Relationships


Here’s a passage from my book Leap Before You Look.

When you start to feel needy or insecure,
Celebrate it completely.
Ask your partner to sit in a chair or on the sofa, A
nd sit at your partner’s feet for a few minutes.
Enter into your fear of abandonment,
The need to be loved completely.
Don’t leave me. Don’t leave me. I beg you.
I need you so much.
I can’t live without you. Please stay with me.
Look at me. Look at me. I want you. I need you.
Please don’t leave me.
As you enter more fully into this practice,
It will overflow from this exploration into deeper feeling.
You may find yourself crying.
It may evoke long-forgotten memories in you,
Or even the call of the heart to the divine. (more…)

Chameli and I just got done with the most incredible week in Greece. We met with 22 single people and couples for an all-out, nothing-held-back dive into the exploration of the Deeper Love. I think this was really one of the best weeks of our lives together.

The incredible beauty of the island of Corfu made this a magical experience, as well as meeting two or three times a day to explore relationship as worship. We also enjoyed one of the most beautiful beaches I’d ever seen, fantastic Greek food and hospitality, a clear blue Mediterranean Sea, and deep relaxation and fun. We’re be doing the same retreat again from June 9th to 16th, 2012. If you think you might be interested, you can let us know today.  See Below.

During the training we played a little game called “ding.” We’ve discovered in seminars that most people get relatively little value from about 90 percent of the seminar, and then their entire life turns around because of the other ten percent. For some people it might even be 97%  to 3%. There are just those brief moments when everything lights up, and when you get the insight that changes everything forever. We call those “ding” moments: we encourage people to stand up, wave and be generally disruptive every time they have such a moment.

Today I am going to share with you the mega-ding moment of the course: the insight that was most powerful for most people. Beware, this blog could end up a little longer than usual.

Its all about how blueberries can save your relationship. (more…)

I havn’t blogged for a while, and there is a good reason why. Here it is.

if you have been following my ramblings on line, you probably know that my wife Chameli and I have stumbled upon a way of being in marriage that is something close to a religious experience. We have learned together to drill down through layers of personality and habit, and to discover a dimension of each other which is divine.  Chameli has become not just my wife or my best friend, but my way of meeting God in human form.

A few weeks ago she was having some unusual symptoms, and the doctor sent us to the emergency room for tests. We filled out forms, she got weighed and measured and labeled, they connected her up to an endless array of beeping machines and drew many little vials of blood.  Then we waited, and waited, and waited.   When the young doctor came back he looked serious, unshaven and as though he had been up for days on end surviving on black coffee. He talked about elevated markers for cancer, and the need for an immediate ultrasound. They wheeled Chameli off on a gurney.  She looked up at me and grinned.  “If you’re not careful, you could get really lost in this movie: being the poor suffering cancer patient.”

We waited some more, this time for what seemed like forever.  Once the technician had talked to the radiologist who talked to the nurse, who talked to the doctor, he came back with more papers on his clipboard.   “Of course, the tests are not completely conclusive,” he told us, in the same tone one might talk about the chance of rain when you plan to go golfing, “There is a sizable tumor, and I’d say you almost certainly have cancer.  You’ll need to get referred to a specialist.  ‘OK?’” he smiled, as though waiting for us to say “Great!  Good job, Doc, just like Gergory House!”  He left the room in which we were now both reeling. (more…)

Here’s a passage from my book Leap Before You Look.When your partner or anyone close to you is speaking to you,
Whether telling you a story, lodging a complaint, or sharing a feeling,
Give your undivided attention.
Listen with all of you:
With your ears, with your heart, with your skin, with your breath.
Pay attention so completely that everything else disappears.
Listen not only to the words,
But to the mysterious presence from which those words arise.
Listen to the sound of the voice, to the inflections.
Listen to the silence between the words.
Listen to what was not said, but can still be sensed. (more…)

Hey!

Did you catch our conversation tonight with Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks?  We loved everything that unfolded.

If you missed it, please listen to the replay here.

If you were on the call, please post your comments and reactions with the “Add a Comment” link above

So much love to you!

Arjuna and Chameli

Modern Man’s Response to the Emergence of the Goddess


Back in July, I published a piece on this blog, as well as on Huffington Post, called Why It is Wise to Worship a Woman. That article emerged in a very personal and spontaneous way. I’d been out for a walk with Chameli, my wife, one evening. Overwhelmed with the feeling of “it just couldn’t get any better than this,” I popped a little update on Facebook in celebration of the goddess I’m married to. Surprisingly, by the morning there were dozens of comments. A lot were from women, but many were also from men, either wondering where they could also have the good fortune to find a goddess similar to mine or, perhaps more important, wondering how they could discover the same spirit of deep appreciation of the feminine.

