The Holy Relationship, a major emphasis of the A Course In Miracles book, is a revolutionary approach to relating. It is both a philosophy and a living practice. Sandy Levey-Lunden made it come alive for me personally. Her course work provided an opportunity to step into a deeply satisfying experience of intimacy and showed me how to live there with another person. I first met Sandy in Lansing, Michigan, in mid-October in a two day course. I was so impressed with the changes I experienced that I moved heaven and earth to take her 10 day Power of Clearing Coaching Certification Program in Stowmarket, England. When I left for England, I was financially challenged and mateless. (In fact, it had been years since I was in an intimate relationship.) I came to the training partly to heal a block in forming a lasting, loving relationship which I had carried for, perhaps 30 years, since I experienced the first of two rapes. I had never thought that I could be authentically honest with a man on every level - and be received.
I thought I was too much for any one person and that I had to bite down on my truth and hold back, rather than reveal myself, lest I be rejected. During the training, I worked through lifetimes of grief, disappointment, and despair, freeing myself to what A Course in Miracles would call the real me. When the training concluded, I felt light as a feather. In essence, I am my true self now and live from who I truly am.
Four days after the training, my financial situation began to improve. A week later, a man contacted me about exploring the possibility of a relationship. Six days later we met, and it was the most magical, soulful meeting of my life. Within two hours, we knew - this was something different, something so exquisite we could not have orchestrated this by ourselves. We are partners who share a common purpose; even our dreams echo one another's. It's not that we are in love, although that is true. It's that we are remembering together the Love we have always been, appearing now, in time and space, as two mouths sipping from the cup of Eternal Fullness.
This article about the origins of this transformative work is a transcription from a conversation with the woman who made this momentous meeting possible, a world-class, Bronx-born, Bodhisattva with a distinct Laughing Buddha girlishness. Deborah A. Grandinetti, Maple Shade, NJ
Making the Holy Relationship Real
(Sandy speaks to Deborah)
I was inspired to tell this story after an exchange with a friend who had studied A Course In Miracles night and day for seven years.
Studying the Course is very different from living it.
She picked me up for our weekly A Course in Miracles class. I told her that I could be in a Holy Relationship partnership with anyone and that I could spend the night sleeping non-sexually next to any "brother." She didn't believe that possible. I persisted. She pointed out a man in the Miracles group and said, "I bet you can't be that man's partner. I bet you couldn't spend a night in the same bed with him."
The reason this friend picked out that particular man as a deal breaker is because she didn't consider him handsome, interesting, or smart. Her judgment showed me what she thought of herself, since we only judge others in the way we judge ourselves. If we think we're not good enough, even at the subtlest levels, we will find the same "flaw" in others.
As a result of that conversation, I was inspired to tell what this Holy Relationship process means to me. For most people, it is a challenge just to read A Course In Miracles and comprehend what it says. Of course, it's much more challenging to live what it says, on a day-to-day basis. That is the real challenge - to have your life reflect the teachings. Yet, that is the opportunity ACIM offers every one of us. In every area of our lives, we can either say, "I am clear and in my truth," or have some judgment, some fear, some guilt, etc.
As a student of ACIM, we know that we are either in 100 % love and joy, or we have something to clear.
Of course, we still have our "normal" lives to live. Everyone has their ego stories, ego patterns, and lessons they came here to work out. I haven't met anyone who doesn't. I have been observing mine for many years. The Manual For Teachers says that when I become an advanced teacher of God, I will no longer be here. I think it's important to realize that we might think we know Truth, but we really don't know. If we truly knew the Truth, as it manifests in our lives, things would unfold entirely differently.
The world is a school. In order to know Who We Really Are, we have to take every aspect of us that we thought was guilty - every action, thought, feeling, and belief - and bring it back to innocence. We also have to take everyone we encounter - and all of their actions, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs - back to innocence. Every single one. Every single aspect.
A Course in Miracles says we do not grow: we awaken to who we are. In other words, I Am That I Am. We - each of us - are this: I Am That I Am, Eternal Love, Peace, Joy, Totality, Infinity. We don't need to grow, just to wake up.
Our greatest teachers on this journey of awakening are the people closest to us. We were meant to meet all of them.
For the last 30 years, I have examined people's relationships and helped them figure out their patterns. My goal has been to see how we construct our reality and how we dance the same dance and engage in the same non-productive patterns over, and over, and over again. I have looked into this so I could learn how to heal them, i.e. the patterns and their "owners."
If you look closely at your own life, you'll see that these patterns can be subtle or obvious. Sometimes, we think we've overcome a pattern only to see it pop up somewhere else. Until we dive deep down and truly forgive ourselves and others, we will repeat the same patterns over and over. Only by first forgiving will we have true understanding, as the Course says.
If you choose to wake up, you'll stop responding to your life from habits and patterns from the past and respond from the Love that you always are. I invite people to wake up into the Oneness. That's why I created this Holy Relationship training.
