I bow not so much to your wisdom but to the wisdom of bowing.


37 thoughts on “Wisdom

      • The good Buddhist in me bows to your wisdom and the sentiment is universal, but then the overthinking submissive in me started chasing my own tail. Am I feeding my own ego when I submit to something from my Dominant that might be a tad bit illogical, or feeding his? Does it matter? Round and round we go, where we stop…

        Getting outside of my head is only sometimes challenging. I’ve had a very strange day and I’m struggling to find center again.

        Irony? Peace comes to me in the bowing. In practice, I find inner silence there easily.

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      • In a sense, one could almost feel sorry for the Dominant, for there is much of a burden to carry there. Without the refuge of bowing, humility and the inner silence that comes from these things, one could see much to weight down the heart and shoulders. Ego is rather heavy and to think that one might be feeding it can be uncomfortable. I can’t think of an easy solution to that dynamic, for (as I understand it – and my understanding is fuzzy) the onus is rather on the D to be the thinker, chaser, solver and protector and so should bear the burden of this for the s. To be honest with you – I think that you are in the most fortunate position, in a spiritual/karmic sense.
        Have you ever tried role reversal in order to remove some of the burden from your D? I’m so not sure if that is allowed, but I’m pretty sure it would be useful to both parties if it was, in some limited sense. It sounds to me like you have some aspects of D in you that it would be healthy to express in a safe and supportive environment.
        Forgive me if I speak of things that I know little of and come away sounding like a fool. I respect your wisdom and any clarification it could give me.
        Kind regards – Robert.

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      • Penning an appropriate response has brought me from the cocoon of snuggly blankets to the computer this morning. 🙂

        Ego is indeed a beast I seek to diminish as a driving force in my life, which is precisely why, when the thought sprang unbidden in response to your sage offering, it made me take notice, and evoked a feeling of unease.

        Let me see if I can clarify the inner workings of a (healthy) D/s relationship. (And to my mind, many many more are unhealthy, than I am comfortable with in this regard.)

        In theory, the onus is on the Dominant to bear the weight and make the decisions, and to play a supportive role to the submissive, but, in practice, both bear equal responsibility, because in order for there to be a balanced circle of service, there needs to be sufficient communication, from both parties, as to the desires, needs, fears, and drives that are at play.

        My own particular brand of submission takes on more of a role of trusted adviser, or counselor, and I see my own insights, intelligence and intuition as something that I can employ in service to the relationship and to my partner’s struggles and growth as much as to my own. I am not a submissive (and there are some) for whom all burdens are magically placed onto the shoulders of an all-seeing Dominant, seeking to remove from myself responsibility for my own actions or thinking. To my mind, the standards by which I live are heightened by the added layer of structure within the dynamic, (think mindfulness on steroids) and the types of structure that are in place are never just dictated from the top, but rather (in areas that are more than just extracurricular) are discussed and negotiated by us both until we arrive at boundaries that serve to lift us both up, and provide the things that will bring the most peace (and yes, titillation) to each as individuals.

        I submissive lives to serve, but in actuality, the Dominant is in service every bit as much to the submissive, seeking to bring peace and calm to their life, in very much the same way that they are receiving from the bottom. You ask if I have tried switching roles, and I have, in fact, been on both sides of the coin, but never in a relationship where it transfers back and forth, just one or the other. In my marriage, I started out as submissive, but due to emotional instability in my husband, brought on by a number of physical and mental stressors, it was agreed that I would take on the lead role in order to lead the family into the arena of stability and calm. My learning to take on that role has done much to inform my current beliefs regarding a healthy D/s dynamic. I found that the level of service I gave, the compromises I made to my own selfish (ego based) desires, were as high if not higher from that position in the relationship.

        When both partners are focused on the things they can do to lift the other up, to hold each other accountable for their own mindfulness and self control, which is paramount to the dynamic, then what you have is in fact much more of an awakened and thoughtful relationship, I submit, than the typical ego driven unexamined “normal” relationship.

        Does this make sense?

        When we are in service to others, from any position, we become mindful of not only our actions, but our thoughts and motivations. I do have a tendency to overthink, and that can become a demanding Master in and of itself, so finding that balance of reasoned decisions/communications and of accepting the peace from trusting and letting go is always a fine line for me.

        I hope that this brings a little clarity to the strange rabbit hole I fell into (of my own doing) yesterday in response to your post. It wasn’t confusing in the least, but rather I allowed fear of my own possible unhealthy response to conflict to spin me into an anxiety producing examination, rather than trusting my own instincts to openly communicate and make healthy mindful decisions in any given moment.

