Relationships as a Path to Awakening | Omega

Ram Dass, author of the seminal book Be Here Now, explains how our relationships can be our greatest teachers on the path to awakening.

Since we all spend so much time in our relationships, why not turn them into a yoga for getting free?

Living a spiritual life is a strategy for working on yourself for the benefit of all beings. That’s another way of saying that the optimum thing you can do for someone else is to work on yourself—not out of some idealistic sense of altruism, but because getting to oneness for yourself means resolving your sense of separateness to where we’re all family.

The reality is that love is a state of being that comes from within. —Ram Dass

Use every situation you have with other people as a vehicle to work on yourself. See where you get stuck, where you push, where you grab, where you judge, where you do all the other stuff. Use your life experiences as your curriculum.

When I look at relationships, my own and others, I see a whole range of reasons we get together and ways we interact. Some are transactional, but the deeper impulse of every human relationship is to evoke the love and oneness that unites us. But what actually happens is that many relationships reinforce our separateness because of our misperception of ourselves as separate beings, and because of our desire systems, which are based on separateness or ego. Relationships only work in a spiritual sense when you and I really see that we are one.

Relationships and emotions can reinforce our separateness, or they can be grist for the mill of awakening. When it comes to love relationships we are like bees looking for a flower. The predicament is that the emotional power of loving somebody can get you so caught in the interpersonal melodrama that you can’t get beyond the emotion. The problem with interpersonal love is that you are dependent on the other person to reflect love back to you. That’s part of the illusion of separateness. The reality is that love is a state of being that comes from within.

The only thing you really ever have to offer another person is your own state of being. When you’re not entrapped by another person’s appearance or behavior, you can see behind all that to a deeper level of their being because your mind has tuned itself; you’ve shifted your focus just that little bit to see their soul. That soul quality is love.

© 2016 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

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