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Old 04-08-2015, 10:50 PM
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Halcyeus Halcyeus is offline
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Lightbulb Meditation and the Brahmaviharas in Polyamory

I'd like to start a discussion, if possible, about four emotions and how they play out in our polyamorous relationships. In Buddhism these four emotions are treated as especially important, though they are in no way unique to Buddhism.
  • Loving-kindness : Wishing for all beings, in general, to be happy
  • Compassion : Wishing for all beings, in general, to be free of suffering
  • Empathic Joy : Joy from seeing the happiness and accomplishments of others
  • Equanimity : Detached acceptance of the good and bad in life, without losing balance or becoming overwhelmed

Witnessing these four emotions is fulfilling to say the least. They can be fulfilling in ways many of the things we strive so hard to achieve can never be. They are often described as boundless because the depth and breadth of them can be truly astounding. When they're present life is rich with love. Since polyamory involves loving more than one partner they are also enormously relevant to polyamory. The extent to which they are felt greatly increases how rewarding relationships can be. They can also overcome the negative emotions that can become problematic such as jealousy, rage, resentment, fear and loneliness.

With regular meditation they may arise spontaneously. On occasion they can come on fiercely and boldly, like a dam breaking as the inhibitions to them snap under building pressure exerted by the heart. More often they increase slowly and gently, spreading out and enveloping what you perceive. This is beneficial since how you feel colors the world. Without the brahmaviharas the terrible things in the world bring on hopelessness, whereas the wonderful things in the world can be overlooked.

As well as resulting from regular meditation they can be increased through changes in habits. Deliberately focusing on these emotions as an exercise and expressing them will increase their occurrence and strength. Although one does not express equanimity as such, it is indirectly expressed by deliberately calming down and letting go of being upset or overexcited.

Any thoughts or questions about the above?
Have you seen these feelings play out in your relationships, or attitudes towards relationships?
Have there been times, looking back, when you lacked them at times when they could have helped?
How does romantic love, or wanting to be loved, relate to or differ from these feelings?
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:03 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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I've too manic a mind for meditation, and am too attached for equanimity ... but I firmly support lovingkindness, compassion, and empathic joy.

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"Have there been times, looking back, when you lacked them at times when they could have helped?"
Oh hells yeah.

Their universal value makes them suitable for all aspects of life, and the fact that they're well-suited to poly says something about poly to me.
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Old 04-09-2015, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
I've too manic a mind for meditation, and am too attached for equanimity ... but I firmly support lovingkindness, compassion, and empathic joy.
OMG if you knew me. That's exactly why I turned to meditation. Are you sure your mind is too manic for meditation? Sometimes I feel like there is a perpetual party going on that is totally amazing but I can't invite people because the ticket is regular meditation.

Taiji and yoga can bring similar benefits. The naturally deep breathing, concentration and mindfulness of the body can be very similar to meditation.

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Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Oh hells yeah.

Their universal value makes them suitable for all aspects of life, and the fact that they're well-suited to poly says something about poly to me.
They are universal! I believe the first two address being a potentially good person for handling multiple loving relationships in general, in terms of intentions. The second two are ideal for the challenges of polyamory, because the obstacles to compersion and psychological self-autonomy can be addressed here. Empathic joy has a strong correlation with compersion. Outside of the bounds of polyamory-specific terms they are equivalent. Equanimity is remarkable in its capacity to settle down the conflicts and overextended emotions that can take hold and attempt to shake us to pieces. Perhaps most of all I imagine equanimity could be helpful to how people are struggling with polyamory in some of the forum posts here and in people's relationships in general. Our passions and aversions can take hold and take us to places that are not often helpful. Letting go of them can release all the tension that builds up. Then they are clear again. They are just as they are. Simple feelings, to act on or not.
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:55 AM
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The brahmaviharas are well worth recommending, I'm certain they'd help with a number of issues we're seeing on the forum right now.

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"Are you sure your mind is too manic for meditation?"
Yes, I'm very sure.
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