:00 pm

I think it was just the chocolate to be honest... :lol:

xkatex
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Re: The gift of presence

Post by xkatex » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:44 pm

I'd like to hear your thoughts or advice, although I know there isn't really much I can do but allow this to be. I love my boyfriend so much, but recently when I'm near him I've been feeling a deep sadness in my heart area, and it's like my heart is closing up to his energy all of a sudden. I've found it's made me withdrawn and moody, and it's so hard to step back from it; it's like being really really depressed all of a sudden. Sometimes it makes me want to cry, and I don't feel like I can talk to him about it because he's not going to understand, and he'll think it's his fault or that I don't love him anymore. I know there isn't a way to know for sure, but do you guys think it could be:

a) Me feeling his own conflicted energy? Both Adyashanti and Eckhart have spoken about becoming more sensitive to other people's energy fields as part of the awakening process. As I've said before, I can't really talk to him about it because if I say something like 'it feels like you might be a bit unhappy/conflicted', he's adamant that he feels completely fine. He's either so completely in his head that he can't feel his emotions or energy field underneath (and I know his painbody might be strong as he often argues with his mother and there's a lot of resentment and hurt there; he is also very aware of the fact that his parents have been unhappily married for a number of years whilst he and his brother are living in this atmosphere until college), or in fact he actually is fine inside and the problem is with me. So....

b) Is it my own painbody coming up with regard to relationship issues? This is definitely a possibility, as my dad was hardly ever around when I was a young child, and my relationship with my ex stepdad, who I continued to call 'dad' and see as a father after he and my mother split when I was nine (long story), completely disintegrated when I was fourteen (I was beginning to see control issues arising within him, and I didn't want to end up abused like my mum), and I never saw him again after we had a tiny argument about me being rude. There is definitely something unresolved, and if I think about it for too long I cry; I think it might be relevant to how I'm feeling with my boyfriend (who is not controlling in any way), because I read that the relationship we have with our father figure can form the basis for the rest of our relationships unconsciously. However, I'm confused as to why this feeling arises just when I'm with my boyfriend, which makes me feel like it might be coming from him.

c) Is it a mixture of both of these things?

Reading this, I can see how I am overanalysing things, but I would really like some guidance, or just some kind words, because this feeling has unexpectedly arisen and is impacting on my relationship. I find myself saying things like 'you don't love me' and feeling insecure about my body, even though he has never given me any reason to think anything like this, it's just this energy that's making me say it. I don't know if it's just a natural occurence that we're not compatible anymore energy field wise, and that I need to end the relationship, or whether it's coming from within me. I know that everything is one, and that ultimately it doesn't really matter who it's coming from; it's there and needs to be allowed, but it would help me to know how to tell the difference between 'my' energy and other people's.

Thanks for taking the time to read this frantic and self obsessed post!! :)

snowheight
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Re: The gift of presence

Post by snowheight » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:18 am

Hey present-gal ... I'll let some of the amazing women here or some others who have a better grip on human relationships reply with in-depth advice. All I can do is let you know that I read this, sympathize, and leave you with this one cliche from experience: all relationships, especially those with your significant other, involve, at one point or another, some "work".

Maybe this is simply due to the inherent gap between one perspective and another. Sometimes, we might convince ourselves that we really do understand another person and know what they are thinking, and while empathy is perhaps sometimes noble, it only goes so far. How do you tell someone about the taste of honey?

Men and women do this dance quite differently, and another cliche is how men hate to talk about relationship issues, especially with their wives and girlfriends. There is something that we feel when a woman says "Honey?" in such a way that demands attention that sets off fear-based conditioned-responses. The fear at the root here is of losing you. We just want those conversations to end quickly. Sometimes (and may your boyfriend forgive me ... and also, be careful about taking advice from the creepy-old-dude-at-the-disco) the emotional catharsis that can come out of those talks when the lady presses the issue can be profound.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

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smiileyjen101
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Re: The gift of presence

Post by smiileyjen101 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:00 am

Hugs Kate
(if snowy is the creepy old guy at the disco (which had me near wetting myself with laughter imagining), I'm the 'crazy-lady' whooping it up in the middle of the 'young-uns' dancing, hands flailing in the air, singing along to the 'pop songs' knowing them in their first, second, etc releases... :lol: so take my 'advice' with 'caution' everything old is new again - in you).

For all things there is a season.
Breathe.
This too will pass.
Be it the panic or the pleasure, the confidence or the frailty, of every thing.

Relationships go through cycles too, as you may have noticed from your mention of your Mum's journey, these cycles can be 'natural' progression or in imbalance, an abuse (misuse) of the relationship as a bed for growth for two in relating.
Kate: I love my boyfriend so much, but recently when I'm near him I've been feeling a deep sadness in my heart area, and it's like my heart is closing up to his energy all of a sudden.
Can you see the swinging pendulum of emotions here?
Breathe.

