Tub of Contentment

Last summer I traveled a long, dry rocky and rough track through the mountains. There were long vistas of ridges beyond ridges and deep, steep roadless canyons. It was a hot, sunny, still and cloudless day under a seemingly endless blue sky.

Somewhere past halfway to the destination I came across a spring-fed pool. The water sheeted down a short rock wall and collected in an old porcelain tub before spilling over and trickling into the dusty trail.

There were a few smallish oak trees that shaded this spot and so I stopped and rested. I splashed water on my face and arms and wet my hat before putting it back on my head. I paused and studied the scene. The water flowed with barely a sound. The tub held clear water and some green algae and many water creatures. No breeze moved the leaves above.

The tub itself had broken apart over time. Some of this from rust, but likely also due to falling rocks. Other persons had plugged some of the larger cracks in the tub with stones and moss so that it was still mostly full of life-giving water.

Then I sat and felt the energy of this place more profoundly. I stopped thinking and just felt the rocks and trees and the water flowing through the tub. There was a palpable sense that all is well. The tub was busted and old and rusted, but it was still holding water and occupying this spot just as it should. I felt the contentment absorb into my body and calm my mind. I felt the fact that even though I have aches and mistakes in my history, all is truly well. I could feel the supreme balance of this place and this moment inside me. Nothing to do or improve. Nowhere to go. No searching or striving needed.

I named this the Tub of Contentment and it lives inside me still. I visit this place in my meditation when I want to slow down and just be.

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Guiding Principles for Relationship

man wearing white shirt kissing woman in her nose
Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on Pexels.com

Do you know how sometimes you hear or read something and you just get the truth of it instantly?

I’ve compiled a list of short statements below that help to define an ideal relationship to me. Some of them are original thoughts and some of them I just grocked right away.

Every once in a while I’ve come across a statement that describes how I want my intimate relationship to look and feel. These don’t need much examination or research, I just get it on a bone-deep level. Anyway, here they are:

Relationship Guiding Principles

Companionship without cling

Friendship without manipulation

Friendship over form

Love without conditions

Affectionate touch without obligation

Humor without sarcasm

Listening without judgment

Answers without shadow

Service without expectation

Support not suppression

Solutions instead of complaints

Acceptance without guilt or manipulation

Generosity of heart over attachment

I also find it helpful to speak these words silently in meditation as a way of orienting to unconditional love and acceptance:

I honor you

I bless you

   I release you

Tony Robbins teaches that true honesty is not telling someone else what you think of them, but being honest with yourself about your own motivations. I also find the Hawaiian Ho’oponopono prayer incredibly useful to keep the focus on my own shortcomings and staying in empathy and compassion vs. trying to over-examine other people.

I review this list every once in a while and honestly critique my own behavior and motivations. I ask myself: 1 – Do I love this principle?  2 – Do I offer this?

In this spirit, I recommend a song by Alanis Morissette, “You Owe Me Nothing In Return”. She sings to a generosity of spirit and great love and of being whole unto oneself. She is one of my relationship heroines.