On Being Connected

On Being Connected

On being con­nect­ed: it’s tricky, relat­ing with­out judg­ing. It takes effort and pres­ence. But it’s a learn­able skill!

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So, there’s a big field across from our old con­do in Sámara, and for many years it was the home of a herd of hors­es. Except at Xmas, when a bull ring is added, as well as food booths, and there’s a festival.

Out of the blue one year, the field suddenly had cows.

Includ­ing Brah­mans. See pho­to, above. Any­way, this breed has flop­py ears, obvi­ous­ly, and they look you in the eyes as you pass by. I mean, they stare right at you. I post­ed the pho­to to Face­book, and cap­tioned it, “Who is look­ing at whom?”

Of course, who knows what the cow is thinking?

But there’s some­thing there… some inter­nal con­nec­tion, I think. Not that I’m look­ing for cow‑y friends, but more so that there’s a hid­den con­nec­tion, as in “every­thing is connected.”

OK, so my real point is that everything is connectable. If we choose.

Our abil­i­ty to con­nect or not, to be clear or not, to see through to the essence of anoth­er… has noth­ing to do with the oth­er per­son, (or the cow, but that’s anoth­er article 😉 ) 

Before I retired, I spent inor­di­nate blocks of time help­ing clients drop their sto­ries and games, so they might relate with­out attach­ment.

By this, I mean, to notice how easy it is to slip into our heads and away from the real­i­ty of the con­nectable moment that’s right in front of us. 

In Bud­dhist thought, the essence of awak­en­ing is notic­ing when I bring myself out of con­nect­ed curios­i­ty. When I pro­mote my judge­ments and sto­ries over curios­i­ty, I cease “relat­ing with,” and find myself relat­ing (if you can call it that) at the straw per­son I have imagined.

On the other hand, there’s resonance… and a smile.

I think this is how we real­ly learn to trust our abil­i­ty to con­nect. When I find myself inter­est­ed and curi­ous, the dif­fer­ences between me and anoth­er seem to go background.

Not away. Background. Nothing goes away.

It’s like peo­ple object­ing that they can’t med­i­tate, because they can’t stop thinking. 

Well, of course not! Our judge­ments are unceas­ing… we even do it asleep. But as we sit and notice, we see that the thoughts and sto­ries are fleet­ing, and not at all inter­est­ing, impor­tant, or true. So, we sit some more, and let go. And the thought drifts away, and anoth­er and anoth­er and anoth­er takes its place. Each of equal un-importance.

The same with our principal relationships.

The real­i­ty of the oth­er per­son is only in their moment by moment activ­i­ties. Each of us is as we do. The descrip­tions we attribute to the actions we see (or hear, etc.) have noth­ing to do with the oth­er per­son, despite our pas­sion for believ­ing them. 

So, when I see some­one do some­thing and say, “I don’t like [that action] about them,” that real­ly has noth­ing to do with the oth­er per­son. I am react­ing, and then plac­ing my reac­tion ahead of the real­i­ty of the oth­er person.

When we fight, same thing, with more intensity.

When I fight with some­one, I have a more heat­ed annoy­ance going on, but again, it’s total­ly about me and my stories. 

So, once again, it’s about me and my judgements.

I think it’s a good idea to remem­ber that. To be hon­est, and say, “I dis­agree with that per­son, accord­ing to my beliefs,” rather than, “That per­son is wrong, and an idiot besides.” 

It might be fun to spend some time going inside and see­ing how judge‑y and preachy you are. Notice how you wind your­self up, make the “oth­er” wrong, and then set­tle into sanc­ti­mo­nious­ness. Notice how divi­sive and sil­ly this is. 

And how easy it is to just have a breath, and let those thoughts slide. 

Ulti­mate­ly, some peo­ple res­onate for us, and oth­ers cre­ate an oppo­site vibe, and most are some­where in the mid­dle. It might be inter­est­ing to accept this, and spend ener­gy nur­tur­ing the res­onat­ing con­nec­tions, notic­ing the neu­tral ones, and gen­tly walk­ing away from the ones we are not com­fort­able with.

All without making anyone bad or wrong.

Because that is just a waste of time and energy.

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