Category Archives: Blog

Enlightened Relationships?

We can pursue enlightenment, why can’t we form Enlightened Relationships? 

Many readers responded to the section in Enlightenment Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up To Be that points out that the Buddha, Ramana Maharshi, St.Frances and most of the other well known gurus had no wives, no personal friends and probably no real intimacy. And that, because they didn’t, they missed out on some amazing opportunities for growth! Spiritual paths are wonderful, but they tend to lead us away from relationships. And they don’t create enlightened relationships.

So what would an Enlightened Relationship be like?

renoir conversation 2

The key marker of enlightenment, according to many texts and modern researcher Jeffrey Martin, is

 that one discovers an inner quiescence that feels open and effortless. It’s as if there are no inner limits, as if one stretches out and out without end. And it takes absolutely no effort to maintain this level/ Ones breath becomes easy, holding the inner openness is easy. One doesn’t have to work at it all.

So an enlightened relationship would feel like this: utterly open and without effort.

If we could somehow change our relationships in that direction, making them as easy and open, well, this would, we think, be what we call an ​enlightened relationship.

You’ve probably had a few conversations like this. You were talking with someone and all of a sudden, the conversation as if “dropped down” and you were sharing insights you didn’t know you had. Or maybe one came while talking about the future with your spouse, when you each understood, and were discovering aloud, who you each were and what you are together.

In such moments, you could as go anywhere together, couldn’t you? It’s as if nothing is off limits and there are no boundaries, right? You might be happy to sit quietly together, or talk together, and doing either comes without effort.

In such moments of Soul, of deep, open and honest intimacy and heart, isn’t there a palpable sense that you’re in your life fully, and that you don’t need to hide anything for there’s nothing to hide?

Strikingly, that these moments are precisely parallel with the qualities of enlightenment. In both you’re wide open, spread out. In such conversations you’re able to flow anywhere, without limits or hesitation. In both there are no boundaries. In both you touch what is really real, really true. And both are delicious.

​This is why we say that these conversations parallel the qualities of enlightenment.

Now just imagine that your relationship is pretty much always like this. That you’re ready and able to go anywhere with someone, that there are no secrets between you because there’s nothing you need to hide. And that you’ve worked through all the garbage so that you’re ready to explore anything without hesitation or defense with them.

Such a relationship would be truly parallel to enlightenment. Ah, an Enlightened Relationship!

And this is just what the SoulJazz Program is helping people create for themselves (you knew there would be a plug, didn’t you?) We’re helping people create relationships of truth telling, that can go anywhere, and in which we can discover and discover who we really are and what we are together. Its delicious!

We can develop enlightenment, why not enlightened relationships?

Our invitation:  We’re looking for just a few folks to participate in a Beta Test of our online Webinar course. Two hours, Sunday Evenings, for six weeks, starting May 4. There will be private conversations (i.e. webcam face to face) conversations, group explorations, lectures, truly helpful homework and lots of tools for weaving more intimacy into your daily life. Post course support is also available.

Although the program will eventually cost about $300, this Beta Test will be only $150; and if you complete the program, which includes giving us some feedback, we will be happy to refund your investment, no questions asked.

Though developed by a team of Forge Guild members, the course has been refined and is co-facilitated by Toronto Psychotherapist Kerry Gordon and Professor and Forge Founder Robert Forman.

For more information or to sign up, go here.


Loving eyes: A Soul Gift

What I want, just this moment, what I really long for, are your eyes, looking straight at me, wide open and welcoming. That’s all I want.

I was abused between the ages of 10 and 14 or so. The events were difficult enough. But the hardest part was that the morning after those sordid minutes no one spoke of them. No knowing looks, no apologies. Just toast or orange juice or cereal, then off to school.

What a mind-f**k! As I said in Enlightenment Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be, this invisibility, this feeling of being unseen with my pain and confusion, of falling through the cracks, of being the only one who struggles with these terrors—this was the worst part. Not being seen.

Where my soul longs if you will, in a way that challenges my very existence, has to do with this sense of being the only one. 

A friend called a few days ago. She was designing a web site for her astrology work, at which she’s amazing, but feels embarrassed about. As she is going public, she wanted me to hold her hand, she said. If of course went through my solving repertoire: send the notice out only to her friends, feel into the fear, put it on Google, and all my clever salves. Then I shut up.

What she really wanted was just to be looked at. She wanted someone to share the moment with her. She wanted a soul friend who understands the same damn embarrassment sometimes. And I do, and did.

Sometimes I think that this is really all we can give one another: Yes. I get it. Yes, I am here. Yes, I see you.

When I run a SoulJazz event I want folks to feel safe enough to share what makes them vulnerable. We always work up a set of “agreements” that will allow us to feel safe. I can’t tell you how often someone calls out as a key, “no fixing.” “no answers.”

What people want in this, and what my soul wants from you, is not answers. We don’t want clever solutions or “have you tried such and such?” That just feels like you’re standing over there, giving me answers, being smart or wise. No, all we really want from each other is just to be with us, right now, right here, in all our pained confusion.

I am feeling a little depressed right now. I’m not quite sure why. But what i know I want from you is to know that you too feel like this sometimes. What I need to share some deep issue, to share a soul struggle, is for you to look at me with your wide open soulful eyes.

Yes, I hear you. Yes you are not alone in this. Yes, I am here.