Three reasons why people have relationship difficulties and how to solve them.

We often think of sex and money as being the two primary areas of conflict in relationship. Conflict is an expression of underlying unmet needs. So, what are the motivating factors that lead to conflict?


The dictionary definition of the word assumption is "taking for granted; arrogant". When I take someone for granted or I am arrogant, I recognize this as an expression of  "self importance".  What to do?  Deny our self? Love our self?  To understand which path to take, we need to understand what we mean by "self".

 What is this self that we think of as us?  When we speak of "self", aren't we just referring to a collection of stories; of memories, fantasies, and beliefs? Think of this as a book. We're each a "book" of stories.  From our early life, we identify with this collection of stories and develop strategies to keep this "book" safe and "alive". We move through our lives comparing our "book-selves" to other peoples "book selves".

Yet, like the wind, these "books" have no solid ground, no permanence. And until we question the truth of our existence, we enforce this "story" illusion each time we rely on a story to determine the basis of  reality.
In Vedanta, one practice is "neti neti" or "not this, not this". This is the practice of recognizing what of our existence is temporary. When all that is temporary is identified and transcended, whatever remains is of a permanent nature; the truth of our existence.

Beyond the "book" that makes up our "self", there is an awareness that has existed throughout our entire lives. As a child, that awareness observed our every thought, word, and action. It is the same awareness that watches our thoughts today. Everything else in our lives has changed, except this awareness. From the cells of our bodies which are completely renewed every seven years to our deepest beliefs, everything changes.

This "awareness" is our eternal and only real Self. It is pure awareness, free from story and any sense of duality. Everything else is a critique of life based on the stories.

When I'm "story-less", I have no thoughts about me; what I can get, how I can hide, how I can be "seen". When I am "story-less" I have no  inclination to  make other's wrong, or overpower them. In these moments, I "get" whomever I'm with. I understand them intellectually, I "walk in their shoes" empathetically. If they are living from their "book", I recognize the  need they are trying to get met. Along with this awareness is the appropriate means to be with them in a way that reaches beyond their "book" to them; the uniquely beautiful and alive being they intrinsically are. This is often understood as "being present."

A teacher of mine once said "I'm monogamous with everyone".  I understand him to mean that he is fully present with each person he's with. His attention and his love are given to them unconditionally.

"I am not my thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, and experiences. I am not the
content of my life. I am Life. I am the space in which all things happen. I am
consciousness. I am Now. I Am."
                                                                                 Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks


This one always leads to disappointment. The extent to which I have invested in my expectation is the extent to which I will be be disappointed. 'Tis a bummer. When I recognize that I'm expecting a certain response from someone, I look to see what need of mine I'm trying to get them to meet. It may be that I want appreciation. It's always about wanting acceptance.

So, what better way to meet this need than by giving it? "In giving is receiving." Simple and easy.
"The greatest gift you can give is the purity of your attention." ~ Owm'r Faruuk
Keeping secrets. 

I don't mean day to day details. I mean the stuff of life. When we're honest with ourselves, we know which "stuff" is pertinent to share. By not sharing, we create a deception, no matter how small.

Whenever we withhold something from another, mental, emotional, and physical energy is stifled. Our natural state of being is one of flow. Consider that e-motions are "energy in motion". In our natural state, emotions are experienced and expressed. It's that simple. Otherwise they (along with their accompanying stories) remain within us and manifest as "stuck energy" or "cellular memory".

Stress as defined in the dictionary is "pressure or tension exerted". Stuck energy is stress. Each secret/withhold we accumulate adds to the amount of stress we carry and experience. Eventually, "withholds" require so much energy that we give more vital energy to them than we do those things that we hold precious! We're investing more of our life force into hiding than we are into what and who we love.
That's gotta hurt!

Oriah Mountain Dreamer put it this way in The Invitation :

         It doesn’t interest me
         if the story you are telling me is true.
         I want to know if you can
         disappoint another
         to be true to yourself.
         If you can bear
         the accusation of betrayal
         and not betray your own soul.

Do you feel stuck in your life; have concerns in a relationship; .feel weighted down by addiction?
Do you want to experience the wealth of strength and joy within you? It is my profound honor to assist you through whatever passage you are traversing, to a deeper awareness of your innate worth, and the recognition and expression of your unique gifts.

Visit my web page;

I wish you Peace.

Devotional Chant & Kirtans

My favorite genre of music.  It has the capacity to bring you to the depths of tranquility.  I do it at the Center because it has a fabulous PA system, professional, soulful musicians and an audience that is so open and receptive that as a musician it is a great pleasure to play for and with them.

As a member of the audience, you will experience tranquility and ecstasy and you  will have the opportunity for an experience of huge inspiration.  Oh the joy of chanting.  If you want to find and sink into peace and feel sweet joy,  I know of no other means that is as effective as chanting.

Immerse yourself in an evening of spiritual chanting and add your voice to timeless sacred songs with the musicians of the Center for Spiritual Living: Music Director Chris Fritzsche, Chant Leader JoAnn Newton
Sahar Pinkham on Tablas, Guitarist Mike Perkins, and Steven Anderson on keyboard, along with our Devotional Chant Chorus. Singing will be in English, Sanskrit and other languages with projected lyrics on the wall to make your participation easy and joyful. Wednesday, July 31st 7:00 - 8:30pm Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa 2075 Occidental Rd, Santa Rosa

My new blog

I've created a new blog, where I will be posting information and inspiration.  You can follow it several ways, by entering your email address to receive updates, or by following me on Twitter @SaharPinkam
 I hope you'll visit the blog and let me know what you think.
Here is some upcoming, Kirtan on the fifth Wednesday evening of the month at Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa.

I'm playing tablas and I'm inviting you to come.  Starts at 7 pm.

2075 Occidental Road.