Posted by: Upāsaka | 06/01/2017

All that is mine, dear and appealing…

“Asceticism is not that you should not own anything, but that nothing should own you.” – Ali ibn Abu Tali

One of the Five Subjects for Frequent Recollection is to recall that we will be separated from all that we cherish. This inexorable truth is meant to sober us up and help us shake off the intoxication with sense pleasures that is so hard to overcome But, surprisingly enough, I have been turning to this recollection as a support during this time of marital difficulty. 

You see, my wife is incredibly unhappy in our marriage and I’m often at a loss of what to do. I am in individual counseling, we’re in andcouple’s counseling  I have been doing my level best to be patient and understanding. And yet, the anger and resentment doesn’t seem to abate. But, despite this and the stress it causes I’m grateful to het and for it because, when handled rightly, it is an opportunity for me to learn to see her with new eyes. This practice of letting go of my idea that she is my wife, that I have a right to her kindness, her body and her affection is hard but. liberating. By taking sex out of the equation, I hope to learn to respect her in her own right, to develop compassion for her suffering and to work to be more generous and kind in our interactions. 

In short, she will one day go her way, through one of our deaths, choice or circumstance  so why not use orour marriage as a crucible for cultivating patience, compassion, love and understanding? When we must be separated regardless of how we treat I’ve another and we know that we cannot our kamma, how can we afford to do any less?  


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