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This is a question that comes up quietly but persistently–a man’s duty as a father, husband, spiritual quest–and the conflicting emotions that arise from it: How does a man just walk out on his wife and new-born son without a single word? What about duty to them and the Buddhist teachings of duty to parents and family?

“When I heard the story of Gautam Buddha, my question was always about his wife and son that he left behind…this write-up by Vikram Bhattacharya touches that part of the story.” (Source: saw this posted by a friend’s friend on Facebook and here is another link http://metamorphosiseyou.blogspot.com/2015/10/buddhas-wife.html)
—————

He left her in the middle of the night, the night their son was
born. When she heard the news
she was devastated.

Yet, she did not complain but her
life lost all meaning. The only
reason for her to live now was
her son. She wanted him to grow
up to be a man that the world
would look up to.

Her friends and relatives came
around and asked her to forget
about the man who had left her
and start life again.

They asked her to marry again
but she refused. She was young
& beautiful & suitors queued up
outside her door, but she refused each one of them.

Then one fine day he came back !

He stood in front of her and she could hardly remember him as the man who had left her. “They call you the Buddha now?” she asked him gently.

“I hear they do,” he answered in
a calm fashion.

“What does it mean?” she further inquired.

“I think it means the enlightened one, a knower,” he informed.

She smiled and then a silence.
“I suppose we have both learned something. Your lessons O Buddha, will make the world richer in spirit, but my lesson will unfortunately remain largely unknown.”
she reflected deeply….

“ And what lesson is that ? ”
The Buddha probed.

Her eyes sparkled with unshed tears, “That a courageous woman does not need anyone to complete her…..
SHE IS COMPLETE ON HER OWN ”

I welcome the courage and honesty in the January 23, 2016 Guardian article Is mindfulness making us ill?  Meditation is a way of training or developing mindfulness, also called awareness, being attentive to what is. In my teaching, we have always stated that nothing works for everyone.  

For many people, self-help books may be fine to feel grounded. But as we have seen over the years, experienced guidance is often critical. There are numerous types of meditations and techniques. Whatever works for you is the one that is best for you. Mindfulness-based methods, insight meditations are challenging for some and something like Yoga Nidra could work well. Others may find they don’t like the guided meditation. How much time should be spent? Experienced, in-person guidance may be essential to find what works. Over time, the practice needs to evolve and change. And as various emotions and moods surface, guidance is needed in resolving them.

Then there is honesty–an experienced teacher is secure and honest in saying this is not working for you. Perhaps try another teacher, method, or try something else to relax and feel grounded–dance, listen to or play music, sing, swim, walk, run, knit, write, even drink a glass of wine! Perhaps the person needs psychiatric help and not mindfulness. A good teacher knows that it is not about her ego but what is best for the person. A good teacher does not delude herself into thinking that mindfulness is the perfect elixir for everyone–sometimes even a teacher needs to know when to take break from mindfulness and meditation. For the person, it does not mean that she is doing anything wrong.

Meditation can aggravate depression, trauma, and other mental conditions regardless of all the virtues being cited–one needs to be honest and objective without being attached to a preconceived outcome.

Do no harm.

 

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to readers of this blog and Mahasri Yoga–from over 2500 towns and cities around the world! May our circle of peace continue to be strong and grow.

Holiday Greetings!

Every day in life is beautiful…every day.  

Alice Herz-Sommer

Holiday meditation to see beauty and light in ourselves and others

Candle Flame Meditation.

This image can be used for the flame.

 
candle

Peace Poem: The Field By Rumi

Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing,

there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other

doesn’t make any sense.

Source: Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks.

 
 
 

Peace Poem By Tommy Olofsson

Let’s be the same wound if we must bleed.

Let’s fight side by side, even if the enemy

is ourselves: I am yours, you are mine.

 

Sitting alone in peace before these cliffs
the full moon is heaven’s beacon
the ten thousand things are all reflections
the moon originally has no light
wide open the spirit of itself is pure
hold fast to the void realize its subtle mystery
look at the moon like this
this moon that is the heart’s pivot

Poet: Han-shan

Source: http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/Poets/H/HanshanColdM/Sittingalone/index.html