Welcome, visitor! [ Register | Loginrss

Man-Woman Relationships: Can They Offer What God And The …


Man-Woman Relationships: Can They Offer What the Traditional Spiritual Path Can?
by LiYana Silver

Man-woman relationships are generally considered to be directly opposed from spiritual path. Traditionally, by choosing to get into a man-woman relationship, you’d also be choosing the path of a house-holder and hence entangle yourself in the matters of the body, including relationships, sex and shared domestic life. Or you could choose instead the path of a spiritual seeker, attempting to transcend the body and matters of daily life, foregoing things like intimate relationships, sex and shared the matters of life partnership.

Now, however, the boundaries are not so cut and dry. We ask the question, can man-woman relationships (and of course same-sex relationships) actually be in and of themselves a true spiritual path?

I am sitting in a filming studio in Boulder, Colorado, getting ready to be interviewed on the Stuart Davis Show, “Sex, God, Rock n’ Roll.” I’ll be talking about Relationship and Sex as Spiritual Path; can a relationship actually offer what an ashram does? It’s going to be a good one.

In a pre-interview email, Stuart emailed me the following questions: Relationship as Spiritual Path: Can a relationship actually do what an ashram does; can a relationship actually do what a teacher-student relationship does? In what ways can relationship do what lineage, community, etc, does? In what ways do we use spiritual communities or teachers to “avoid” deeper engagement and relationship with our partners?

There’s no One Right Way. This is a unique concept in a world that functions as though there is very much One Right Way. Our world loves the “either/or,” “black/white,” “good/bad” paradigm; our cultures raise arms around who are the chosen people, who’s getting into God’s kingdom, which diet is the right diet, is a homosexual marriage still a marriage?

Relationship can absolutely do what the ashram does. It just tends to do it in a sort of technicolor thriller, comedie noire, 3-D dramatique way. In the section, Sexuality AS Spirituality, on my website, I speak more to how (and why) we can use our sex, intimacy and relationships as a spiritual path, rather than a divergence from spiritual path.

The ashram asks of those who enter to supplicate, to prostrate yourself physically, emotionally and mentally at the feet of a master. It asks of you to give over of yourself in order to gain insight and maturity, to strip away illusion and delusion, to awaken. If you have a partner who has a basic grasp of the foundational elements of powerful relating (self awareness, communication, honesty, vulnerability and integrity), and you have a partner you can trust, your partner (or partners) becomes teacher, sensei and master – as well as and student.

The ashram offers you practice and challenges to rise to. Getting up to meditate at 4:00am in a cold zendo with aching knees and back, whether or not you feel like it, is a lot like getting up to breast-feed an infant or tend to your lover’s food poisoning, whether or not you feel like it. Cleaning the meditation halls is a lot like cleaning the bedroom, sweeping away the dust and clutter to allow seekers to again tomorrow, free of too much distraction, lay themselves at the feet of intimacy and union.

The ashram offers you a physical and spiritual container, within which to examine who you are: Who are you in the glorious, open times as well as during the tough times? Come rain or shine, the ashram demands of you to do your practices. It’s one thing to be a good communicator and a loving open being when the sun is shining in our relationship, but can we keep our hearts open and vulnerable in the midst of a painful, confronting storm when the shit hits the fan and it gets tough and scary? The cultivation of discipline, whether done in the ashram or in the relationship, is useful because of what it trains us for.

My rather irreverent assertion that relationship can be a vessel for growth, discovery and communion with the Divine, as the ashram can also be, comes from my experience with Vedic Tantra. Vedic Tantrism offers that there is nothing to transcend; the Divine is not out there or over there, separate from you; you are the Divine. The Divine is having a human experience through you. There is no where you could go, nothing you could do to escape the Divine. Being human is not a fallen condition. There’s not a place of perfection we fell from and can claw, pray or self-flagellate our way back to. Vedic Tantra is inclusive, offering a way to see our shadows not as deviance from the Divine, but for further means of integration and experience of the full spectrum of the Divine. There is no experience that doesn’t offer you, bundled inside of it, the chance to open to God. Relationship, when done with the intention and heart of a spiritual seeker, is an honorable spiritual path.