Find the non-judgmental middle of those emotions - to do this yes, you may have to 'experience' the polarities of them, but don't attach to either end as 'truth'.
Breathe out, let go.
Then let it fall naturally back (without resistance or pushing) to its centre (balance).

It is not your mum~ anyone else's relationships
It is not your boyfriend's other relationships
It is not your past or your future relationship/s,
It is not your boyfriend's past or future ..../s.

It is. what it is in this present moment.
kate: I've found it's made me withdrawn and moody, and it's so hard to step back from it;
Then don't step back from it.

Step into it.

Be love, (like with the chocolate shop experience)
open and honest and non-judgmental with the reality of what IS.

This is not your boyfriend's journey - it's yours.

(and I feel about as redundant as the little man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz... and will likely for the forseeable future just keep rabbiting...)

Maybe go read about the laws of nature in the "...and other laws" thread in the Law of Attraction section of the forum. And see what 'resonates for you. Happy to discuss anything that does either there or here.

and... kate... you are still the girl eating chocolate.. we don't worry about you, we believe in you.

hugs.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

hanss
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Re: The gift of presence

Post by hanss » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:43 am

xkatex wrote:Reading this, I can see how I am overanalysing things..
Not at all. You are a perfectly normal young woman :wink:

I think you have got great advice. In addition to Snow's post, I would like to add a belief I have. Men in general (can get better with age) hate to be analyzed, especially when it comes to emtions and things they/we don't understand. Keep all the analyizing to your self and your girlfriends. And do not talk to him about sadness around the heart area, resonating energies and closing up etc. If he don't walk away, he will run. Be very straight forward and clear, no emotional, spiritual or psychological fuzziness.
"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being."
(Eckhart Tolle)

xkatex
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Re: The gift of presence

Post by xkatex » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:28 am

Thank you for all your advice, everyone. Don't worry, I have completely given up on trying to tell my boyfriend about this because I don't want him to worry or think I'm mad; I also don't want to make him feel uncomfortable in the masculine way of not liking to talk about these things. But still, it's hard to explain to him why I'm withdrawn or sad because he needs a reason; feeling sad needs a concrete explanation, an event must have happened or I'm bored or don't want to be with him or something, and my explanation doesn't suffice because he keeps asking 'but why' when there is no logical explanation. I can understand that from a 'normal' person's perspective it's totally weird, so I feel really bad for him!

Anyway, I suppose it doesn't really matter who it's coming from, I just need to allow it, be the space and it will hopefully transmute. I thought that when I start feeling it again, I should perhaps still allow it but move somewhere else, like to the toilets or another room for a few minutes to clear myself until I am able to feel the space again? That might be a good idea if it's getting too strong or making me say untrue things.

I know really that the only answer is to be present.

xkatex
Posts: 83
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:29 pm

Re: The gift of presence

Post by xkatex » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:38 pm

OK, this is going to sound completely crazy but I want to describe something that may or may not have happened. I got that feeling of sadness and discontent again on Saturday, and after a lot of resistance I decided to completely open to it, no inner body practice, no manipulating anything, just stopping. My boyfriend was dosing on the grass, and I was sat by him. The feeling of heartache was still there, but I felt more at peace with it. Then, I felt drawn to place my hands on his heart centre; I want to make it clear that it wasn't 'me' thinking that I was going to heal him or anything, because I don't know much about energy healing or anything like that really. I didn't have an agenda to do anything, it was like my hands just moved there. I assumed it was just affection, and me wanting to feel his heartbeat because it's soothing and alive.

I started to feel like there was some sort of energy, and it was moving from his heart through my hands, up my arms and into my heart. It felt exactly like the painful energy that's been in my heart recently, the one I've been describing in my recent posts. The pain would increase a bit and then dissolve into a sort of peace and relief, and I kept my hands there, feeling this energy for as long as was comfortable, it might have been about five minutes. It kept coming in waves, like it was from him to me, and then I'd hold it and it would dissolve. I don't know if my boyfriend was fully asleep, but I'm assuming he isn't aware of what happened because he hasn't asked me about it or even mention me touching his heart. I still felt the pain yesterday when we were together, but I know it's just a question of opening to it, being broken open. I'm getting the sense that it's a deep fear of love and abandonment left over from early childhood, so I'm going to embrace the feeling just like I always wanted to be embraced.

I still don't know fully whether it was him healing me or the other way around (maybe he's a Buddha in disguise!), but this experience was really liberating and it's opened me to the healing power of awakening and openness, and I just wanted to share it because it was so beautiful.

Obviously I'm going to be careful with stuff like this because I'm not a qualified energy practitioner and I don't want to awaken anything dangerous. I've also heard Adyashanti say not to get to preoccupied with things like gaining the ability to heal or to feel other people's energy, and just move in the way that truth wants to move and not me. However, it really did feel like truth wanted to do that and not 'me', I'm just going to have to be vigilant so that my ego doesn't slip in and co opt this 'ability' because it could do something dangerous. If anyone wants to comment, or has had this sort of experience, I'd love to know!

Blessings everyone

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