        As usual, Robert, your particular brand of communication and your inquisitive way of interacting with the world has done much to spawn thought, so I am again grateful that you have wandered across my path.


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      • In the past I have only seen a very limited aspect of the D/s relationship – the graphic component. And by this I mean the sexualised images of Domination and submission. With this very narrow window into what now appears to me to be a very wide, and yet rather rigidly structured landscape I was only able to conclude that it was all about the sex (or titillation as you delightfully and euphemistically put it).
        I am glad that you have opened my eyes, and shown me that there is much more to D/s, for several reasons. The most compelling, for me, is that much of what you have shared is useful for me in terms of understanding human nature and relationships in general.
        I suppose that I imagine that each person has elements of s and elements of D (by putting the s before the D there I wonder if I am committing some sort of faux pas that offends? I leave them like that so that I can ask the question) in them and that the proportion of each would lead to them becoming either D or s. Your description of yourself as being capable of moving from one pole to the other makes me very happy because it speaks of the flexibility and strength of human nature in the face of adverse or challenging situations. Thanks for giving that to me.
        I do wonder at times what you (and other D/s inclined people I have interacted with on WP) make of me. I must seem like a very strange beast to have entered a place where I am clearly not at home. It actually makes me question my orientation and balancing point on the scale. Would I be happier in a relationship with a D or an s is the question I ask myself. Probably the latter, but I think that I would not be greatly inclined towards either pole actually. I can see the comfort that would be involved in s and I can see the ego gratification involved in being a D but I think that I’m happiest trying to achieve both at the same time. It almost seems like a choice between Materialism and spirituality to my naïve mind.
        If my speculations are offensive then I trust you will let me know.
        I find it interesting that I can’t really decide whether what you have written is mostly about you or mostly about the D/s dynamic in general. Obviously there are elements of each, but I feel that perhaps you have integrated the scene so fully into your being that you might find it difficult to separate yourself if you felt you wanted to. Maybe that is why you feel some unease around my ‘sage offering’. Maybe. Having said that – I am in awe of your self-awareness and ability to think things through to a satisfying conclusion. I can do that too, but it possibly takes me longer.
        I like very much what you say about a ‘balanced circle of service’ and this, I think, is what each and every couple must strive for – no matter which dynamic (I’m using this as a way of saying D/s or not D/s – I don’t know how this is referred to conventionally) holds. It seems to me that, from the things I have read on WordPress and from you, that there is a huge focus on self-development in the D/s world and that each partner is encouraged to develop towards their best … level. I like this very much and this is very attractive to me. But then again, working towards attaining a cohesive structure is very attractive to me in all things.
        Thanks very much for taking time to explain these things to me and for your kind words concerning my ‘brand of communication’. I would very much like us to be friends and to be able to continue this kind of discussion with you into the future, if you do not find it to be too onerous.
        Blessings in return – Robert.
        (How ironic that your initial is m, because you seem to me to be, in essence, a submissive master, which further (if I may be as bold as to say) leads me to think of you as a balanced and wholly developed person)

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      • 🙂 Thank you for another insightful and meaningful response. I’ve come to expect nothing less from you and it is engaging.

        The sexual images that one finds when Googling BDSM or, to a lesser degree, D/s are only the most extreme forms of the practice and without context and understanding of the mental aspects, are really fairly destructive to the impression that the general public has of folks like me, who are into this thing for largely psychological reasons. This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy *some of the things depicted in the search results. I do… because they correspond to and resonate with a primal aspect to my sexuality that I choose not to deny. But they are indeed a very limited window into a rich world. I blog on these topics, not only because I find clarity and understanding of myself through the process of writing, and that I enjoy and benefit from the feedback I get from others, but also because I think the media’s treatment of the lifestyle is damaging and presents a flawed and incomplete view. I hope, to both shed some light into a (more) healthy way of expressing these desires, and also to help younger folks interested in and coming into experimentation with these things to have a more balanced and realistic view of what they might strive for and what they are willing to accept from others they interact with.

