Heart Opening Moments

BLOG of a Spiritual Stripper

Contemplating Marriage

Sitting across from the dinner table, Liz looks up at me casually and says, “I don’t know if it is my path to be married but if I’m getting married I want Sadhguru to pick my husband.”

She takes another bite of her sweet and sour mock chicken and starts to explain that her guru would pick the perfect partner for her spiritual growth and she doesn’t necessarily know who that would be. “Sadhguru won’t pick someone easy for me but someone who is challenging,” she smiles effortlessly and goes on to pick up another piece of passion red mock chicken with her white chopsticks, “when he marries two people they are bound for life no matter what happens, neither one of them can escape!”

I cannot help myself and let out a burst of laughter while trying so hard to keep my mango milk tapioca not turning into an out of control sprinkler in my mouth.

Marrige?

Is Marriage Based Merely on Love? Can Marriage Become a Path to Our Spiritual Enlightenment?

Ack! Marriage. What a dinner table conversation killer! Next to the list of things NOT TO TALK ABOUT such as religion and politics. Nevertheless I feel fearful yet intrigued. Underneath all that naive pureness of a sweet young lady is an intelligent thoughtful woman.  How refreshing it is to hear a 23-year-old young lady speaking her truth so clearly! Liz understands that most people get married for the wrong reasons. Reasons such as societal structure, economic and social convenience, family pressure in the Eastern culture. Whereas lust, power, romantic addiction occur in the Western culture. The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that “probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue.” So what is the point?

Not often people use this partnership as a tool for self-transformation. According to Liz, her guru speaks of difference types of people. He preached that marriage is not for everyone. For example, some people, their spiritual path might lie within their creation such as Albert Einstein. Some might find their spiritual path by serving others such as Benjamin Franklin. Others might find their path by sitting underneath a bodhi tree to meditate like the Buddha. While there are distinctive individuals feel an inner pull for marriage at an early age for their spiritual growth. Liz tells me that she is not sure what type of person she is yet. It is difficult to form a partnership with anything or anyone when one does not know oneself fully. Once she can discover herself more deeply then she will know which path to take.

“Don’t pretend you don’t need marriage when your spirit tells you that you do,” sipping on her mango milk tapioca, she looks up at me from the corner of her eyes, “you must follow your inner guidance toward that you fear.”

Fear. That is the big cha-ching! I’m the someone who pretends that I don’t need marriage because I fear it. I fear it more than death itself. I fear that I will fail miserably. I fear that I am not good enough. I fear that I will loss myself. I fear my husband will see my faults. I fear… I want a blueprint for the perfect relationship before I will even consider walking into the marriage dojo. I want to know that I can do it perfectly before I will even allow myself to begin…

Liz somehow is bringing up these fears within me I must face just by her authentic conversation. Listening to her reminds me of interviews of Joseph Campbell. Professor Campbell spoke of A Hero’s Journey as an individual’s growth to self-realization and self-actualization. It is a difficult journey yet it brings such triumph once we take on the challenge and take one step after another. “When people get married because they think it’s a long-time love affair, they’ll be divorced very soon, because all love affairs end in disappointment. But marriage is a recognition of a spiritual identity,” said Joseph Campbell. Professor Campbell believed that marriage in an ordeal, an ordeal so intense that it possesses the power to transform both individuals at a profound level. It is a tool for individual transformation.

To me, marriage is shugyo. It is a process of purification of the self toward true expression of the spirit. It takes tremendous courage to walk this path. Author and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry fondly put it, “love is the process of my leading you gently back to yourself.”

“You are right Liz, it doesn’t help to pretend. Lao Tzu said ‘marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness,'” as I gaze down into the last grain of rice on my plate, I let out a burst of laughter, “and I’m going to need a lot of forgiveness upfront!”

September 7, 2011 Posted by | Choices, Inner Growth, love, Self Realization | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Ending is a New Beginning

Ikkyu-san

Ikkyu-san was one of my first childhood loves - bashful smile, shaved head, and mischievously intelligent

An Iranian father was asked by a handsome rich doctor for his daughter’s hand in marriage. He thought it was a great idea given his daughter would live a good life with this well-mannered doctor but she said, “papa, a nice man is not enough, there are certain characteristics of him I do not care for.”

The Iranian father gave me the same advice learned from his daughter as he kindly asked for the reasons of my recent breakup. “He is a nice man but trust me everything happens for a reason. You are still young. You never know, the next man might be the one.”

A silent drop of tear snuck out as I tensed up my body to hold in my breath. I didn’t want him to see how torn I really am.

I guess I have been searching for the one since I was six years old. The moment that seven year old monk blushed as he saw the six year curious girl from the corner of his eyes during meditation, she fell in love. This six year old girl did not know of love but she was certain she wanted to spend more time with him. She was fond of him and in a silly way she felt as if only he could understand her. Soon enough she was heartbroken when he did everything he could to avoid her presence.

After 26 years I can still see the little monk’s bashful smile, shaved head, and slightly off-white robe.

Later that year as I turned seven years old I immersed myself into Ikkyu-San – the Japanese anime where Ikkyu is a little boy with a bashful smile, shaved head and a white gi who trained to be a monk at Ankokuji Temple in Japan. He is famous of being mischievous and a known troublemaker. He is extremely smart, which always helped him to get out of all sorts of sticky situations and won battles over those who are bigger and stronger. The way he pushed the mop in front of him as he ran across the endless meditation hall during his daily cleaning ritual captured the depth of my heart. I found myself choked up with tear and not knowing the reasons why.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always secretly held a longing to find the one who can once again touch the depth of my soul like Ikkyu did. Regardless the various ways I have kept my past boyfriends at an arm’s length, I couldn’t help but wonder if “he is the one” each time I fall in love. My recent ex is a dark Hawaiian surfer I met last summer. He is well-mannered and nurturing. Each time I woke up next to his smile I questioned myself if he is the one I choose to be with for the rest of my life. He wanted our fairy tale fantasy like relationship to last forever but I wasn’t sure. Some men make good boyfriends and others make good husbands. He was certainly the best boyfriend I’ve ever had but as I’m beginning to realize that my deepest desire is to be married with children, I didn’t think our lifestyles would coincide with one another. There are some characteristics of him that others might embrace but I would rather shy away from. In a way, I’m glad things have taken its natural course to end abruptly.

Looking into the living room where we shared many heart opening moments, I allowed the tears rush out as I feel the weight of such heavy murky emptiness. I am once again on my own. It feels sad yet hopeful. It is time. It is time to move on. Goodbye love. And hello life once again. The traveler walks on.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Choices, Death & Rebirth, Inner Growth | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment