The Five Awarenesses


barry-aurelia-wake-up-freiburgInspired by their practice with the Third Mindfulness Training, Barry and Aurelia from Wake Up Freiburg, Germany, share their aspiration on true love, openness and commitment.

Dear Spiritual Family,

Today we have taken the Five Awarenesses in order to support us in our aspiration to build a life together, and to be a home and a family to each other. We aspire that this family and our love remain inclusive, open and welcoming to others.

We see ourselves as two trees growing close to each other, sharing some of our roots and also extending our roots in a diversity of directions. We want to practice looking deeply so as to see that a tree needs ancestors, sunshine and a good soil to grow healthily and happily. We are learning ways to nourish our own joy and well-being and that of the other, and also to be with our own suffering, because we know that a tree also needs rain to be able to grow.

We are aware of and grateful for living in a forest with many other trees, so we create and maintain space for ourselves and each other to be alone, to be in nature and to be with others. We support the other in being themselves, in living their own life and in having deep, meaningful and intimate relationships with others, to enable them to receive nourishment and love from a multitude of sources. In this way we help each other to be stable within ourselves and not rely on the other to meet all our needs.

We help each other to be stable within ourselves and not rely on the other to meet all our needs.

We respect each other’s needs, but do not expect the other to make us happy or blame them for our unhappiness. Similarly, we aspire not to make happiness dependent on staying together forever. We are aware of the impermanence in everything and that the nature of our connection might change. We will cultivate confidence that we will be okay without each other and that we can find happiness and freedom wherever our paths may lead. This gives us the freedom to be together out of love instead of fear.

We realise that our connection is not a business deal, and that we can receive and accept attention, care, help and love as a gift from the heart without feeling guilty. The joy of the other is our joy.

We cultivate freedom from society’s expectations of a “couple” and will not imprison our hearts and minds with an image of perfection.

We do not intentionally hide things from each other, even if they are difficult, keeping communication open and honest, so that this sharing of our hearts may continue to deepen our understanding and trust. We want to be brothers and sisters on the path, and help and support each other on the path and in living our aspiration of serving all.

We are aware of the fact that when the path gets muddy, rough or narrow, it is not always wise to walk holding hands, but to let each find their own way and their own wisdom, and that walking apart for a while can benefit us and everyone.

Today we are expressing wholeheartedly that we are taking deep refuge in the Sangha, the Dharma and the Buddha. We know that we cannot make it on our own, and that we inter-are with, and depend on, the nourishment and help of our community.

Dear family, we would like to humbly ask for your support and for your blessing of our commitment.

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  1. So beautiful, Aurelia and Barry! Lovely to see this, after meeting you in Plum Village in June of 2014. May your journey together continue to be full of happiness and learning. I am supporting your intentions from California. <3

  2. What an interesting and beautifully described path (: I don’t know if this is too personal/concrete, but does this mean: not getting married, and; having an open relationship sexually? I’m asking as a half of a couple both part of a Sangha, and still figuring out what traditions and forms make sense (:

    • Hi Lotus, this reply may come a bit late, I only just saw your question… 😉
      yes, we’re ethically non-monogamous/egalitarian poly. Getting legally married isn’t on the agenda, due to the inevitable hierarchy that it would introduce into our network of relationships, (which would be of especially strong concern for me as a queer person). 😉
      I’m only willing to answer your question publically with a warning:
      Non-monogamy/polyamory ISN’T for everyone! Know your own boundaries AND those of your partners. It requires developing exceptionally good communication skills and a willingness to work with and take responsibility for your own shit. Know your intentions! If your motivated by greed, you’re going down a road of suffering. DO educate yourself by reading about the experiences (and mistakes) of those that have successfully practiced this for decades. If you don’t, you’re very likely to cause harm.


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