Great Doubt is a Zen inspired spiritual way of life, philosophy and meditation practice to calm our mind so that we can understand God without religion while dealing with any problem in life, from how to be rich to relationship love, with logic and reason to aid in the holistic healing of the causes of suffering. It attaches to nothing and accepts everything, taking the realistic middle way between material and spiritual wealth.
Great Doubt is for the new generation of people who face information overload from the Internet. What exactly do we believe in? Great Doubt believes in everything partially but in nothing absolutely. It views all perspectives and faiths as divisions of oneness created only by our minds. We accept all but are not overly attached to any thing so we would not be shaken or lost.
Mitsuki Watanabe @Mitsukitty, a young independent Japanese woman who works in the US, has gracefully allowed me to publicly reveal one of our private coaching sessions. I have taken the liberty to summarize/edit her e-mail as follows:
Hi, Sherman! I've a relationship problem that I need help with. There is this guy I've been seeing. Recently, he wanted to come see me. So, I let him. He stayed with me and all that...
Unfortunately, during the time he was staying with me, I kept getting mad at him because he maintained contact with his ex-girlfriend of 3 years. I nagged him, "You're going to talk to your ex and not talk to me anymore." Of course, he kept denying. We always had our little tiffs but we made up. However, it got out of hand one night and I blurted out, "Don't forget who's home you're staying in!" That made him really mad and he contacted his ex-girlfriend. After talking to her, he was convinced that she could get him out of his binds and ended up defending her.
I was hurt and we slept in different rooms.The next morning, everything appeared fine although we didn't really say much to each other. I dropped him off and he left. We haven't talked much since then. I found out that he's talking to his ex again and still hasn't said a word to me. I know I acted childish but he knows I feel about that even though we aren't together. He still talks to her anyway. I hate this. I feel hurt,betrayed and lied too.
I spent money on him to see me and he does this? What should I do? A part of me thinks I'm wasting time on someone who will always be attached to his ex but the other part of me wants to give him another chance. I also noticed that when he is mad at her, he comes to me and when he's mad at me, he goes to her. Dumb old me welcomes him back with open arms. What in me needs this? I hope you can help.
Many of us have been through or are currently going through Mitsuki's experience so I'm reproducing my reply to her here while keeping it as generic as possible so that the application of Great Doubt can be utilized in similar cases as well.
Thank you for trusting me with your relationship problem. First the disclaimer part. I don't stand in your shoes so can't see the situation as your mind does. Nobody can except your self so only you are capable of helping your own self. The most I can do is provide you an opinion of which is your own responsibility to act on. Simply put, we all have no one else to blame except ourselves for whatever happens to us because of the law of cause and effect - We do something and something else occurs as a result. This is the water ripple effect. When we breathe out the carbon dioxide is used by plants. The air that we displace affects the heat distribution and contributes to the weather pattern. People's life are affected by our existence or our non-existence. Our existence itself makes a difference. Our existence in this world is no mistake and is the result of the chain of events, the infinite network of connections with each node representing one moment or individual in history.
Without this moment, history will not be the same and the network will be very different. I quote Dr. Manhattan from The Watchmen movie, "In each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive, meeting, siring this precise son; that exact daughter...until your mother loves a man ...and of that union, of the thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you...(it's) like turning air to gold...thermodynamic miracle." So it is no accident that you are right here right now being who you are and reading this e-mail I am writing to you. You have influenced my life and vice versa. You and I are special and unique and that's why we should take responsibility for our own existence.
"Recently, he wanted to come see me." By saying that, you are already "blaming" him by saying that he is responsible for wanting to see you. True, he might be the one to make the move to come and see you but he would not do so unless you provided some hints, maybe not verbally, that you are also interested in him and that you want him to come and see you. In short, just take responsibility and accept that you let him into your life.
"You're going to talk to your ex and not talk to me anymore." When you said that to him, it shows that you are not confident about yourself. Remember that you are unique and special so if he chooses to be with his ex instead, accept that it is his choice but it also your choice to leave him. However, leave him with no jealousy or hatred in your heart. Accept that his existence and your time with him added to your experience. Perhaps you have learned not to get yourself a boyfriend like him in the future. Or perhaps he taught you what it is like to love. Be grateful for that experience because life is just an experience. Everybody and everything that is in your life adds to that experience. It's only your mind and thoughts that judge it to be either good or bad. In truth, all experiences are just dynamic energy before you even judge them and put labels on them.
