What Can a Radical Buddhist Teach us About Relationship?

Being in intimate relationship, with self, others, and the world around us, is what lays the foundations for spiritual maturity and infinite growth. Radical Buddhist and Numinous Books author Sue Hunt explains how …

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Photo: Diggy Lloyd

Relationship is the frontier of deep learning. It is where we get to explore and excavate our own hypocrisy and insecurities, and to discover our threshold for deep intimacy. Everything we do in this incarnation is within the structure of some sort of relationship. Be that to self, to another living being, to a community, to an ecosystem, or even to an institutional structure. 

Within mainstream consciousness we often associate “intimacy” with romantic relationships, close friendships, and familial connections. But expanding our definition of intimacy is key to sharpening our self-understanding and our interconnectedness with one another and all other beings. 

Intimacy speaks simply to the ability to be transparently honest with yourself, and to communicate that honesty in a non-violent way with your surrounding reality and communities. On another layer, it speaks to our deep sensual connection to the surrounding ecosystem. 

A foundational understanding of the nature of intimacy is something we have lost in our face-paced, material-centric societies. Earthly wisdom, symbiotic connection, and the chain of cause and effect, are radically important to the Buddhist’s view of reality and relationship. Spiritually the two are intrinsically linked: reality = relationship. 

There is a phenomenal teaching within several Buddhist lineages, for ease of translation it’s called Infinite Regress. It teaches that, as humans, we have the unique ability to reason, reflect and objectively view the world. This is I-consciousness; our uniquely altered perception.

Infinite Regress asks each of us to reflect upon the chain of causes and conditions that brought any person, place, or thing into our lives. This process is what begets the privilege of being in a deep intimate relationship with something or someone. 

For example, the food we consume comes from a long chain of causes and conditions. By consuming that food we are therefore in “relationship” to the entire chain of cause and effect that supported its “beingness.” This helps us to be in mindful relationship with what we consume.

Same goes for the personification of relationship. For example, a friend or a partner also found their way into our waking lives through a chain of causes and conditions, and through the relationship itself we are innately linked to the complexity of that chain. Our awareness of this is the foundation of intimacy with others.

If we played this contemplation game with many of the connections in our lives, we would be able to trace the overlap, the hardship, the fluidity, the sacrifice, and the divine states of creation that gave rise to any given relationship. 

This level of contemplation allows for deep respect for the path of creation and connection, and therefore an intimate perspective that helps center the value of the “relationship” itself—as opposed to seeing the relationship primarily for what we can get out of it, or solely from our own perspective. 

Our culture’s glorified versions of romance, monogamy, and heteronormative partnerships often bypass the foundational understanding of intimate relationship by limiting it to certain socially acceptable circumstances. This leaves an entire frontier of connection, sensuality, and awe untouched in our own explorations of self and other. 

Refining our threshold for observation, absorption and reflection, increases the depth of intimacy within all of our relationships, most importantly our ability to witness self with transparency and honesty. 

This depth of inner exploration radiates from our core, allowing others to feel encouraged to do the same when they step into relationship with us. This is the ground of non-violent relating, reflection, and respect for self and others. It creates a levity in our own heart, as we work with our karmic imprints. When we share space with others, it allows them to courageously see themselves within our reflection. 

Relationships can feel heavy, complex, and layered with unconscious power dynamics at times. These are key indicators that we have bypassed the work of building a non-violent foundation for the actual “entity” of the relationship to grow from. 

A spiritually mature way to build this ground of non-violent relating, is to theoretically see three entities within the relationship: you, the other human, and the frequency of the relationship itself as a third and separate entity. 

To do this, you and all of your glory must be passionately committed to your own transformational purpose. The other person must be doing the same, allowing both of you to grow out of the unique set causes and conditions of the past, giving way to a new reality in the present. 

This is when the third and spiritually mature container of “relationship” can truly arise with clarity as a catalyst for mutual growth. 

Over time, the relationship takes on a creative force of its own, but for it to sustain and to thrive, neither you or the other person involved can sacrifice this passionate transformation of self. It is the gas in the tank that feeds the growth of the third entity, the relationship, calling each of you to uplevel in self-transparency, inner work and objectivity with one another. 

On a physical level, I like to remind myself that I am even in pranic relationship with I deem inanimate objects. Keeping our inner and outer spaces clean and intentional also allows us to consciously choose what frequencies we actually want to be in relationship to. 

This reflection has profound effects on our rate of consumption, freeing up precious prana that can now go to developing sensuality—meaning the full engagement of all of our sense portals—and deep intimacy with all beings and all things. 