That article was my answer to that question. It reflected on the wisdom of being in worship of the feminine. Not just get along with, or tolerate, or befriend, or cooperate with. Yes, I said what I meant: to worship the feminine. (more…)

“I love you.”

“I hate you.”

“I need you.”

“I want space from you.”

“I resent you.”

“I’m curious about you.

We make statements similar to these all the time in all types of relationships. When we speak in this way, it makes it sound as if there are fixed things called an “I” and  a “you.” The statement defines the relationship between these two entities. As long as it appears to be that way, all of our attempts to become more intimate, to improve the quality of relationship, are restricted to changing the verb that goes between the “I” and the “you.” If we can shift from “I resent you” to “I forgive you,” it feels like a big win. If we shift from “I hate you” to “I trust you,” it seems like greater intimacy.

When Chameli and I started to develop the Deeper Love work eight years ago, we both came together in a spirit of discovery. We had realized that trying to change the relationship between the “I” and the “you” didn’t work very well. It’s rather like two people sitting on either side of the Grand Canyon, wanting to experience love together. One throws a missive across the canyon, perhaps a rock with a note tied to it, saying “I love you.” It arrives at the other side. The recipient unwraps it, experiences warm, fuzzy, feelings, and sends back another missive, maybe pink and wrapped in lace, saying “I love you too.” They’ve now entered a Hallmark world together, but the vastness of the canyon between them is a more significant cause of the feeling of separation than the content of the notes that they send back and forth.

For my wife, Chameli, and me, the journey into a deeper intimacy began with an investigation of this thing called “I.” You don’t have to look very deeply into the sense of a me to discover that it’s not really a thing at all, but rather a collection of voices. That’s why our relationships are so often characterized by mixed messages and shifting dynamics. At one moment the “I” is the victim, and in the next moment the “I” has become the playful child, the next moment the loving parent, the next moment the horny lover.   There are thousands of voices like this.  Just scratch the surface a little bit, and we discover that we don’t have just one personality, but everybody has multiple personalities. (more…)

A few days ago, after a particularly exquisite evening with my wife Chameli, I put this post up on Facebook before going to bed:

“I have had many, many great teachers in my life. A super abundance. No one and nothing comes close to the woman who is now asleep in the bedroom. My marriage has become the guru, the salvation, the muse, the crack through which the divine shines through.”

When I woke up the next morning, there were the usual offerings of people who liked the post as well as comments. One man had the vulnerability and courage to post this on facebook:

“Thank you Arjuna for this sharing, I feel like [I’m] in front of a choice which is between feeling envious of what you have and I don’t, or instead to decide that ‘I want that too,’ and, as you show, it is possible…”

I was touched.

Over the next days, I got several more messages like this from men: vulnerable men, honest men, rare and courageous men. They came in as private messages on Facebook or through our website, and they all said basically the same thing:

“I read your Facebook post. I want what you have. Show me how to get it.”

So, friends, here it is. The short guide on how to worship a woman, and why it’s the wisest thing that a man can do. First of all, lets pop a few very understandable doubts that you might have. I’m familiar with all of them.

1.    “I’m wounded and damaged in my relationships to the feminine.”
So am I, dear brother, so am I. My parents divorced in a messy way when I was four. I grew up alone with my mother. She did her very best to provide for me, but she was unhappy and insecure. By the time I started to have relationships with women myself in my early teens, I discovered that I had a mountain of resentments, fears, and separation in my relation to the feminine.  The conscious practice of worship can become a part of healing the wounds. (more…)

My beloved wife of 8 years, Chameli, has left me for the sunny beaches of Corfu. I would feel a lot more upset about this if it would not for the fact that she’ll be back soon, and sends me the most delicious love notes every day. And anyway, I have gone back to my old lover. The first thing I do when I wake up each morning, is to turn to her and melt with her completely. Last thing I do before sleep is to give her my undivided attention for half an hour. She always opens herself to me, sooner or later, and her kisses are other-worldly. Her name in meditation, and I have flirted with her on and off for forty years now.

So this is actually a beautiful time to be alone for a while, to be a monk and to have time to reflect on the miracle of our life.