Lineages, like pilgrimages to ashrams, offer the beautiful structure of well-trodden spiritual paths, but don’t necessarily have built in to them the elasticity to account for human and cultural development. Often in trying to transcend our humanity – our visceral, earth-bound bodies with their plethora of racing thoughts, storms of emotions and abounding sexual energies – is an excuse to push away life like a mirage, and can drive us even further from a union with the Divine. We have been taught, whether through Eastern, Judeo-Christain or through Puritanical traditions, to deny the body, kill the ego, cut out parts of ourselves and ascend above our messy humanity in order to commune with the Divine. But those same sought-after spiritual experiences are equally as accessible through the body, thoughts, emotions and ego; through an integration and understanding of our humanity. Rather than pretending our shadows aren’t there or can be exorcised, we can embrace, include and integrate them.

When you choose life (and relationship) as spiritual path and choose to know and engage (rather than deny) every part of your being, the conversation with the Divine then happens right here, right now, not limited to churches, synagogues and ashrams. There is no spot where God is not, no place that is not holy; every moment becomes one where union is available. If you choose relationships, you choose to engage. Relationship is the highest-stakes, highest-reward spiritual game I know.

—

LiYana Silver, creatrix of ReDefining Monogamy, works with couples and women to step out of painful relationship ruts into extraordinary, satisfying co-created partnerships – coloring both in and outside the lines of traditional monogamy. LiYana is a teacher, counselor, speaker and writer; she leads workshop intensives and retreats and works in individualized sessions. She authors and maintains her website, ReDefining Monogamy, a rich online mecca for those looking not to settle, but looking for alternative, clear, cutting-edge, (reverently irreverent!) information, resources and information products.

liyana silver, creatrix of http://www.redefiningmonogamy.com, works with couples and women to step out of painful relationship ruts into extraordinary, satisfying co-created partnerships – coloring both in and outside the lines of traditional monogamy. liyana is a teacher, counselor, speaker and writer.

Related posts:

  1. How To Keep A Woman Happy Are you really aware of how to keep a woman happy? Maybe you think you are,but here is some good relationship advice for you men,the most important of which is to always be yourself.Many men do not feel that they are good enough to catch a beautiful,sexy woman,so they try to impress by putting on […]…
  2. How to Tell a Mature Man From the Jerks Have you even been in a horrible relationship where Mr. Right became a bratty little kid as days went by? I can imagine how you would have wished to be able to identify which man is mature and which isn’t the moment you set your eyes on them. Being able to identify who is suitable […]…
  3. Life Plan For Love: What Men Want in a Woman! What do men really want in a woman? Are they really those sex-crazed creatures we take them for? Well, yes and no. There are definitely men out there who aren’t looking for a relationship, who just want a hot body to show off and enjoy. But there are also men who are ready to settle […]…
  4. Woman Seeking Woman Online at Free Woman Dating Sites The free women dating from the sites cannot be badly because many reports/ratios and couples lesbians created recently. The free sites of dating of woman completely offer the free service to find lesbians. As you know it, being a single lesbian is not recreation and you do not have any to divide all the joyfulness […]…
  5. Relationships: The Power of Good Will Research into good marriages indicates that the most important choice healthy couples make is to have good will toward each other. This may seems like a simple requirement, yet many couples have anything but good will toward each other. Instead, they make it far more important to: * Attempt to control each other with criticism, […]…
  6. Four Successful Steps to Seducing a Woman There are some men who seem to naturally have success in their dealings with women. Some people call them players, others call them Don Juans. Whatever the name, these men are adept at getting women to take a relationship from the public sphere to the bedroom, and they have four basic commonalities in their thoughts […]…
  7. What Woman Can not Resist in a Relationship It would not be surprising if an online date end up in romance. So men, watch out what women want in a relationship. What makes her tick would ensure a happy and healthy relationship. While there are many different things men do that turn off women, there are also things men can do to make […]…
  8. How To Get A Man To Commit : 5 Ways To Make Your Man Commit … You can never be too complacent in a relationship. There are couples who have been together for more than five years and yet they end up not being together. Blame several factors in a long-running relationship. But, come to think of it, it’s such a waste of time spending years with someone who will eventually […]…
  9. Modern Women and The Perfect Man In this day and age women have their own plans, goals, and careers. With all of these things weighing on her time judging a man suitable has become a short process of determining whether his character is reasonable and pleasing. Lets place an image in your mind; a woman who has accomplished her short-term goals […]…
  10. Relationship Problems – How Neediness Damages … In our society we have become obsessed with love. Our films, our books, our plays and our music are full of stories about love – the joy of finding it and the heartache of losing it. We treat it as a commodity, a transient emotion that comes and goes. We are deliriously happy when we […]…

201 total views, 1 so far today

  


Listed: September 11, 2009 12:38 pm