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Falling in Love. Benefical on the Path or a hindrance?

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Just wondering what your take on Falling in Love was, as far as someone who has Enlightenment as their number one goal in life, and eventually falling in "Love" arises along the way. Beneficial or a Hindrance?

I recently met a woman at the end of a retreat under very auspicious and what seemed like "fate" like circumstances. We are completely not each others "types" at first glance, and yet an explosive heart based connection happened. When we are in each others midst, there are all sorts of mystical transmissions that happen, consciousness expanding, various inner depths opening for us both, very surreal and beyond anything I thought was possible.

Now I've been around the block quite the few times in my teens/early 20's, and have been in love and lost it before. This just transcends everything.

However, I have my worries about this being a roadblock to completion and permanent stabilization of Buddhahood. Here are my 2 views:

1. Stay away, roadblock, stay focused on deepening & progress, rest in fruition/completion. Been actually contemplating entering a monastery full time in the next few years. So there's that.

2. I notice that with her, all the B.S. subconscious arisings stir up that wouldn't other wise stir up had I not met her. Aspects of wondering, some jealousy, aspects of self conscious, doubts, awe, inner debates, etc. And she's also very hard core practitioner and her own path is number 1 before all other things, which is a huge motivation. She also points out to me various subconscious notions that arise when I bring them up to her and tells me all about seeing through/dropping them.

Anyway, getting additional perspectives on this would be very helpful to crush one's own bias

RE: Falling in Love. Benefical on the Path or a hindrance?
Answer
3/11/14 12:14 PM as a reply to IAMTHAT That Ami.
Well it seems the woman in question allready is stirring up a huge amount of "stuff".
Its not my decision to make and being a married man with 6 children i'd have to say that for the goal of stream entry that a relationship is a temporary hurdle.

That said the wisest decision i have ever made in terms of morality practise was to no longer let spiritual practises stand between me and my family which has opened up places of joy and service i would have missed otherwise.

I feel a relationship will challenge you, that said though so will the monastic life.
Both paths will show you the 3 characteristics in all their glory. I hope stream entry is possible in a relationship.. Well actually i am sure of it.

Anyway as you said this woman has her own hardcore practises so i feel you should be all right. Just remember that different stuff will arise and pass then if you were alone. The relational aspect may make that a little harder to deal with because another is involved. It shouldn't be very different though than the perks you go through with parents or even friends..

So if the goal is stream entry and then die.. forget about her.
If the goal is experiencing reality as it is.... There is no better way to do it that being able to share it with someone you love..

WIth Love
Eelco
(who really doesn't know anything and is a huge succer for love)

RE: Falling in Love. Benefical on the Path or a hindrance?
Answer
3/11/14 12:26 PM as a reply to IAMTHAT That Ami.
IAMTHAT That Ami:
Just wondering what your take on Falling in Love was, as far as someone who has Enlightenment as their number one goal in life, and eventually falling in "Love" arises along the way. Beneficial or a Hindrance?



Well, my point of view is that anything and everything can be grist for the mill of awakening. Personally, I want to see myself and reality through and through, and that means not avoiding situations that stir up different feelings. So for me a renunciate path that limits the possibilities for triggering certain emotions is not an option, not interesting, because I don't have interest in an awakening that depends on living in a monestary or retreat to maintain.

The thing with 'falling in love' is that it is typically a territory pervaded by reciprocal and complex cross projections. Powerful energies and emotions and deep patterns are activated.

If you and your prospective partner are in a place, psychologically, where there is the maturity to look into the stuff that comes up and a mutual committment to working with what comes up and taking individual responsibility for what comes up than this is a huge learning and growth opportunity which can be very supportive of hardcore spiritual practice, in my experience. But this requires a certain degree of ruthlessness-- like for example, not putting your jealousy on your partner but owning it as coming from your own insecurity and projection onto her of your own energy, and using it as an opportunity to see what you are projecting and reintigrate that into yourself so that you plug that hole so to speak and stop leaking jealousy. Obviously this also requires an extraordinary level of integrity because if you are each expected to own your own jealousy as coming from your own insecurity and projection then you really need to be able to keep the commitments you make and be totally trustworthy with whatever agreements you make for structuring your relationship vis a vis seeing other people romantically. So if your explicit mutual aim is to disentangle your karma from each other and stand as more autonomous, responsible persons of integrity and to always do your best to support each others' integrity and karmic autonomy, then such a relationship will be like rocket fuel on the fire of practice.

