Friday, February 9, 2018

More on marriage

Slipping under the covers I gathered my phone and ear plugs in readiness to listen to a meditation that would lull me to sleep. As it happens, I was alerted to various meditations listened to by other people in my part of the world, and this is how I happened upon a new meditation. The moment I heard the voice I felt very still and calm, a man's voice with a simple message about simply being, nothing more.

Within minutes I was asleep, but the meditation continued playing in my ears, of course. In the middle of the night I awoke to the same concern that wakes me so often now, a feeling of loss, a sense of a glass wall existing between my husband and myself. I played the meditation again, and again I didn't make it to the end.

When I awoke, it was to a still house. My husband had already left for the city. I played the meditation again and this time I heard it all the way all to the end. It was about noticing thoughts and emotions, but not becoming attached to them. It was about 'being' as your body moved through your day. The man I had been listening to was Mooji, someone I knew of but had never before heard his voice.

Aware that, in spite of my best efforts, this remains a challenging time for me, I went to a small event last night where a man who composes 'sound healing' music played his compositions for us. Pleasant enough, I had the thought a few times that it wasn't doing anything for me. I wondered if he had picked up my vibe (there were only three of us and the man beside me was snoring) when he announced he wasn't feeling particularly meditative and he was going to move to compositions designed to elicit joy.

This was so much better and after an intermission where we got to know one another a little, his soundscape in the last half hour was deeply meditative. So interesting to me that I went from that experience to have Mooji in my ears encouraging me to hold onto that state of simply being, not attaching to any thoughts or emotions.

Now among all this, whilst waiting for my evening bath to draw, I had looked up 'Eckhart Tolle romantic love' and whatever I had pulled up on my phone was telling me about true love being beyond the form of body; that there needed to be space in a romantic relationship, such as when you acknowledge one another first thing in the morning.

I agree it can only take a minute or two at such a time to feel close, a closeness that guides you through the day. Unfortunately, my husband isn't attuned to coming to bed until much after midnight so naturally waking up together and sharing that time is rare now.

Anyway, the message was: When love turns to something else, a feeling of pain, it could well be that the love can no longer cover up the universal pain that one is feeling. So, a sense of incompleteness can be projected onto the other person.

The moment you surrender to what is, be it love or hate, it transcends into something else. 'Only surrender can give you what you were looking for in the object of your love,' I read.

I still struggle to put this wisdom into the context of my life, and the wisdom of another source of spiritual wisdom. Catherine Ingram was asked during a Dharma Dialogue session in Byron Bay how the woman should cope with a husband who disquieted her sense of peace regularly by bringing to her his daily upsets, more or less insisting she carry his turbulent emotions for him.

Catherine responded that she took peace in her own home so seriously that should she find herself living with such a person, she would have to make a change. On another occasion, she said that living alone was invariably a choice. If one really wanted a person with whom to live, one would go out and make that happen.

So, if we do choose to live with someone, and we do feel disquiet eventually, disquiet that is strong enough to wake one up regularly, what then? Do we simply accept what is, whatever now is, and surrender to that new state? Do we buy the notion that  this is indeed an incompleteness in oneself that we are feeling?

Anecdotally, I can say that there are many women my age who feel as I do, that they would love for their husbands to surrender to being joyously alive with them. This is something that this generation of 60+ men are sometimes refusing to do. Their attention is drawn out to the wider world.

Perhaps time now seems limited for them to make their mark on the world. There simply isn't time to love their wives, to allow the relationship to deepen; for there to be space around the relationship. They are there, supporting them and coming home to them. Isn't that enough? What does 'to love more deeply' even mean to some people?

What I have noticed is that as my husband became immersed in the body form, in his own body form, a sense of space quietly began to be lost, like air being sucked out of a blow up swimming pool that has developed a small puncture.

As conversation reduced to talk of salt, and the evils of sugar, the benefits of magnesium and calcium, there was less and less room for a sense of sacred union. Anxiousness about the body form, about survival I guess, or perhaps preoccupations with wellness, took over the space and left not enough room for touch, togetherness, a sense of being spiritually alive.

With nearly every comment he makes of this sort, and his insistence that I give my heartfelt agreement, I feel further removed. Is this my own sense of incompleteness or have I simply noticed that he is more drawn into his own self? Is there a lesson here that I should not need him at all, not need anyone; be at peace with whatever comes? What is it that I am not getting?

Having lost, temporarily I hope, that sense of an alive union, I turn to what  remains, a sense of being beyond the body and mind; my best efforts for acceptance, surrender, being in touch with the 'I am' state. I do not feel I am missing a sense of being at one with myself. I am missing my life partner. I am wondering whether his spiritual presence, his sense of being comfortable with himself,  will one day again allow us to engage with a sense of joy, best when shared with another soul.