Q: Hello, John. My partner and I have been living together for the past six months. Many times I’ve wondered whether that was kind or skillful because of the pain and suffering that arise in the relationship. If I had had my time over, I would not have included sexuality and living together in our relationship until we had a solid, long-term commitment to each other. We want to take some time apart. Is it possible to be together as friends and not be involved intimately until that commitment is solid and strong?..
Transcripts on Relationship
Several people speak with John in the Jewel Cafe:
Q1: Things are better with my daughter.
John: It’s better between you and your self.
Q1: What do you mean by “better between me and my self”?
John: It’s not really between you and your daughter; it’s between you and your self. If you had a different self, then what you experience between you and your daughter would be completely different.
Q1: Yes, but that’s the self I have…
Q: We have a lot of stress at home because my husband doesn’t have full time work. We’ve talked about how he gets himself into these situations, but he doesn’t seem to want to hear anything from me. It’s his learning, but it’s also very hard for me.
John: It’s very hard unless you make it easy.
Q: I think I should love him more rather than put pressure on him to listen to me, yet if I think he doesn’t want to listen I close my heart…
Q: My question is about how to be in the ending of a relationship. My partner has decided it’s not right for him to be with me and I’m ready to let go, to see the good in what is there between us and just to be with the pain as it is. Yet there is also the pain of desire and longing, and a feeling of not being good enough. This has happened lots of times in my life. How can I just have the goodness without having to prove that there is something wrong with the situation?..
Excerpts from two cafe conversations on building a real relationship:
Q: I am wondering whether a relationship I am in is real, and whether we’re a match. Can you help me figure this out?
John: To simplify it, stay away from being sexually physical. It’s not for moral reasons; it’s for practical reasons, because as soon as you build a fire everything is about the fire. If you build a relationship without building a fire, it’s much more stark and very simple, but then what you’re in the relationship for is really clear...
Q: I notice in my intimate, sexual relationships that I can be in a moment of openness, comfort and radiance, and then if I’m spoken to in a way that feels aggressive, unkind or mean I’m very quick to close my heart and my being. I really don’t enjoy that experience. What should I do when my heart feels hurt?
John: Quite simply, at absolutely any cost, don’t close.
Q: How? That feels like the only way to feel safe.
John: You don’t need to feel safe...
Q: As I’m sitting here together with my husband, can you speak with us about the relationship? Do the man and the woman have roles?
John: Where there is a use of personality in relating to each other, there will be an emptiness just beneath it. Keeping things active negatively or positively, on the level of personality, increases the emptiness.
Just beneath the emptiness you have your real meeting with each other, where neither personality nor emptiness matters. It is there that quieted vulnerability knows and sees...
Q: The tenderness and beauty that I know within is so easy to be in when I’m alone, and with some people it is easy. With others it’s much more difficult!
John: That’s where it matters more.
Q: There are a couple of people in my life that are pushing my buttons in a way that I have no control over, and I need your help.
John: The buttons that they push are the buttons that you don’t need...
Q: I want to talk to you about control. I really know I need to let go of control in my life, in particular my controlling of other people. I’m always telling my partner what to do, and not believing he’s doing his best.
John: That’s because you let your nervous system master you. You let your nervous system rule instead of you letting your gentled and quieted heart rule.
Practically, this is like you, in the circumstances of your relationship and your life, quietly enjoying that you no longer need to be in control; you, quietly being nurtured in no longer needing control. ..
Q: A few years ago I decided not to see my father anymore. Sometimes I feel it’s not okay to say “no” to your father, but it has also given me huge peace. I’m scared of getting caught in this father/daughter story again when I go home, but I’ve also realized that I don’t need love from my parents. I don’t know whether to see him now, or not.
John: Whether you see him or not, it needs to be warm. Then not seeing him or seeing him is not because of any kind of issue...