Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 11/22/2020


Well, my son tested positive for COVID on a test he took Monday and we’ve been quarantining in our tiny apartment since Thursday. It is strange though, as the rest of us keep testing negative. We’re awaiting the second round of tests for my wife and my youngest and until then we’re all stuck in here together.

Naturally, this is stressful but I am thankful for the Dhamma and the Stoics (who I view as Greco-Roman Dhammafarers) for helping me through. I am realizing ever more clearly that I really am not responsible for others and, provided I am taking good care of my intentions, i need not worry too much about them. In other words, I know I intend to do right by my family but my happiness is not dependent upon their recognition thereof. So, if I make breakfast, fold laundry and wash dishes and my wife still complains how I make her do everything, I’m not going to dispute it. It is not as if this is a request for evidence – to the contrary, it is a statement of dissatisfaction with life. And, for better or worse, that is her dilemma to resolve.

On a somewhat related note, I have found that I can reinforce my commitment to brahmacharya by reflecting on her behavior towards me. The less respectful, loving and kind she is to me the more I feel strengthened and justified in my resolve not to have sex with her. What would the point be? It wouldn’t be to help our relationship. Instead it would be purely to scratch a bestial itch.

May I bear this in mind the next time this defilement rears its ugly head. And, may we all turn our myriad disappointments into fuel for our liberation.

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Shillelagh Studies

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