Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 04/04/2019

Giving All That Is Asked

May I become…a servant for all who want me as their servant.


I’ve experimented with this practice before, that is, of giving whenever asked, and had some success but was often thwarted by my own resentment and aversion. It is much easier to buy merit through offerings of food or material goods, than it is for me to do everything that is asked of me at home. I often feel that it’s somehow unfair or that I’m doing “more than my share” when I am asked to clean this, change this, fix this or put this one to bed. And, on those rare occasions when I’m able to forbear, it can even seen as if my wife is testing to see how far she can push it.

And yet, could there really be a better training ground? My apologies for constantly harping on about this, but it’s really a blessing to be able to transform supposedly bad circumstances into Dhamma. How fortunate am I to have met the Teachings and be paired with someone devoted to developing my patience. And yet, I have begun to honestly feel that all of this is incredibly damaging to her. If I didn’t have such strong faith in kamma I would even say it’s unfair that I am driving so much benefit while she is gathering up a store of suffering.

I played a Dhamma talk by Ajahn Nitho which was a sutta study and covered the results of being an angry person. Since I can’t broach the topic in regular conversation without her getting angry I decided to play it while they are dinner and I washed dishes. At first she said I was being judgemental but soon she was listening attently. I hope I can continue to find ways to help my wife plant seeds of future happiness and a peaceful abiding in the present – even if I lose my greatest teacher of patience in the process.

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Shillelagh Studies

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