You are suffering now because you know you judged your boyfriend to be bad for not being loyal. It does not matter whether he was actually loyal or not. When you judged your boyfriend, the law of cause effect happened and he reacted to your judgment. What you did not want to happen happened because you caused it by you judging him and telling him so. You were attached to your fear of him leaving so you judged the situation to seem like your boyfriend is going to leave and he did. What you can do in the future is judge the situation to seem like your future boyfriend is not going to leave and he would not because you would not have created the situation, through the law of cause and effect, for him to leave. Okay, I know you are going to say that this point is moot now since he already left. True, it's no use regretting the past. However, if you view it differently, your boyfriend actually brought you to where you are today, writing to me and learning about this so you will have learned from the experience. You will not seek to end suffering if you have not suffered before. You cannot resist suffering, like what you did to try to avoid it, because suffering is also part of learning not to suffer. Without suffering, there is also no state of non-suffering. Accept both states and you will learn that life is just an experience which you should appreciate.
"I hate this. I feel hurt,betrayed and lied too." I think you have answered your own question here. If you have the feeling of hurt, betrayal and being lied to, then you know what to do already. Unless he changes to not bring you those feelings, why are you causing it to yourself? And how will he change if you don't change first? Remember that he cannot cause you the feeling of hurt, betrayal and being lied to. You cause your own self the feeling of hurt, betrayal and being lied to, or rather is your mind's thoughts of the situation and then judging it as the feeling of hurt, betrayal and being lied to. You yourself chose to be with him so take responsibility for it and also take responsibility for the face that you have a choice. You can cause yourself to leave him or you can cause yourself to go back to him. You just have to accept the effect.
"I spent money on him to see me and he does this?" Think of it as spending money to learn this lesson in life. I think it was worth it. It's like when I fail in a business venture, I think of it as money invested to learn what I did. After all, we also pay schools and educational institutions to learn. Think of it as paying life to learn. It's worth it so just accept and be grateful. Do not attach yourself to memories of the past, your memories, yourself or anything in particular. The tenets of the Great Doubt philosophy is that everything happens because of the law of cause and effect so don't attach yourself to either cause or effect because attachment brings suffering. Acceptance ends that suffering.
"What should I do?" What do you want to do? This is not an easy question to answer. If you can accept feeling hurt, betrayed and cheated on, then wholeheartedly accept it so that you are not attached to those feelings and those feelings will go away or rather become part of you - not hidden inside but truly just be accepted by you. It's not easy but can be done if that's what you really want. Or you can leave and be grateful to him for teaching you this valuable lesson. Don't keep your feelings inside or it will be like holding hot coal to throw at your target except that you are burning yourself and you would probably miss your target. And even if you hit your target, don't forget the law of cause and effect. Cause others suffering and you will just cause yourself suffering. This might sound like mystical karma but actually, I just logically explained why you caused yourself suffering - you are holding on to that hot coal, remember? How do you not on hold on to that hot coal? Well, you clear your mind of thoughts by not following your thoughts. Great Doubt meditation helps.
"A part of me thinks I'm wasting time on someone who will always be attached to his ex but the other part of me wants to give him another chance." Accept both parts and do something about it. He does have his reason and that reason is you. You are causing it to your own self.
"What in me needs this?" It's your self, which I define as your ego, your mind or your thinking process, that needs this. Your self is causing this. What is your self? Are you really your self? That's the fundamental truth that all humans seek - who am I? In Great Doubt, the truth is relative to your situation as a human. In your case, your self is the one deciding whether you should go back to your boyfriend or not. You already know the answer. You just have to remember it. What do you want? What is important to your self? If you have trouble remembering, try meditating.
Thanks again for the opportunity and may you make the choice that is optimum for you in your given situation! Whatever the case, remember not to worry. Life is an experience and you are living it this very moment. Congratulations!