MeditationMeditation for PeaceKeeping Love Alive (Cherishing Love)Meditation – meditation clears our mind, and a clear mind opens the door to wisdomIn the book Thirty-eight Universal Steps to Eternal Happiness, compiled for the summer program for ordained monks by the Venerable teacher Monk Somchai Tanavuddho, the subject of cherishing love was discussed. Since husbands and wives should carefully consider this subject, we wish to present a discussion on cherishing love in family matters from a Buddhist perspective.How to Cherish LoveLiving together as husband and wife can be difficult or easy. If one poses a question asking how husband and wife can live together happily, no two answers will be the same. Some will say that it depends on their astrological fate and destiny. Cynics will say that it depends on the size of the dowry.The Buddha answered this question in one word: benevolence. That is to say mutual benevolence, the practice the four Universal Form s of Benevolence (Sangahavatthu), promote happiness in living together.1.Giving (Dana)Loving and living together require sharing. Everyone should put his or her earnings in the common coffer and share. Not doing so can give rise to suspicion. Where there is no giving, the atmosphere feels very unpleasant. And sharing encompasses sharing of problems too. When one has a problem, the other party should be willing to lend a hand to help.2. Pleasant speech (Piyavaca)One should be careful when giving advice, being too candid can hurt the other party’s ego and give rise to resentment. The rule of thumb is that the pleasant words one used before marriage should continue to be used during marriage.3. Mutual Benefit (Atthacariya)Couples can help each other by talking about what is right and what is wrong based on the Dhamma they have studied. They should always continue to acquire knowledge of Dhamma and put it into practice. Generally, when a husband and wife quarred, each will try to put the blame on the other party, when in fact they both are guilt of not finding the appropriate way to prevent conflicts.4. Right Roles (Samanattata)The husband should be a good father, and the wife should be a good mother. Each should assume responsibilities both inside and outside the house. Only meditation will enable them to fully achieve this goal. Those who have practiced meditation until their thinking is clear will know how to behave. They will not allow outside influences to affect their behavior.In conclusion, practicing the Four Universal Forms of Benevolence is the same as exercising the Three Basic Meritorious Deeds, which are: Giving – sharing of thingsAdherence to Precepts-to improve one’s morals, both in speech and in action.Meditation – meditation clears our mind, and a clear mind opens the door to wisdom, and wisdom shows the way to appropriate actions.Housekeeping. A woman should be a good housekeeper,cooking delicious meals and keeping the household clean.Responsibilities of a Husband and WifeIn order to keep their love alive, a husband and wife should know their responsibilities towards each other thoroughly; these responsibilities are based on the Four Universal Forms of Benevolence.1. Five Responsibilities of a Husband to His Wife1.1 Appreciation. The husband should openly respeet her as his lawful wedded wife, not furtively keeping her like a mistress. If his wife does something good, praise her. And if she does something bad, warn her, but not in public or in front of other members of the family since this can diminish her status in others’ eyes. He should give her some privacy and independence, such as her social life4, or spending time with her relatives.1.2 Disparagement. A husband should not regard his wife as inferior to him, in terms of family status, wealth, or intelligence. He should not undertake any family matter without consulting her. And he must not use physical violence or emotional abuse.1.3 Faithfulness. He should not be involved with other women as mistresses since this is the worst insult to the wife. The pride of every woman is to have a husband who is faithful to her alone.1.4 Authority. The husband should give his wife authority to decide on matters inside the family, such as those related to the kitchen. If it is something that his wife cannot handle alone, then he should lend a hand.1.5 Accessories. It is the nature of women to pay attention to their appearance, and accessorizing themselves always makes them happy. It even eliminates anger is some women. Therefore, every husband should make an allowance for this tendency.2. Five Responsibilities of a Wife to Her Husband.2.1 Housekeeping. A woman should be a good housekeeper, cooking delicious meals and keeping the household clean.2.2 Thoughtfulness. She should be helpful to her husband’s relatives, and be gentle to them verbally.2.3 Faithfulness. She is always faithful to her husband.2.4 Frugality. She will not be a squanderer or a penny pincher.2.5 Diligence. She will work hard to take good care of the house, and will not indulge herself in vices.In a traditional Thai marriage, when the bride and groom have holy water poured onto their hands by family and friends, they wear connected garlands on their heads which signifies that they will be united for a long, long time. Unfortunately, this symbol is not a guarantee of a harmonious marriage.The Buddha showed us the way to unity, not with garlands, but with Dhamma, which is benevolence. The presence of Dhamma will be like two loops keeping the couple together until death.Despite the behavior of one spouse, one should never waver from the Dhamma. Occasionally, the husband may go astray or the wife will resort to frivolous behavior, wasting time and money, leaving the house in shambles. The right way to resolve this conflict is to keep doing good, take good care of the other, and maintaining one’s own goodness. Doing so will make the situation improve.
Keeping Love Alive (Cherishing Love)
In the book Thirty-eight Universal Steps to Eternal Happiness, compiled for the summer program for ordained monks by the Venerable teacher Monk Somchai Tanavuddho,Dhamma Articles > Meditation Articles and Techniques > Meditation for Peace
[ Jan 26th, 2012 ] - [ : 10579 ]