Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 07/05/2019

At Home

I share things on FB that are aspirational and, at times, pleading. I am constantly trying to redirect my own attention and that of others to the suffering in the world. To those close to me, who are around me in a daily basis, it can seem as if they’re is a disconnect or lack of integrity. I don’t just imagine this; rather, it is something I have been told again and again. I won’t even bother trying to question the source but, instead, I’ll try to put these criticisms to good use.

There is mutile to no hope of arguing your way out of a conceptual box with most people. Instead, it seems to me that, if I have the strength and mindfulness to do so, a much better option is to try to somehow forestall or mitigate the anticipated criticism with action. For example, my wife often complains that present myself in one way on FB when in fact I am cold and callous at home. I must admit that much of this is the result of trying to weather criticism without causing further harm but it is more of a band-aid than a cure.

After spending some time generating metta and karuna for her and then switching to tonglen and mudita my heart opened a bit. I also recited Avalokiteshvara’s mantra and and for help in evoking compassion. Whichever of these it was, something gave me the idea to go and hug my wife while she slept. This turned out much better than expected and gives me faith that the direct, discursive approach is rarely the best. I was able to sidestep the verbal barricade and emotional firewall and get right to the tener spot with a hug and some kisses on her forehead.

Has aversion completely disappeared? No. There is still plenty to work with but, for the good of all involved, I felt the need to find a way back to affection and out of smoldering resentment.

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Shillelagh Studies

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