I simply cannot imagine attempting to practice polyamory in this culture at this time without the contextualization of a conducive spiritual outlook and practice. For me, relationships are as central to my spiritual (mostly buddhist) practice as sitting meditation, mindfulness and metta (lovingkindness) practices. How can people find resliliency and freedom and joy in life without these practices and their supportive discourses? I have no idea.
I've found that love and joy, which are manifestations of freedom and love-of-truth,
emerge in the atmosphere of non-clinging appreciation. If one wishes to have love and joy, one must let go of all that obstructs it. Jealousy is little more than fearful clinging and grasping. It isn't appreciation and love. So it has to be transcended (trance ended?).
If my long time partner, or any other partner, were to love someone else and that loving itself caused me suffering, I'd know that I've lost my way and I was temporarily caught in some illusion or another. Typically, the illusion that causes such suffering is the illusion that one is worth less / worthless. One feels abandoned or the fear of abandonment when one feels worth less. But such a feeling-thought is always an illusion. Every human being has infinite value, is infinite value. All else is illusion.
Self-esteem is crucial to all relationships, whether mono or poly or whatever. It's crucial
to any well-being in life, even for single and solo people. Almost all relationship troubles
seem to me to have a failing of self-esteem as the principal cause. If I had poor self-esteem, and Kevin (or 'M') were to fall in love with someone else, I'd probably worry that he'd (she'd) leave me, that I was not as good as this other person, and so on. But because I now do have good--healthy--self-esteem, I'd celebrate with him his ( & her) newfound love. I don't depend on another person to reflect my value/love in order that I may experience my value/love, though I do intensely appreciate these reflections. And I even need them. But I don't need them in a basic lack way, as I once did. My cup runneth over, if you will. I've come home to myself. And that's what we need in order to have healthy loving relationships with others -- whether mono or poly. But especially in poly, because poly is a daring experiment in our cultural setting. It could be the cultural norm, as monogamy now is, and monogamy would then be a daring experiment, and a deep challenge due to lack of cultural / social supportiveness, understanding....
But how is self esteem advanced? Ironically, perhaps, I think it is most swiftly advanced by letting go of one's self -- which is what one does in meditation and mindfulness and metta (loving-kindness) practices. And it is what one does when one seeks to transform the lead of jealousy into the gold of compersion. Self is not supposed to obsessively focus on self; this makes a self sick! A self which surrenders, which is generous and compassionate and kind, this is a whole self, a becoming whole self, a healing self. When the self realizes its wholeness it comes home to life, to itself. In letting itself go the self wakes up. In waking up it sees its own infinite beauty, goodness, loveliness.... Self-esteem emerges in letting self go.
We can make a regular practice of letting ourselves go, and thereby opening ourselves up and waking ourselves up. Buddhist sitting meditation does this for me better than anything, better than skydiving or bungee jumping, better even than
sex or double fudge chocolate ice cream. Sitting still and comfortable on a cushion is both the hardest and the easiest thing I know how to do, and by far and away the most daring. It takes great courage and fortitude. It is a huge risk -- everything is risked! (I've fallen suddenly into empty black space doing it!) I think it was the sitting that finally opened up enough space for my heart to finally begin to awaken to itself, and allow me to enter much further into the mysteries of human loving.
I dare you! Better..., dare yourself.
Last edited by River; 08-01-2011 at 11:28 PM.