Factual, realistic, pragmatic: Inside Out is the simple truth

Factual, realistic, pragmatic: Inside Out is the simple truth

If you want a Hollywood film with true emotional depth; which expresses universals of the human heart; a film that tells life like it is: the Pixar animation, Inside Out does the job. (Trailers)

It’s had all sorts of glowing reviews, no need for more here. What I want to say is that this isn’t any type of metaphor for the human mind. This is actually how it is. There actually are sub-personalities in relationship with each other, inside our heads. This film is real, real, real.

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Universal love and “private-reality” love in your relationship

Icon Rumi love barriers yellow flowers 1Universal love and private-reality love in your relationship

Before I start, I want to make clear that I never start work with any couple by talking about things like this. Relationship counselling can be very successful, indeed sometimes more successful, without ever mentioning such things. Couples benefit most from starting with (maybe staying with), a practical and direct approach that each partner is brilliant and together they can draw on what’s brilliant in the relationship to heal things.  For practical everyday relationship exercises, see for example Watch movies and grow closer and If doesn’t work, do something different. So this post is kind of what’s going on under the bonnet. It’s pretty advanced. You can most often drive the car without knowing. ( Index page to all relationship posts)

In your relationship, in every sexual relationship, there are three versions of love. THREE. There is universal love, in itself complex and multidimensional; love in relationship, love in presence of being, and infinitely so much else. Plus on top there are two versions of  what I’ll term “private reality” love: your private version of love, and your partner’s version. If you want to feel a deep and nourishing flow of intimacy and close connection with your beloved, you need to begin to step out of private realities about love. Real love has a universal quality. It is not interested in, does not care about, your private ideas around what love should or must or ought to be. These only get in the way. The challenge in answering the call of love is to step out of our private realities and into something larger.

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Friday in heaven, Friday from hell: radical non-duality in action

Friday in heaven, Friday from hell: radical non-duality in action

Important note. Beginners to mindfulness meditation traditionally start with 20 minutes a day of mindful breathing. To give a sense of scale, I’m going to call that  “primary school meditation”. On that scale, some parts of this page are postgraduate-level. I’m not suggesting you leap straight from introductory breath awareness to doing what is on this page on your own. In fact, please don’t do that. This post is an artificial example for explanation purposes. I’ll get to simple practical related self-help meditations very soon.

With that out of the way, I’ll invite you to imagine Friday afternoon in two alternate realities, two parallel universes, Friday from heaven, Friday from  hell. I’ll use these scenarios to show you an active-plus-silent, radical meditation approach to anger that’s completely opposite to Buddhism. It’s “radically non-dual”, in the sense that it treats joy and anger exactly the same. It’s a practical, if postgraduate, approach to meditation that many people use and find transformative.

Radically non-dual means: remain the same while moving into opposites. This is what Krishna says in the Gita: In pain or pleasure, be the same; in success or failure, remain the same. Whatsoever happens, let it happen — you remain the same. Instead of life jerking your leash up, down, this way, that way as events unfold you have a centre of integrity, of serenity that you remain in, or quickly recover, as events pass through.

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