But if on the other hand you and your partner are in a more adolescent place with romance and therefore operate with an MO of manipulation and codependency and seeking from each other protection from your own neuroses and insecurities, trying to mutually entangle karmas so that you can alleviate your personal senses of responsibility for your life, then of course this will be a source of delusion and drama.

RE: Falling in Love. Benefical on the Path or a hindrance?
Answer
3/11/14 12:54 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
awesome and deep replies to ponder thus far. All which was already sort of intuitively known. Especially the part about a crap loud of material arising when with her vs. everything being pretty effortless and progressive without her.

Its still a tough a choice after being autonomously detached and solo for the last 10 years.

Great stuff to reflect. You guys are awesome!!!!

RE: Falling in Love. Benefical on the Path or a hindrance?
Answer
3/11/14 2:04 PM as a reply to IAMTHAT That Ami.
IAMTHAT That Ami:
awesome and deep replies to ponder thus far. All which was already sort of intuitively known. Especially the part about a crap loud of material arising when with her vs. everything being pretty effortless and progressive without her.

Its still a tough a choice after being autonomously detached and solo for the last 10 years.

Great stuff to reflect. You guys are awesome!!!!


Ah Just remember grasshopper.
The pebble allready rippled the waters of the pond.
Things will never return to the effortlessness and progressiveness in the same way as they were..

With Love
Eelco

RE: Falling in Love. Benefical on the Path or a hindrance?
Answer
3/11/14 7:18 PM as a reply to IAMTHAT That Ami.
IAMTHAT That Ami:

However, I have my worries about this being a roadblock to completion and permanent stabilization of Buddhahood. Here are my 2 views:

1. Stay away, roadblock, stay focused on deepening & progress, rest in fruition/completion. Been actually contemplating entering a monastery full time in the next few years. So there's that.

2. I notice that with her, all the B.S. subconscious arisings stir up that wouldn't other wise stir up had I not met her. Aspects of wondering, some jealousy, aspects of self conscious, doubts, awe, inner debates, etc. And she's also very hard core practitioner and her own path is number 1 before all other things, which is a huge motivation. She also points out to me various subconscious notions that arise when I bring them up to her and tells me all about seeing through/dropping them.

Anyway, getting additional perspectives on this would be very helpful to crush one's own bias


Well she sounds pretty practice oriented, so that perhaps is unique... Anyhow my view of relationships and the path is that overall they are very useful, though this may be debated for the early stages of practice.

For the lower path, the Hinayana as I would classify it, which is fully accomplished at MCTB 4th path/ the first true realization of emptiness, the emphasis is on individual liberation. The Hinayana is known as the path as individual effort, and rightly so as accomplishing it requires an emphasis on personal effort. The amount of effort needed to gain realization here is quite substantial; significant near-constant practice is required. Thus dealing with the intricacies of a relationship could be somewhat of a hindrance. I would say that the turning within, or 'retreat' from extraneous daily affairs, which is likely to occur for one practicing hard in the Hinayana, could be taxing on a relationship. However given that your lady friend is also highly focused on practice this might not be an issue.

In the upper paths (Mahayana and Vajrayana), especially the Mahayana, the emphasis is on opening one's heart and breaking out of self-centered patterns. Thus a key aspiration in the Mahayana is to act as a Bodhisattva, or for the benefit of all beings, perhaps with somewhat of an emphasis on other beings. At this stage relationships are Very Helpful, as they require opening up out of self-centered tendencies, and opening your heart to other people (another person specifically).

In the latter path, the Vajrayana, the emphasis is on integrating self and other, or overcoming dualism, and naturally relationships are helpful here as well. Romantic relationships provide immediate feed back on one's own projections and confused tendencies. While friendships also are helpful in this regard, the extremely intimate nature of romantic relationship acts as a much stronger catalyst for progression.