You pick up a piece of paper and in that paper exists the tree, the sun, the wind, the rain, the soil. It holds within it the interweb of relationships that existed to create it, and continues beyond its transformation. While walking, you can pick up a leaf and see these same elements: the sun, the rain, the tree, the cycle.
Neither the piece of paper or the leaf is less or more important. The relationships contained in it are equally vital, and both these things exist in relationship to us as human beings. Everything is in constant relationship. The awakening that spiritual practice provides is to open our eyes to see these connections.
How We Deal With Human Relationships
As humans, we rely most heavily on human-to-human relationships and when we get hurt, we pull away from all other humans. But as I once read, "We are wounded in relationships, and we need to heal in relationship."
As Gregory Kramer puts it, "There is sitting meditation. There is walking meditation. Why not listening and speaking meditation? Isn't it sensible that one could practice mindfulness in relationship and so get better at it?"
Instead of isolating ourselves from others in difficult times, we must see that we need each other to survive.
By cultivating healing while in relationship, we heal the world.
Commitment and connection to another is spiritual, so I asked Bhakti yogis and husband and wife, Kirtan stars, Govind Das and Radha: “What does your beloved mean to you?” Here's what they said:
"Our relationship is our main spiritual practice. Within it, we honor the "Lila," the divine play of the masculine and feminine as Beloved: God and Goddess in a dance of pure love and devotion with each other. Traditionally, this "merging" of opposing forces, God/Goddess, Radhe/Govind, Sita/Ram, Shiva/Shakti, Sun/Moon, Individual Soul/Universal Soul creates balance, harmony, and oneness."
"Simply put, our own individual paths to God lie through the love, devotion, acceptance, and commitment to each other. The play of God and Goddess on a spiritual realm, the play of our love—here, on the physical. This is our doorway to God, liberation, and freedom, and what continues to bestow grace upon our lives.
The yoga of relationship gives us the opportunity for deepest transformation.
Through this practice, we can rebuild trust, recover from hurt, and expand our capacity to love. We create a new sense of belonging where once and for all we awaken to a sweet knowing that we are not alone. We are loved and supported by the interweb of conscious relationships and universe that has a plan and a purpose for us always.
And maybe the most important learning from the yoga of relationships is this, from the book Into the Wild, "Happiness is only real when shared."
It doesn't matter how many hours you practice yoga or meditate by yourself, the union of being in relationship with others is what heals the world. Yoga teaches us that isolation is the root cause of suffering, and connection is the essence of healing.