You’ve probably noticed that a lot of the ways that we all relate with our intimate partner are carbon copies of, or rebellious reactions to, the way that our families behaved. For the most part, people who grow up in an atmosphere of conflict, or manipulation, or cruelty, seem to carry those habits forward. And those who are lucky enough to grow up in an honest, open, loving environment stand a batter chance at creating the same for themselves in their own lives.

For myself, I belong in category one. My parent divorced in a messy way when I was 4 years old (come to think of it, I wonder if there’s an un-messy way to get divorced?) and neither of them ever really created deeply loving or sustainable relationships in their lives. Sure enough, by the time that I got to be a teenager, I became painfully aware that the same patterns was recreating for me too. Exactly the same habits of judgement, control, and withdrawal were playing out in my own personal life, in the same way I’d seen them play out in my parents’ lives.

There came a pivotal point for me when I was forty four years old, after my marriage, and several other relationships following it, had crumbled apart. One night I sat on my deck under the stars, and had a stark realization.  If I died one day, never having fully loved, it would not actually be ok. No amount of meditation, or other kinds of practices could actually compensate for not fully loving. In that moment I saw that this was something I would have to put straight in order to feel I had really lived. About three weeks later, I met an extraordinary woman, she was loving, humorous and beautiful, but also a fierce spiritual practitioner. When I first met her, she had just come back from an extended retreat where she had come to exactly the same conclusion as I had. A mentor had told her, ”The love you are trying to get from the outside is actually who you already are.” I was so impressed by the depth and dedication of this young woman’s practice that we developed a deep friendship, comparing notes all the time by e mail on how to bridge the painful schism between the depths of meditation and the actually of intimate relationship.

Chameli and I have been married now for eight years, and what we have created is a miracle. If you had told me all those years back that I would have this kind of marriage, I would have laughed in your face. Some people might call it luck: you just have to meet the right person. Some might attribute it to the bruisings of aging and time. But I would chalk up the ecstatic triumph of this marriage to the consistent use of very specific practices which have allowed us not to change the quirks of our personalities (which are, by the way, irreparably broken), but to change the relationship we have to those habits.

I’d love to share more about this very intimate topic with you. It would be better to have a dialog about it.  Are you free to join me by phone or over the web this Thursday, June 17th at 6pm Pacific Time?  In this call, which will be about an hour, I will share with you the six most important “keys” to creating an ecstatic marriage out of the basic raw materials.  You can interact with me during the call, and dialog over the phone or through a web site.  If you can’t make it live, register anyway, and you can hear the recording on the same page. During the call I’ll also tell you about the Deeper Love retreat-at-home, which Chameli and I have been creating together these last months. I’ll also tell you about the Deeper Love seminar we’ll be doing in Europe this September.

REGISTER FOR THE CALL HERE

all my love, dear friends, Arjuna

and now, back to the meditation cushion…

In times of crisis like these, perhaps Love has never been more important than it is today. It’s for this reason that I’m delighted and honored to share with you that I will be participating in an extraordinary teleseminar series on The Future of Love which started already on April 17th.
During this 25-week series, we’ll engage and explore the biggest topic relevant to all human beings on the planet– Love!
Join me and over 20 of the world’s leading visionaries, spiritual teachers, thinkers and leaders dedicated to unfolding a new spirituality–including Ken Wilber, Deepak Chopra, Jean Houston, Warren Farrell, Traleg Rinpoche, John Gray, Lama Surya Das, Sally Kempton, Marilyn Schlitz, Brother David Steindl-Rast, Gabriel Cousens, Cynthia Bourgeault, Tami Simon, Robert Kegan, Sofia Diaz, Saul Williams, Eddie Kowalczyk, Dr. Marc Gafni, Diane Musho Hamilton, and others for this unprecedented conversation.
All of these calls are free, which is cool.  You can participate live, or listen to the recordings later at any time, from anywhere in the world.

These calls will address some of the most important questions facing us today, such as:

  • What is Love?
  • How do we find it, nurture and sustain it?
  • Does Love mean the same thing today that it did a thousand years ago when so many of the great religious traditions developed their views about Love?
  • How can we help Love evolve through our own development and transformation?
  • What are the structural patterns in the evolution of Love?
  • How does our conscious participation change the evolution of Love?
  • What are the evolutionary Integral skills of Love and relationship that have the power to deepen our realization and to liberate our true and unique self?
  • What new gifts for the world can emerge from this evolution?

REGISTER TODAY

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