        The awful 50 Shades of Gray Movies and books gained notariaty and popularity inthe mainstream public, but really depicted a broken and abusive “relationship” it’s fueled a whole new generation of folks who really have a skewed view of what’s ok. My opinion. 🙂

        I’m glad that I have in small part helped to open the door and reveal a broader landscape to you than you have been exposed to before. Everything that we learn to do, the discipline that is required to play with these kinds of dynamics in our lives or in our bedrooms, IS helpful and instructive on how to be a mindful and compassionate and compromising human being. These lessons aren’t D/s lessons, but relationship lessons, as you so adeptly point out. The patience I have fostered in myself, the self-discipline required to both lead and to follow and to willingly put another’s needs on the same level as our own, these lessons have served me in many ways outside of the closed door of a D/s relationship. Interactions with my children, with strangers, with friends… can all be enhanced by my learning to become a more compassionate and respectful person. It has taught me to be more accepting of other’s points of view. To listen more attentively, to communicate more fully, to yield to other’s wishes without resentment, when it serves a greater good. It’s helped to teach me to be a better human being. The fact that some of the Pavlovian tactics employed to foster that growth were sometimes highly sexual in nature… well… yay! Bonus points for the girl. 🙂

        I recognize and accept that I present an egocentric idealized view, but as you point out, I have internalized the paradigm to a degree that is difficult to separate from the rest of me at this point, and I’m wanting to put the best face forward.

        The fact is that everyone is messed up and will screw things up, for me, the difference in a D/s relationship and a vanilla relationship is how we deal with disappointments (ideally).

        Some people have a very difficult time understanding how an autonomous, thinking adult could submit to “punishment” from their partner when they have made some misstep. My answer to this is that punishing behaviors take place in every relationship. Every cold shoulder, every silent and tense uncomfortable meal shared together, every denial of sex… these are punishments, but they are not consensual activities. They are not controlled responses and they have no expiration date. They are punishments that breed resentment and hurt. Contrast this to a D/s situation: I’ve hurt you with my actions, you point this out to me and explain why it hurt you, and to cleanse the hurt feelings on both sides (the disappointment of the wronged and the guilt of the wrong doer) a consensual, negotiated activity takes place and after that, both feel better and it can be put into the past. While there may not be proscribed punishments for the Dominance, there are clearly defined expectations, and when they are broken, there is open dialog. Communication. An attempt to correct course.

        These are my ideals anyway, even if we as humans mess them up. 🙂

        What do I (and surely others) in the kinky realm think of you? I think you are my kind of people in all of the important ways. You are self-examining, intelligent, curious, willing to look at things from divergent viewpoints. You are not floating through on autopilot. You have a love of actual communication… not surface chatter. You like to affect people. Your writing is designed to do so, to affect, to inspire thought, to entertain. You’re interesting and engaging. The fact that you don’t feel the need to take a girl over your knee for a little special hand to butt treatment, is of no consequence. (Although I personally recommend it). Hehe

        I find it interesting that you are questioning where you fall on the scale. We all have a mix of both personality traits. Some, we just find more personally gratifying. That you seek balance is how you come across, and that is admirable in all things. Most people probably lean to more one side than the other, but very few seek to develop one side over the other, and that is as it should be. People who get a little nibble of this and find that it resonates with some inner mental drive or some deeply rooted primal sexuality, will find a pull to explore further… but most folks probably just say “that was fun” or “no thanks.” 😉

        I thank you for the stimulating dialog. You’ve inspired thought in me, and that’s the gift that keeps on giving.

        “you seem to me to be, in essence, a submissive master, which further (if I may be as bold as to say) leads me to think of you as a balanced and wholly developed person)”

        This, I think, is the nicest thing anyone has said to be in a long time. Thank you so very much for that. I am touched… and I found your “submissive master” terminology to be highly, and paradoxically comforting somehow.

        There isn’t one thing onerous about you. I’m pleased to make your friendly acquaintance and look forward to communing and conspiring with you in the future, Robert.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so happy to have received such a communication because there is much here about me and I am, sad to say, my most favourite topic of conversation. That’s not quite true actually. I’m important to me – obviously, but other people are becoming more important to me too. As I become more spiritual and …

        Okay, I’ve deleted the above a couple of times now and retyped it and it hasn’t got any more interesting. I’m going to let it stand this time because I need to make it clear to you that I’m (a) happy to get your words and (b) terrified by the length and depth of them. I am watching these words appear on this screen at a torturously slow rate. I am on row four now and there is so much white space below that I want to both stop and give up in my effort to fill them and at the same time i want to type faster in order to fill them more effectively.

        I need to find clarity and focus here. It’s the dog end of a day gone by. I am hot and sticky and I feel uncomfortable in my skin. None of this has anything to do with you and I’m not at all sure why I am telling you this. A voice in me says that it is because I want to move our relationship to a more meta level, that is: away from what we do and more towards who we are. But to say ‘hot and sticky’ falls rather short of my intentions.

