Meditation & Health No 14 - Table of Contents


Big-Hearted Compassion
in Relationships


     Life requires us to face many different situations daily and many people of all ages. So how can we eliminate worries and avoid illness when we are faced with constant challenges?

    “Take it easy” is an oft-repeated line. But what if we just can’t take things the easy way? In this case, let’s try to do everything with a compassionate heart. If you were to say, “I don’t love other people, I only love myself,” then it would be hard for you to prosper. You would find it hard to find a spouse or work with others. In this world, regardless of your occupation, be it technology or teaching, you have to interact with people to make a living.

     Treat everyone with a heart of compassion and Universal love and you’ll have fewer afflictions. Practice this when interacting with family members or your colleagues. Sometimes it’s not easy, even with only two people in the family. Do couples have trouble living together? Yes, of course. Then why do they marry? Couples marry because of love. However, some marriages consist of constant bickering; they become institutions of squabbling opponents. Some people attempt to manipulate their spouse, employing all kinds of underhanded tactics. This is not what being a couple should be about. Couples originally get together to have a happy life. So why are they unhappy? Why is it so difficult to find a spouse?

Cause of Argument:Selfishness

      Married couples are supposed to be loving. Why do some eventually become unhappy living together? This can, in part, be the result of selfishness. A certain couple — both partners are my disciples — fought constantly. They learned meditation from me a long time ago, but didn’t have a chance to learn spiritual cultivation. They left after practicing The Meditation of Greater Illumination for just a few days, without listening to my teachings about mental health. Although they were academically oriented, they accepted my meditation instructions without much skepticism. Open-mindedness is a great attitude for a student to have. Their main reason for leaving early was that they were pressed for time to finish their Ph.D. theses.

      Six months later, they came back to me. The lady reluctantly wanted to divorce her husband and asked me to be the judge. She said that her husband didn’t take enough showers or brush his teeth often enough.

      I asked: “Didn’t you notice that before you married him?”

      “No, I didn’t notice. After we got married, his bad habits started to annoy me since I am used to brushing my teeth four times daily and showering a few times a day.”

      I said: “I don’t agree with brushing your teeth excessively and showering too often.”

      The man pleaded: “I don’t want to break up. I want to tolerate her.”

      “Why do you need to tolerate her?” I asked. “What’s wrong with her?”

       He explained: “Once she asked me how I liked the dish she had cooked. I said it was fine, but maybe it would be good to add some salt next time. The next day when I came home from work, I saw my wife eating noodles. I went to get a bowl of noodles for myself but found nothing in the pot. She had cooked only for herself. She declared that there was no food for me since I didn’t like her cooking. She didn’t cook for me for a month. That’s how we started fighting.”

       Trifling matters can induce many problems, which gradually become ongoing conflicts. After engaging in multiple petty arguments, this couple thought they should divorce. Their marital problems led to poor performance at work. But their issues were simple matters. The lady was too picky about minor concerns, like the need to brush one’s teeth and shower a few times a day; and she could not accept critical feedback. Being the only daughter in her family, she had been pampered. She had never cooked for anyone, including her parents. Thus, she was expecting praise and glowing compliments from her husband, and never thought he would criticize her. Feeling disappointed and angry, she refused to cook for him.

       Can such a couple sustain a good marriage? It is unlikely. In this instance, the wife cares about herself too much. She wants to find a person she loves, who loves her. Loving each other is great, but trifling matters almost made them break up. She refused to accept any negative comments. She loves herself too much, and is mad at anyone who offers feedback she doesn’t like. It’s called self-attachment. To make a marriage work, open your heart and be forgiving, then you’ll feel free and easygoing.

Feel at Ease:
Have a Broad Perspective

      Today’s houses located in urban settings that face a park or water are expensive. Some people choose to stay in the cheaper suburbs, where one can enjoy an open view from the window and still be with Nature stretching across the horizon. It’s better than being in the city surrounded by buildings. City living is like watching the sky from within a well. People living in a small space, like a jail cell, can get
sick easily.

      Thus, it is important to open your heart and let it be boundless like the sky. When you take on a broad perspective, you will feel at ease. Look at the people living on vast grasslands: Their voices are loud and echoing when they sing. Even their whispered murmurs can swell into a louder sound. Their hearts are wide open. Broadminded people are usually magnanimous. I hope you maintain an open mind, be compassionate and avoid pursuing selfish short-term interests in relationships.


Meditation & Health No 14 - Table of Contents