Dharma Glimpse by Dayamay Dunsby
I am beginning to explore the possibility of dating again, after a long period of celibacy and recovery from compulsive patterns, some of which are related to relationships both platonic and romantic.
This effort to consciously engage with prospective partners has opened up a whole new dimension in my encounters with women.
A once dormant part of me has apparently re-awoken. It is partly exciting and fun, yet also overwhelming and confusing. It has brought me face to face with some of my conditioned behaviours that have developed, from a very early age, and helped me to see how they have contributed to chaotic and painful outcomes in my attempts to have healthy and fulfilling relationships.
The matter of relationships has always been loaded for me. My internal complexities have often dominated and overpowered my good intentions in one way or another, creating a kind of feedback effect that can be excruciating if you don’t know what’s happening. There can be confusion on both sides of the relationship, as unseen and unconscious impulses dictate the direction and tone of the union, leaving you both bitter and confused when it goes wrong for no apparent reason.
Buddhism has helped me to see and understand that I have an innate tendency to either grasp at things because I like them or push them away because they pose some kind of threat. Relationships with other humans have the potential to activate both of these behaviours in me. I crave the attention and stimulation of being around nice people, yet my psychological wounding can prevent me from letting them get too close, which can cause all sorts of confusion and misunderstanding.
As a devotional practitioner and recovering compulsive, my primary relationship has to be with Amida. Everything else has to grow out of it or in conjunction with it.
I am, after all, a foolish being of wayward passions. I think I know what I want but when I get it it can feel like too much and trigger me into destructive ways. And, my foolishness is in some ways integral to my faith, in that it is the basis for my seeking a power greater than myself; the catalyst which transforms my karmic mess into dharmic grace. Of course, it’s never quite as neat as that and often includes deep suffering, but the lesson is in proceeding in a conscious way, whilst paying attention to the currents of synchronicity that weave themselves around our hope’s, fears and desires.
Namo Amida Bu
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