Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 12/21/2018

Washing the Heart

Last night I was unable to resist the feelings of resentment and ill will towards my wife. I allowed the seemingly incessant criticism and fault-finding to dig in and set up camp in my heart. At least I knew that this was a state of affairs that required a remedy so I went to bed and awoke this morning determined to overcome the bitterness.

In terms of formal, concentration focused meditation this morning was a mess but I knew I had to figure out a way to wash the hatred out of my heart. I began with breath, into metta and then devanussati by chanting om mani padme hum and visualising Avalokiteshvara sending love and compassion to me. I especially focused on the light of the heart of Avalokiteshvara perhaps inspired by the descriptions of the light of devatas in the Samyutta Nikaya. I asked for help and maybe I received it because the idea to imagine my wife as being reborn in the various apaya loka came to me and was immediately helpful.

Where before I was stuck on resentment, as soon as I imagined her afraid, panicked and in pain all of that dissolved and fell away. How could I be angry with someone who is possibly creating conditions for such a rebirth? In fact, my resolve to try to help prevent such a thing has only been strengthened.

All in all I feel grateful for the Dhamma and am incredibly happy that I was able to pacify the aversion and ill-will that will certainly lead me to the hell realms of left unchecked.


  1. If you persevere in practice the reward will come eventually. Unfortunately that may not always be at the moment you want it to. Keep it up!

    • Thank you for the encouragement my friend. Wishing you every good blessing!

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.