The teachings of Ram Dass are vast. The phrase I’ve heard so often “it’s like drinking from a firehose” comes to mind. I find myself immersed in particular concepts or even just a string of a few words. I find myself repeating those words, writing them down everywhere. Repeating them. Trying to internalize them. It’s amazing how much meat there is to chew on, how much there is to digest in such a small package. I want to absorb it all.
But in order to do that I need to indulge my process. And my process is to write and to share. Big thoughts and concepts in such a small package. In and of itself Ram’s words are a teaching. How he speaks and how his delivery touches each of us through the airwaves. Words he’s spoken 40 years ago and words he still speaks today still have the same resonance and depth.
I’m setting an intention to use this public space as a tool for my own analysis and to organize my thoughts in a way that others who are unfamiliar can become familiar with his teachings without needing to identify with him specifically. The concepts are all the same and it’s all stuff we already know, we only need some help in remembering.
Today I want to talk about what it means to feed a relationship with consciousness.
Taking a moment to pause – I sit here and breathe this question in. This nugget of thought was presented to me through the Love, Serve, Remember Foundation’s Yoga of Relationships course.
In this particular lecture Ram shares a bit about “Given Karma” and “Acquired Karma”. The way I understand it is that Given Karma is that which results from relationships you don’t choose: your parents, your children, those you interact with on a day-to-day basis where you have no control of who you interact with. Where Acquired Karma results from choices that are made consciously, like entering a new relationship.
Ram continues to speak on relationship, and more specifically, marriage. He explains that the in the sacred bond of marriage the once Acquired Karma of the relationship shifts to Given Karma when the couple decides consciously to be with one another “until death do us part”. This distinction changes the relationship, as you would expect. It’s subtle, and monumental, all at the same time.
As I continue to sit with this concept, now getting back to the idea of feeding a relationship with consciousness, I’m peeling back layers of surface judgments and understanding. It feels appropriate to begin with a clear understanding of what it is to NOT feed a relationship with consciousness:
It is not getting stuck in drama.
It is not blaming the other.
It is not shaming the other.
It is not manipulation.
It is not guilt or jealousy or anger.
It is not staying silent when the truth needs to be heard.
It is not cowering in the face of adversity or challenge.
It is not turning your back to one’s vulnerability.
Feeding a conscious relationship for us has looked like:
Allowing anger, sadness, and pain to be present, without trying to fix or change it.
Giving each other space when we need it.
Scheduling large chunks of time to be alone together.
Delegating tasks and responsibilities based on what we each like to do vs. any societal norms or expectations.
Sticking out hard conversations sometimes by just sitting in silence.
These are only a few examples that come up mind where I’ve experienced a pure quality of trust, surrender, and deep love for my husband while surfing the waves of life. We’re only one year married and seven years together, so I know we’re only touching the surface of this stuff. But I also appreciate the lineage we’ve come from, the histories of our parents and our families and what’s brought us here, to do this work, now. I know that we are diving deep into the ocean of love that exists between the two of us and I know that we’re opening ourselves up to its flow more and more each day.
Even when we feel lost and scared, we’re still right here. We’re honoring our differences and our unique qualities. We embrace our challenges and our soft spots because we know they push us towards growth and ultimately, towards freedom. Freedom that holds those closest to us and embraces all souls. A license of openness and compassion that is felt in every moment.