Synopsis: On being connected: it’s tricky, relating without judging. It takes effort and presence.
So, there’s a big field across from our condo in Samara, and up until this year, 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.
This year, the field also has a herd of cattle.
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.
We’ve been impressed with the ease with which we’ve made friends down here. (Hey, Felissa!!) And speaking for myself, on the other side of that coin, I’ve found myself having judgements about one or two fellow residents.
So, I’ve been watching my mind as I create those judgements, and it’s not pretty. I feel myself tightening up, and shutting down, and it’s based on… wait for it… nothing.
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 😉 )
I finished up the lead article for Complete Wellbeing, and the article is about Relating with Mindfulness. I spent a bit of time encouraging readers to drop their stories and games, and to 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.
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.
On the other hand, and I thinks 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 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 above 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.
Now, this is not to say that everyone is worth our time. I really don’t, for example, want either Stevie Harper, or Donnie Trump as my new best friend. And sure, I can make the point that what comes out of their mouths is wrong… but many others would disagree.
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. 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.