TOPIC: Practice Through Relationship

Relationship Practice in Tantric Sufism has the same ultimate ends as individual Sufi
Spiritual Practice, but with additional means tailored specifically for couples in sexual
and Romantic Relationship.

Men and Women are each capable of reflecting within themselves both the Unity (with
its corresponding dynamic of Unification) and the Diversity (with its corresponding
dynamic of Differentiation) of Reality;  they can become microcosms of that Reality.

When considered from the perspective of individual Human Beings, Sufi Spiritual Practice
emphasizes Unity and Diversity.  When considered from the perspective of sexual and
Romantic Relationship, Sufi Tantric Practice emphasizes the forms that Unity and Diversity
can take when experienced in and through Men and Women:   Masculinity and Femininity.

In combination with individual Spiritual Practice, Relationship Practice reflects the two
"arcs" of Human Life, extended to the relationships between Men and Women.

First, it is an understanding and appreciation of the "Arc of Descent" -- how Diversity/
Differentiation unfolds in Men and Women as Masculinity and Femininity.  The practices
include developing an understanding of the way relationships between Men and Women are
typically patterned in conventional Life, how those patterns often block, condition, and
distort underlying Lataif, and how that influence can be de-emphasized.

These practices are often based on insights from modern authors on relationship psychology
such as:

* Barbara de Angelis ("Are You the One for Me (?))"
* Alison Armstrong ("The Queen's Code")
* Gary Chapman ("The Five Languages of Love")
* David Deida ("Intimate Communion")
* Herb Goldberg ("What Men Really Want")
* John Gray ("Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus")
* Willard Harley ("His Needs, Her Needs") . . .

Practice with the "Arc of Descent" also involves an additional, complementary process of
Differentiation in each individual, again paralleling that of individual Spiritual Practice, by
which new and more versatile personality patterns are created -- Mental, Emotional, and
Bodily -- that reflect a greater variety of Lataif.

These practices might include, for example:

* ballroom dance
* Tai Chi push hands
* massage
* contact improv movement
* drama therapy
* contract bridge
* poetry and short story writing
* arts and crafts
* foreign languages . . .

Secondly, Relationship Practice in Tantric Sufism is a conscious and cooperative attunement
to the "Arc of Ascent", in which Unity/Unification, at increasingly comprehensive levels,
can be realized within Men and Women.

This part of practice especially emphasizes Tantric Sexual Practice specifically . . .