Meditation means the art of being with the self and Right Living means art of being with others. A person, who does not keep happy and friendly relationship at home as well as at work place, can not go deep in meditation and Samadhi. Similarly, a person who does not know how to be with himself cannot truly relate with others. Inner meditation and outer relationship are interdependent and influence each other. We may begin to transform our life from either end, but usually it is easier to start from the outside, because most of us are extrovert by nature. We can take the first step only from a place, where we are standing.
We must watch how we behave with our wife, friend, or children. Patanjali calls it Yam.Yam means creating a friendly environment around us. If we are inimical to people around us, we cannot move inwards. We shall be so much disturbed on the surface that the inner journey will not be possible. When we relate with others nicely, at least they don’t create trouble for us in our inner journey.
Osho says it so beautifully:
· “The person who is not capable of being with others … will find it very difficult to relate with himself, because the art of relating is the same: whether you relate with others or you relate with yourself does not make much difference, it is the same art. Both these arts have to be learned together, simultaneously; they are inseparable. Be with people, and not unconsciously, but very consciously. Relate with people as if you are singing a song, as if you are playing on a flute; each person has to be thought as a musical instrument. Respect, love, worship – because each person is a hidden face of God. So be very careful, very attentive. Remember what you are saying, remember what you are doing. Just small things destroy relationships, and small things make relationships so beautiful. Sometimes just a smile and the other’s heart is open to you; sometimes just a wrong look in your eyes, and the other's is closed – it is a delicate phenomenon. Think of it as an art: just as the painter is very watchful of what he is doing to the canvas, each single stroke is going to make a lot of difference. A real painter can change the whole painting just by a single stroke…Life has to be learned as an art: very cautiously, very deliberately... So relationships with others has to become a mirror: see what you are doing, how you are doing it and what is happening. What is happening to the other? Are you making their life more miserable? Are you giving them pain? Are you creating a hell for them? Then withdraw. Change your ways. Beautify life around yourself. Let every person feel that the meeting with you is a gift: just being with you something starts flowing, growing, some songs start arising in the heart, some flowers start opening.” (The Rainbow Bridge, Chapter 24)
Marital Relationship: I am very fortunate to have my greatest friend Osho Priya as my wife. Both of us must be one of the happiest couples on this planet. We just celebrated the silver jubilee of our marriage on May, 2003. Four years ago I started conducting stress management classes. Listening to people’s stories about their family tensions and conflicts, I could not comprehend what they were talking about! I did not know that almost 99% of married couples are living in hell. Their serious incidences of fighting and sometimes even physical violence seemed like jokes. It took a few months for me to understand that they are not telling funny stories. For me, a loving warm relation between husband and wife was a normal, natural phenomenon. Only lately I realized that it is just opposite. Friendly relations are rare. ‘Intimate enemies’ are common. I have not cultivated my marital relationship; I did not try to develop it. But now looking back retrospectively I can see the differences between my natural attitudes creating a heaven, and other people’s paradigms making a hell of their life. Analyzing these, I can formulate some guidelines for keeping marital relationship warm and mellow:
· Please never forget that interdependence is a higher value than independence and dependence. Marriage is a good example of interdependence.
· It is a commitment between the two partners to live together with love, respect, and responsibility towards each other and other family members including children.
· In due course of time, stimulation of love diminishes and only other two factors form basis of marital relationship.
· Love is like a saal tree, which cannot be cultivated. Respect is like a mango tree, which can be grown in our home garden. Love is a breeze, which comes through the window. We can not invite, control, or return it. Respect is like an electrical fan, we can do something with it.
· Every person is free to hold his or her own views. However, if the differences are going to affect the partner, it is better to develop understanding through a dialogue based on the principle, ‘Seek first to understand and then to be understood.’
· Whenever there is a difference in house management or financial management, it is better to develop a system and go on improving it as discrepancies surface out.
· The basis of all relationships, including marital ones, should be Win/Win. This means that first we have to look after interest of our partner and children (51%) and then our own interest (49%).
· Relationship is just like small plants. It must be irrigated and nourished continuously.
· Culmination of all relationships is Friendship, which means relationship based on respect. Therefore, marital partners should ultimately try to grow as friends.
Some suggestions are being given below to cultivate happy and friendly relationship:
- We must respect what we have. Normally we do not have appreciation for what we already have. This deprives us from pleasure that we can draw from persons and possessions that we already have.
- We often become crazy for things which we do not have. There is no harm in making efforts for things we need. But being worried to get the things early makes us miserable.
- Before telling or doing something watch within whether everything is calm and quiet. If you feel disturbed, remain inactive and silent. In such negative space, whatever is done brings misery.
- If you feel calm and quiet, in a positive mood, you must do your act. Do not remain inactive during this beautiful time. Use the great opportunity to communicate. Whatever is done in such moments brings joy.
- Pay adequate attention to your spouse, family, and friends.
- Appreciate the good things done by other people. Right appreciation strengthens friendship and costs nothing.
- Develop the habit of listening to others people with patience, try to understand them, and then communicate your feelings, opinions, and thoughts; what you have to tell.
---- Osho Shailendra