Thursday, July 19, 2007

Big Love Integral: 3

This last Saturday I presented Module 3 of Big Love Integral, the Workshop on Conscious Romantic Relationship in an Integral Context....except I no longer want to call them modules, as suggested by my friend Kent Layden, in Portland: A "Module" implies that you need the other modules to understand the current one. Not true. Each is an "event" unto itself.

Nowhere was that more obvious than this weekend's event, aptly titled, "Open Heart Practices: Getting ready for Big Love." This was such a powerful module/event that it truly could stand on its own as an all-day workshop. The entire day was about all these amazing practices that lay one's heart wide open.

The guided practices I'm teaching, which include my own meditation called Big Love, the Relationship Meditation (no surprise, huh?), involves discovering the truth about your relationship, and how you know this other soul. I also include Tonglen, the Buddhist compassion meditation, guided imagery, Focusing and Felt Sense, and Soul Linking.

I'm focusing on these practices because I believe that the development of empathy and compassion is the single most important step in developing conscious relationship. In the upper left quadrants, one of the reasons we meditate and engage in spiritual practices is to increase the chances of interior development (necessary, but not sufficient) the lower left quadrant, the practice is to develop empathy (again, necessary but not sufficient).

Empathy is not an emotional activity: it's an intellectual activity (the cognitive leads). The cognitive is necessary for the ability to take multiple perspectives, and until we can do that, we can't develop empathy across the board. In other words, I have to be able to to think what it's like to to be you! Once I can do that, my emotions, and my empathy, will follow.

The miracle of Conscious Relationship can only happen if we both empathize with each other, and unless it flows both ways, there can be no conscious intimacy.

One realization I've had around relationship is that you will only get the relationship you're ready for. If you haven't done your work, and really understand who you are (in other words, not fully conscious and awake), you're only going to call in a relationship that reflects your current consciousness, stage, or altitude. Someone who is at later stage consciousness is not going to be challenged by you, and you're going to be bored with someone who doesn't meet you where you're at.

We can only call in what we're ready to receive.

Some comments from the weekend:

"I felt powerful connection with spirit both in vertical and horizontal dimensions."

"I liked the experiential quality. After you've talked about what an apple tastes like, it's good to eat an apple."

"I feel like I have some tools for personal growth around relationship."

This process facilitated the shift I was ready to make, was very moving, and helped change my life patterns to fall in to a higher resonance."

Thank you all for showing up, not only for the workshop, but for yourselves.

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