Seeing as your own purposeful transformation is the catalyst to authentic relating, it is vital to continually seek and practice self-honesty. The Infinite Regress contemplation can provide both a sensitive and a big vision perspective of our interconnectedness with all that is. 

It will highlight the triumphs and tribulations that have lined the path of beingness of self and others. Within this, a commitment to widening the scope of intimacy and its varied forms within our inner world, becomes the doorway to spiritual maturity. 

Remember, Reality = Relationship 

We must be able to see the dynamic flux of our own realities to authentically be in relationship with anyone or anything. 

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Transitory Nature Sue Hunt Numinous BooksSue Hunt is the author of Transitory Nature: Breaking Binaries for Integrated Being, out with Numinous Books on April 13, 2021. Pre-order your copy HERE—and enter your preorder details for your invite to a FREE 60-minute dharma talk with Sue on May 17.

NON-BINARY BEAUTY FOR GEMINI SEASON

Treat yourself to the full Gemini season rainbow with Eunice Lucero‘s non-binary beauty picks …

Photo: Rawpixel

Thankfully, we’ve begun to embrace that gender is anything but a binary concept—it’s not black and white, or worse, pink versus blue—and Gemini season is prime time to embrace the full spectrum of the rainbow. No shade to feminine frills, but this month we’re feeling sleek, minimalistic buys that are as sassy as they are inclusive.

We’ve listed our selections for each Gemini placement, but these products truly are for everyone. Curious about what Gemini rules in your chart? You can do you birth chart HERE for free. Oh and bonus, we also put the spotlight on product pairs and groups—as Geminis know, twinning is twice the fun …

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1// Sun in Gemini: Panacea The Aegis Daily Facial Moisturizer, $46 for 50ml, and The Aegis Daily Facial SPF, $38. Named after the Greek word for “all-healing,” you love witty products that talk the talk, but that have integrity too. This line is made of premium ingredients all in a straightforward, easy-to-use formulation—appealing to your smart, ingredient-based approach to skincare. The moisturizer’s potent yet streamlined cocktail (hyaluronic acid, Japanese seaweed, fig extract) delivers lightweight nourishment and syncs up with your penchant for thoughtful content; the SPF is scentless and non-greasy, allowing you some hassle-free fun in the sun, as you can’t let UV rays cramp your networking steez. Best yet? They’re both TSA-friendly, because, of course, you’re all about leaning into that natural wanderlust.

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Panacea Moisturizer & SPF

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2// Moon in Gemini: Meant The Absolute Balm, $45 and The Wonder Polish, $43. Multitasking is the name of the game for this delightfully chic line, which totally simplifies your shower routine—and gives mood-groomers like you a break from overthinking! Your decisions, particularly with beauty indulgences, are as mercurial as your mile-a-minute convo skills, so dual-purpose winners take the anxiety out of choosing between style and substance. Prep with the polish, which is an organic body scrub and an in-shower moisturizer (it has coffee, sugar and avocado—basically brekkie for your bod), then indulge in the anti-oxidant-filled balm, whose soft formula doubles as a sexy, cozy salve that treats and soothes.

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3// Ascendant in Gemini: Schwarzkopf Professionals BlondMe® Instant Blush Blonde Beautifier in Steel Blue and Strawberry, $22 each. Your youthful looks and charming open-mindedness give you the moxie for the latest trends; you’re not afraid to try new things, which is why you were probably first on the candy-hair bandwagon when it hit the scene years ago. Prolong those rainbow-unicorn vibes while giving your look a current spin with a pair of non-committal pastel sprays specifically formulated for lightened or blonde locks. Spray and comb through for a fest-best ’do, or even use the light blue shade to help tone that on-trend dusky platinum when it turns brassy. The colors last up to five washes—enough time to stay breezily on-point for your next soirée.

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4// Mercury in Gemini: Cydney Mar Wellness Energetic Body & Mind Adrenal Support, $38, and Jecca Correct & Conceal Palette in Medium, $21.80. A ball of restless energy, you’re undoubtedly at home in an intellectually stimulating environment. Eclectic, versatile and super quick on the uptake, life can definitely burn you out if you’re not careful! A supplement that gives a gentle energy boost via rhodiola, a.k.a. nature’s secret weapon against fatigue and mental burnout, is great for nervous types. Fun fact: Rhodiola also helps improve allergy resistance, which is clutch for you Mercs in Gemini who are so plugged into their social surroundings. Once you’re set on the inside, fine-tune any remaining imperfections with a concealer palette that impeccably neutralizes, because as you’ll learn time and again, life is nothing but a play on balance.

