“I saw men for the first time” by Liva Reidzane
“Last week all 7 residents of Avidanja came back from the annual Sangha Retreat at the Quinta of Awakened Life Project. Being part of this group of very committed 81 people is truly fantastic, it has made me come to the recognition of what it means to trust: life, other people and myself. It has changed the perspective from which I relate to the world and to myself and it has brought deep ease of being and recognition that everything is OK! There is nothing to change, nothing to prove, nothing to achieve and I am already perfect as I am. And at the same time there is a purification process that has to happen, because I am a conditioned human being.
It was 5 days of deep relaxation, of remembering once again that we dont know what a single thing is, of letting go of our ideas, and stopping the “tape” that keeps repeating itself. In the last 2 days, after finding this new ground, we went deeper into the relationship between Men and Women.
We started with the Women. The women that are part of The Women’s Creative have had a very powerful year in finding our strength, our longing to be with other women more than ever before. We have went through recognising our blood lineage, our cultural conditioning and our women’s conditioning, and we have done all of it without any drama! Simply seeing the things for what they are and transcending them. We know and see now that what a woman is, is not what we have been thought and there is so much more to being in this body than making babies or being on top of men in order to have power… or any other ideas that have been put into our heads. Woman is the force of Creation, a wolf, a tiger, a lion, a destroyer, a creator, a healer and a witch. So we sat in front of a group of 40 men, they were all in silence, hearing us, listening to our stories. We spoke with so much strength, love and dignity. We spoke to the men. We apologized to the men for the separation we have created between us, we recognized our part. The men had to listen, and then respond. One by one they stood up and shared how impacting it was to hear us. To feel us and to receive what we had to say, for some it brought deep joy of seeing women in their power, in some it brought fear. There was room to be transparent and bring reactions on the table. Mainly they were moved and deeply appreciative.
Next day was a day for the men who are part of the Men’s Collective. We started with an interview with Robert Blye called A Gathering of Men which was very eye opening for all the women and men included. For me as a woman this was very touching and quite groundbreaking to see how men are suffering in this world. Men dont have men examples in their lives, they are lacking male guidance and deep relationships with other men, and especially older men. While watching this documentary I was in touch with empathy for what they have to go through and also a totally new perspective on Men and how different they are from us Women. After seeing such an impacting interview, we changed the tables and this time the Men were sitting in front of us. We had to face them and listen to them. It was the first time in my life I had any connection to what it feels to be a man. I thought I would see very expressive “warrior like” expressions from them, seeing some wildness and rawness in them, but instead I saw 40 men, being very vulnerable and transparent. Expressing pain and love. I felt so honoured. I felt honoured because I realized men are never themselves in front of women. They are afraid to show their vulnerability because they have been thought that a man to be strong, he shouldn’t show feelings. I was so deeply touched to see each one of them, to feel them and to hear them for the first time in my life! In the midst of all of these men I saw my Father, I saw my 3 brothers I saw my grandfathers. I had the sensation I was feeling them for the first time too. I had tears in my eyes. I knew that it was not possible to be unseen. I take part of the pain they feel, when I am judgemental, when I push my partner to be faster, to speak out, when my underlying message is : “what’s wrong with you?”. I felt embarrassment and disgust in the way I have been superior towards men. Tears would fall.. And the only thing I wanted to do was to apologize.
After this exchange, we immersed into one whole being. We were more together as ever before, howling, swaying, singing and looking at each other in awe. Men saw Women and Women saw Men.
It was more clear than ever that Women need Women and Men need Men in order for Women and Men to come together.
This retreat had a profound impact on me. It just simply made me happy! Later that day when the men shared with us their stories, I wrote a poem that I would like to share here. And it’s called…
I found myself sitting in front of all of you
One by one you stood up to share
Each man with a different expression, different words, different cultures and ages
But one thing didnt change
It was your voice,
Voice of a brother
Voice of a father
Voice of a son
Voice of a man
A beautiful, soft, humble voice of a man
I hear your voice
And i recognize your pain,
I recognize your tears
I’ve already seen it
I’ve felt it
It’s so familiar
And suddenly …
In the midst of all of you
I see my brother
I see my father
I see my grandfather
They dont speak
They just silently look at me
With a gentle smile
I look back
They send me an air kiss
I send one back
Finally i see you
And finally i am seen
Finally i trust you
And finally i am trustworthy
Finally we recognize we were never separated
We have been together all along
Through sweat and tears
Through challenges and resentment
We have never been separated
I have always loved you
And you have always loved me
And I am happy!”
Liva Reidzane, Co-Creator of Avidanja