The Mike Mantell Blog

Relationships as a Spiritual Path

Image result for eye gazingEarlier this year I had, far and away, one of the most profound and paradigm-shattering weeks of my life. I fell into spaces of deeper intimacy than I knew were possible. I had some of my most sexually profound experiences from nothing more than eye-contact.

It struck me, in a way I’d never truly comprehended, what it means to pursue relationships as my spiritual path.

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3.5 years ago I left society to commit my life to spiritual investigation. I bicycled between different spiritual communities to seek truth. On that trip I picked a contemplative tradition that fed me; I wanted to commit myself to it fully and become a monk. But I also met a woman, Lauren, who I fell deeply in love with.

2.5 years ago I made a choice. I decided not to become a monk. I believed that monasticism was the only real path to truth, and yet I decided to move to New York, so that I could live with Lauren. I didn’t really understand why I made that choice. I just knew that I really fucking loved her, and I knew that I had to do it.

Ever since then, there has been something nagging me from deep within – claiming that I copped out. Claiming that I sold myself short. Claiming that I was too afraid to pursue life as a monastic. Telling me that I lacked the courage to pursue my Personal Legend. Because I always held a belief that the only true way into the heart of the universe is through my own experience, with my eyes shut.

I believed that deeply….until a new experience shuffled my deck.

My paradigm got shattered.

I spent a week in an intimacy immersion visiting my friend Arielle Brown in Hawaii. Our relationship became very complex very quickly, and I now look to her as much more than a friend; I see her as an intimacy mentor. I met her in the raw space where matter doesn’t exist, so walls can’t be built. With both our veils lifted, we melted into something greater, and in this space she transmitted into me magic, self-understanding, and spiritual truths of the world.

I touched into depths of fear, reality, and mysticality that I had never touched before. And this time, I did so using the synergy of connecting with another human being. I didn’t do it alone.

I will never give up my meditation practice. I always want my most intimate relationship to be with myself. However, it is at this point in my life that I am realizing that, whether I like it or not, I chose a long time ago to follow the path of intimacy as a gateway into truth, God, and meaning.

And it is today that I am owning that choice.

Intimacy, relationships, and connection are my spiritual path.

I believe that to change the world it starts with each individual changing their impact. Harmony, truth, vulnerability, and authentic expression can never exist globally if they do not exist in each of our own spheres. Whether it’s with my mother, my lover, or a barista – every interaction I have is practice for me to find my deepest realness, to practice loving, and to touch souls with another human.

Great gratitude for those traveling with me on this journey 

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