Loving and intimate relationships can be the most wonderful experiences of our lives, bringing us moments of happiness and a sense of meaning and purpose.
But our intimate relationships can also be complicated, revealing our deepest insecurities, unhealed wounds, and selfish tendencies. When things go wrong with our lover, children, parents, and close friends, we may find ourselves getting angry and blaming them or feeling despair, not knowing how to heal the divide.
In the Shambhala Sun Foundation's eighth annual What the Buddhists Teach program, three outstanding teachers—Brenda Shoshanna, Larry Ward, and Judy Lief—guide us in exploring our intimate relationships and learning new ways to understand and nurture them.
Through presentations, discussions, practical exercises, and meditation, we learn to:
- See our loved ones for who they are, rather than through the lens of "me" and "mine"
- Listen and speak mindfully as the basis for healthy and loving communication
- Identify obstacles that get in the way of intimacy
- Use conflict as an opportunity to deepen our relationships
- Cultivate pure love through the practice of letting go
- Recognize that our relationships are in a constant state of change, or impermanence