        Part of me wants to talk more about the lessons that D/s gives you and can give us all and yet part of me wants to talk about the feelings – the visceral feelings that are involved in your latest post about overstimulation. It’s a battle in me that has been going on for years between the the spiritual and the material. I’m not at all sure which part of me will win at this point, except to say that we will all inevitably retreat in to spirit as we move towards closer towards death. The material will fail and the spirit will remain. This causes me to want to rail against the failure of the flesh and yet at the same time to rejoice at the triumph of the spirit. I guess the trick for me is to make the spirit strong now in order that I feel that I have a measure of control over the process. I want to go there rather than be forced to go there. Does that make sense?

        Shame plays a big part in my psyche – although this isn’t something that I’ve ever expressed or that I’ve talked about with anyone. To be told off by anyone or to be found wanting or incapable brings forth a palpable sense of shame. Like you, I think that I need to see this as a sign that something has come up in me that I need to work on. The shame comes to show me what I need to address. And it is a very accurate sign is this shame. I could give you a list of things I am ashamed of, but I’m not at all sure how interesting or useful it would be to you. It is something that I need to work through myself.

        I’ve never looked at more than the first five lines of the first Gray book, nor have I ventured further into the movie than the trailer (and that only because I was in a cinema at the time and could not evade it) so I really have no idea whether they are good or bad. I will, however, take your word that they portray a dysfunctional relationship. Are there other books or movies that give a truer representation of the D/s scene. Not necessarily those that focus on the sex, but those that address the philosophy behind and the lessons to be learnt from this way of life. I am very interested in anything that can be used as a learning tool for self improvement and relationship enhancement.

        I hardly have an interest in punishing anyone, nor in being punished, but I recognise the scenarios you vividly paint as regards the ‘punishing behaviours take place in every relationship’. I am ashamed to say that I have taken part in these and it is something that I am not happy about. I recognise that these are dysfunctional and do want to become a better partner.

        I resonate strongly with your words about the ideal scenario we would wish to be part of but sometimes cannot because of the way that humans mess things up. To err is to be human – sure. But surely we can do better than that with a little practice.

        It is so good to find you, m. I have many conversations on WordPress and although all of them are unfailingly full of polite talk and polish, not so many of them move into the deeper waters that you seem so at ease in. I am a very curious person and I have a compelling need to stretch my mental legs and stride out into unknown territory. It is good of you to hold my hand in this way. I have tried to instigate conversation with others in the D/s realm – all of them s and all of them female (as far as I can tell) but they have either petered out, or conversation has suddenly ceased. I wonder if it is possible that a D could see me as something of a threat (although this is not my intent) and could forbid an s to continue contact with me? It seems likely to me, but I do not really know.

        I think that’s about all I can say for now. I am aware that this is a public forum and so the rest will have to stay within me. Such is life. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts about me – they are absolutely accurate – you are a good judge of character. You also have a beautiful way of making me feel at ease – thanks for that. I keep coming back to your phrase ‘take a girl over your knee for a little special hand to butt treatment’ and it is a compelling image. How to reconcile this with spirituality is my only concern. I’m sure you have suggestions and I am intrigued enough to know what they might be.

        Having no idea whether it is day or night with you I can only wish you a pleasant day and say that I am happy to make your … Well, you know what I mean, m. Part of me wants to call you M but I’m not sure how you would feel about that. I only mean to imply equality of intellect, interest and friendly intent.

        Kind regards – Robert.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is such a long and informative reply that I feel compelled to move my reply offscreen, so I invite you to email me if you are so inclined: emdimensional @ Gmail.

        I am now not at home and won’t be the rest of the weekend. I will have some time to correspond and write hopefully, but not as much as when I am home. That said, I will rely to this via email when (if) I hear from you in as timely a manner as I can. 🙂

        You intrigue me. I very much relate to the way you think and interact with the world. I’m looking forward to productive conversations and mutual inspirations, should we continue to dialog.

        I’m sorry for monopolizing your comment section on this post. I’m feeling a little selfish on that note, but I’ve enjoyed it immensely.

        I’m in the central timezone, btw. 🙂
        Have a blessed night. Write happy, sleep well.
        -m (M)
        I’m flexible. Hehe


  1. i practice this everyday but now reading it put like that gives me a better sense of peace over my choices. when i choose not to get tangled up into an argument w someone who has an opinion that is negative and shows no promise for a good or healthy outcome i just can never see the sense in engaging with them so i dont necessarily agree with them but i do ‘bow’ and i release myself from the entanglement almost instantly! some people need to be right more then live in Joy i am not one of those people. so many tortured souls in the world Robert if i can spread some of my Joy and hopefully shine some light then that is what im gona do! seems that is your mission as well! you shine! thank you for this!

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