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…)

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…)

Here is a passage from my 2005 Bestseller, “The Translucent Revolution.”

As with every other area of our lives, there is a symbiotic relationship between the depth of our translucence and the way we view otherness. Translucence naturally shifts our habits of relating, without our doing anything about it. We have less to defend as we come to know ourselves as bigger than our own story, and our relating naturally becomes less strategic. As we see the other as myself, even if only in snapshots, we find that compassion occurs effortlessly. We develop more humor about the idiosyncrasies of our personality. We have less investment in laboriously working things out, and a greater willingness to breathe a sigh and return to innocence. The need to change others relaxes, since we are less tied to them as a source of our well-being. All these things can happen more or less spontaneously as by-products of waking up. At the same time, the attention we bring to our habits of relating can deepen and stabilize our expression of translucence. We can always bring more skillful means, more as an art form than as self-improvement, to our relating. We can become more aware of, and tell the truth about, the old habits that have created separation. These old habits run deep, and they will not necessarily die on their own. Our social environment reinforces them. When we are willing to put awakening into the fire of relationship, it will reveal all old habits and allow them to be released. Says Gay Hendricks:

“I think therein lies the difficulty, as well as the awesome beauty, of relationships. The universe is attempting to meet itself in play. When one person meets another, as that space links up with that space again, it pushes to the surface all the little places where we’ve withdrawn from space. Whether it’s being physically beaten, or starved to death, or criticized, or in beating others, those are the places where we’ve withdrawn and crystallized into mass, and then that has to come to the surface.”
(more…)

realization1Here is a passage from my 2005 Bestseller, “The Translucent Revolution.”

As a child, Michael Barnett went on vacation every year with his family to Broadstairs, on the southeast coast of England. On the beach, there was always a Punch and Judy show, a small tent with an opening like a stage at the top. A puppeteer would hide inside the tent and control his puppets: Punch and Judy, a husband and wife who were constantly fighting. One year, when Michael was about seven, he went to the beach with his brother, David, who was a few years older. The two boys got separated near the tent. Young Michael forgot about his brother as he wandered on his own, past all the other shows and entertainments. But eventually he returned to the Punch and Judy show, looking for David. This time he approached from the back.
“I saw a man kneeling in a box, his hands in the air. On one hand was Punch, and on the other was Judy. With my beloved Punch and Judy as gloves, he was creating the whole show, all by himself. I stopped, open-mouthed. I was absolutely shocked — it was like realizing that Santa Claus does not exist. I thought, ‘My God, it’s all a game! And what’s more, Punch and Judy are the same person! From the front, they are fighting each other. From the back, it is one man playing out a struggle, pretending a war between a man and a woman. What are they arguing about, why are they attacking each other? They are the same! Punch and Judy are the same person. This guy is both.’
“Of course I didn’t interpret it then as I do now. This is the truth I have discovered, that we are all Punches and Judys . . . husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters — we are all playing Punch and Judy, ultimately. But every Punch-and-Judy in the world is the same person. When you argue with your lovers and your friends, you are all the same person.”

(more…)

holding-hands

I’ve been traveling around the world most of my adult life conducting trainings and seminars.  During this time I probably got to hear every kind of story that a human being could tell:  people feel miserable, people think they are enlightened.  Someone is on a winning streak, someone is down on their luck.  One person is in perfect health, and another is at death’s door.

John Prine is one of my all time favorite singers, he summed it up beautifully like this:

That’s the way that the world goes ’round!
you’re up one day,
the next you’re down!
it’s half an inch of water
and you think you’re gonna drown
that’s the way that the world goes ’round!

So, I get to hear every kind of story.  What always touches me the most, what gets my heart every time, is when I meet someone who is single, and who sincerely and deeply has a longing for love.  It’s perhaps the most touching, innocent, raw, simple, and yet explosively potent state of human consciousness.  When we are busy seeking for enlightenment, or when we think we have found it, things easily get complicated.  We create all kinds of theories and concepts.  The same thing happens when we focus on health.  Next time you’ve got something wrong with your body, just ask around and you will find everyone has a theory on the universal panacaea.  But being single, and wanting to share your heart with another is such an innocent, beautiful place to be.
(more…)