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5// Venus in Gemini: Pinrose Pillowtalk Poet Eau de Parfum, $65 for 50ml, and Bite Beauty Limited Edition Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Gemini, $26. Words are the way to your heart; lively, sparkling conversation is what you consider the biggest turn-on. Communication is also the main vehicle for your charms, making you an expert in the art of smooth-talking and flirty conversation, not to mention that perfectly placed double entendre. Maintain this seductive signature with a perfume that’s made for morning-after banter—a powdery, fresh-laundry scent evokes a light, gender-neutral vibe—and seal the deal with a two-in-one (!) lippie, in shades that mirror both sides of that quirky Gem personality.

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Pinrose “Pillowtalk Poet” Parfum

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6// Mars in Gemini: Context Nude Balm in Heartbreaker, $20, and dōTERRA Basil Oil, $26.67. Gentle reminder to all you Mars in Gemini firecrackers: The pen is mightier than the sword, particularly where you’re concerned. An impassioned orator and writer, you are SO not one to shy away from a healthy debate to get your point across—so perhaps a muted, non-threatening lip balm can help soften those blows (also try and keep your convo nasty-free, just like the balm’s formula). For that changeable energy though, go for an oil blend that heightens focus and keeps your social ADHD from going haywire. Tip: Rub on your pulse points and inhale with three deep breaths, especially when you start feeling fidgety.

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7// Jupiter in Gemini: Non Gender Specific Everything Serum, $65, The Art of Shaving Engraved 3 Blade Razor, $175. You’re genuinely curious and outgoing, leaving you with no shortage of friends, and perhaps even a handful of admirers who enjoy your “the more, the merrier” approach in social situations. Your magnanimous vibe is echoed in your choice of self-care too: You love starting with a positive, clean slate, and a clean shave, with a quality razor, is as tabula rasa as it gets! Follow up with an equally high-minded serum that’s not afraid to go big: As the name suggests, this optimistic formula targets nearly all major skin issues, from lines to pores to hyperpigmentation, with a lovely, all-folks-welcome smile on its face.

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Non Gender Specific Everything Serum

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8// Saturn in Gemini: KNIGHT CO. Exfoliating Face Scrub, $30, and Complete Moisturizer, $30. Crisp and simple, yet with an exacting attention to detail, it’s no surprise that you resonate with expertly curated products that don’t waste time on frivolities. Not only is this no-nasty exfoliant too chic not to flaunt on your shelf (you’re all about understated, almost curt-like quality), it’s also made with natural and organic ingredients. Same with the moisturizer, which wears so light on skin and imparts a soft matte glow, which people know is a hallmark of your cool confident look.

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9// Uranus in Gemini: Herbivore Botanicals Travel Set for Combination/Oily Skin Types, $48. A bit dry one day, crazy-oily the next? Sometimes travel can wreak havoc on a complexion, as changes in temps and hormonal levels can be zany AF. Thankfully you’re no stranger to unpredictability (and frequent flyer miles!), and even welcome both with a gregarious, offbeat spirit. Thank your innate good-naturedness, or, you know, having a handy, backpack-friendly, beat-anything set of natural face and body boosters in tow. Just saying.

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Herbivore Botanicals Travel Set

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10// Neptune in Gemini: Fluide Blue Trio (liquid lipstick, glitter and nail polish), on sale for $35. This wonderfully inclusive brand’s lip, nail and glitter set is made for nebulous Neptune Gems, who practically embody sparkle in thought and deed. For this wildly imaginative lot, communication is more intuitive and facts are more like suggestions anyway, right? And besides, anyone who doesn’t get your big-picture mentality can immediately be waved off, stat, with a perfectly pigmented, 7-free vegan mani and matching pout.

 

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Fluide Blue

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11/ Pluto in Gemini: Context White Charcoal Detox Mask, $45, and Absorb Skin Care The Face Oil, $110. Detoxing, whether physically, mentally or energetically, is a requisite in this day and age, and Pluto Geminis embrace this purge like a fish to water. Keeping things fresh and cutting edge highlights your love of renewal and change, and a luxe charcoal mask, followed by a refreshing serum made of all of nature’s best stuff (organic pomegranate and other omegas and antioxidants) is all the doctor ordered to kick-start your skin—and psyche—into gear.

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12// Chiron in Gemini: MMXV Infinitude Universal Facial Treatment, $225, and The Better Skin Co. Zit No More Acne Treatment, $18. Maybe you never got over that niggling middle-school bout of insecurity keeping you from speaking your truth; maybe it’s just a paralyzing self-doubt of not being articulate or well-versed enough, or being the subject of other people’s toxic gossip. Squash all these irrational bad news bears and start building your confidence from the outside in, with a skin saver that gives you one less thing to feel anxious about. Follow it up with a game-changing miracle cream that also tackles seven main concerns, literally making your glam as foolproof as can be.