Zen for Couples: 'Not One, Not Two'

When walking down our spiritual paths, it's important to take the journey together... separately.

Continued from page 1

The experience of essential nature or oneness is available to each of us right here and now. What obscures oneness from your view is thinking and conditioning. You have been raised to view yourself as a separate self, with everything from the skin outward being seen as other. While this viewpoint has survival value in the relative world, and cannot be ignored, it is, at the same time, a limiting perspective that creates much misery.

Each of us travels our own unique spiritual path
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    But again it's important to stress that experiencing oneness does not negate the relative perspective of "twoness," the difference between self and other. Rather, it vastly expands your vision-so much so that it gives you a completely new perspective. When we fall in love or make love, the ego boundaries come down to some extent and it is a very positive experience, but it is limited. When the walls come down completely, the experience of oneness is of cosmic proportion. It transforms your life. The experience of oneness is so expansive that many people who open to it, either spontaneously or through meditation practice, stop there. They view everything in terms of oneness. Statements that are true from an Absolute perspective are now mistakenly applied to situations in the relative world of cause and effect-and you hear of many "enlightened" people with relationship disasters.

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    Ellen and Charles Birx
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