Clearing is the essence of the process. It allows us to shed the many veils we've superimposed on our true selves. These veils of judgments and patterns make it challenging, if not impossible, to maintain any kind of relationship, let alone one which requires us to be with each other in truth.
The Holy Relationship is as different from what A Course In Miracles calls special relationships as night is from day. The Course characterizes a special relationship as one which creates separation.
It says, "I think there is something wrong with me; therefore, I think there is something wrong with you." The special relationship is all about trying to fulfill the other person's perceived lack of love or "hole." At its core, it's a bargaining process - you give me what I think I need, and I'll give you what you think you need.
Sound familiar? It is what we all know, and it doesn't work. This is why we feel trapped, because we become so enmeshed in needing this relationship fix.
The Holy Relationship is a whole different tune. If we were living A Course in Miracles, we'd stop looking for the sexier, richer, more famous, more powerful, or more intellectual partner who would enhance our image. We'd know that we could love any brother (or sister). We'd simply have to make the choice of which one.
What I am saying is hard for people to grasp. But the big "T" Truth for people who want to wake up now is that sexual attraction can be a conscious choice. You could live totally fulfilled with any brother or sister. It is only your judgments, perceptions, fear, and guilt that stop you.
The problem is that we are only attracted to someone with lessons complimentary to ours. And that attraction is unconscious because our lesson is unconscious.
The Holy Relationship creates joining and oneness. In it, partners see no lack here or there. They think, "I am completely who I am in my love and I see the same over there."
In a Holy Relationship, people know they are innocent. They see themselves and their partner as perfect in who they (both) are. In order to live like this, two people agree to have a joint purpose, for example, to release their negative past and live in 100% love. It must be a purpose they both want.
When you practice the Holy Relationship, you agree to clear whatever barriers and hindrances that stand between you and remembering Who You Really Are in True Love. A Course in Miracles says we are not here to seek love, only to remove the barriers to love we have created within ourselves.
In a Holy Relationship, your job is to support your partner in going all the way toward discovering who he or she truly is and of what is Real in every situation. And what is Real, of course, is Eternal Love.
The Catalyst for the Shift
This process was given to me after a very painful occurrence in my own life. I met a man while on tour in Sweden and we decided to marry. So in 1989, I moved my family and business to Sweden.
On our honeymoon, he told me that he wanted to host a peace conference that year, which he did. During the conference, he met a younger woman and fell completely in love with her, and told me he was leaving me for her. He said - as an accountant would say - that 90 percent of him wanted to be with her, but only 10 percent wanted to be with me.
I didn't know what to do. I was confused and out of my mind with fear and desperation. Should I run - go back to America - or hold my ground? Never in all my life had I felt so desperate.
So I resorted to something I did as a little girl - I prayed for God to show me a way to resolve my pain, and the pain and suffering in everyone I met in my seminars and counseling practice. I noticed many others were facing the same unfaithfulness I was experiencing. I was in so much pain; I told God that I could live only 31 more days without this answer.
On the 31st day, I was scheduled to give a seminar on "The Art of Surrender." To my shock, 35 people registered without any effort on my part. I couldn't imagine why they'd want to learn - or what they could learn - from a teacher in so much pain.
The night the course started, I remember feeling a surge of fear when I saw my assistant, Mats Stjernqvist, step out of his car and walk toward the house. I had this crazy thought - "I don't want to be alone with him!"
I noticed that thought, but I went on as if nothing was wrong. Later, when my assistants began to turn in for the night, I was left alone with Mats. He asked if I would like to go into the meditation room on 4th floor. My first reaction was, "No, I don't want to. I feel afraid and I don't want to!"
Reluctant as I was, I went anyway. As I walked up the circular staircase in the tower, I knew I was about to change forever. Mats appeared to alter right before my eyes, and kept transforming (he even looked Japanese at one point). I could see the ancientness in him.
During that conversation, I committed to being in a Holy Relationship with him for eternity. That's right - I committed for eternity. (In a Holy Relationship, a person commits to a purpose, not to a body or personality. Therefore, it goes on forever and it never ends.)
When I left the tower, I knew we had made a huge commitment. While conducting the rest of the training, I discovered that the answers I had prayed for so desperately were coming to me effortlessly. In the days that followed, I received information about processes that could free people in relationship, practices that could help them release the core of the guilt from their past, the source of their relational problems, especially in their relationship with mother and father. I saw the opportunity to create a Holy Relationship training, which Mats and I invented out of our real-life experience.
Magic opened up. More processes were revealed to us as we learned to use the process called "The Power of Clearing and A Course In Miracles." Since 1990, I've been privileged to see many of the men and women who meet in my seminars decide to marry.
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Sandy Levey-Lunden (www.SandyLevey.com), is an international workshop leader, speaker, and counselor who has assisted over 30,000 people worldwide to transform their relationships and their lives. She created the Clearing Process based upon A Course in Miracles. The Clearing Process is easy to learn and effective in helping individuals release whatever keeps them from experiencing the peace, love, and success which is their birthright.
Copyright Sandy Levey Lunden