Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 07/22/2019


It’s particularly encouraging to see that it is becoming easier to whether the storms of invective as I continue to practice insult pacíficism. Although I still often feel the need to offer rebuttals to the negative characterizations of yours truly, it is easier to see that the best defense is silence.

But, why is that the case? In my current view, it seems that by not responding to the stream of insults every time it is unleashed, I’m showing both observers and the insulter that I don’t have to respond and that I’m more or less untouched by the criticism. It’s bittersweet comfort that my kids often come to secretly console me after my wife has tried to verbally back me to pieces.

And, yet, there’s still much work to be done. I’m getting better at keeping my mouth shut but I still have a long way to go in keeping my heart pure. I can, at least, see that the resentment and anger departs quickly and doesn’t linger so that’s good. To help myself along, I try to send forgiveness and metta to my wife as soon as possible after any disagreement.

A final thing that has struck me of late is simply that silence isn’t always the best response. If I truly take metta and karuna as my guides, there are times when it’s necessary to clarify my position and to make known what I will and won’t do. Doing this without resentment is hard but well worth the effort.

Life is short. Our time here is short. May we use the breath we have to do good, purify the mind and prevent the arising of evil.

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Shillelagh Studies

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