As one cultivates more and more of the levels of the strudel, then one sees the whole level of interpersonal relationships as just one level. When I first started to awaken, I would come home to visit my family and my father would say to me, “Do you have a job?” He didn’t ask me if I was the Buddha, or if I was enlightened, and I would get very angry at him because he had caught me in a place where he made the plane real, and I said, “I cannot stay around my family, they bring me down.” Later when I would come home more strong in my faith and inner connections, my father would ask me the same questions, and I would, in the quietness of my being, appreciate his concern and the worldview that he held without becoming reactive, and so my response would not be reactive, and it responded instead to the deeper connection that we had, and it would open the dialogue in a new way.
It is up to the most conscious person in the situation to break the chain of reactivity.
This is our work in the world. We are all living in incredibly reactive webs. If you push against it, it still has you. The art is to be in them, but not reactive to them. You can stay in a marriage in which your partner is not interested in what you value and begin to work with that vehicle for your own awakening by shifting your awareness from that of judging mind to that of an appreciating one. You will see that certain relationships have so much symbolic power for you, it’s very difficult for you not to be reactive. Somebody that is very sexually attractive to you, or somebody that is very powerful, or somebody that has a lot of money. Or if you are afraid of aging, somebody that is very old. Or if you are afraid of dying, someone who is dying. Or if you are strongly identified with your body, somebody who has a deformity.