"Daaji” Kamlesh D. Patel.
[This article appeared in the July 2019 issue of The Theosophical Movement. For more articles published in this excellent magazine follow this link: http://www.ultindia.org/previous_issues.html]
How to make relationships last? For the youngsters of our times, “relationships and career” are the two most important things in life as they are seen to bring security, contentment and purpose in life. Yet, many are seen struggling to maintain healthy relationship with their partners. We live in the world where we throw away things easily. “If there are problems, end it; if there is hardship, look for someone better. We are becoming a culture of quitters,” writes “Daaji” Kamlesh D. Patel. We need to learn to value longevity and commitment, and in order to sustain that outlook we need emotional intelligence and maturity in relationships. Since our lives are guided by feelings and aspirations which stem from the heart, we can begin by learning to listen to the heart. “Heartfulness” meditation helps to fine-tune the heart with the mind. Heartfulness practices allow us to master our emotional responses in daily life, endow us with basic life skills and enable us to deal with problems such as loneliness, inability to find real purpose in life, inability to concentrate, stress, money issues, and so on.
The four core Heartfulness practices are: Relaxation, Meditation, Mental Detox and Connection With Your Centre. These in turn helps one to follow the behavior pattern which makes for healthy, happy and fulfilling relationships. It includes aiming for harmony, which means one avoids unnecessary arguments and puts harmony before “being right.” One sees the need to listen and pause. It is important to cultivate calmness and listen carefully in order to appreciate the other person’s point of view, but also, one must learn to listen with the heart to grasp what is communicated beyond words. Tension in a relationship is a warning bell indicating the need to change, and having mastery over one’s emotions and responses. Rather than expecting others to change, try to see what you can do. Every night, before going to sleep, it is a good exercise to reflect and find out how many times we hurt others, even unknowingly, and to resolve not to do it again. “Life is not about running away from problems, but facing them head-on with a cheerful and peaceful attitude, and growing together in the process,” writes Kamlesh Patel. (The Speaking Tree, Sunday Times of India, June 24, 2019)
Good human relations have the power to alter the world. But we have to admit that human relationship is undergoing a radical change. Keeping in mind the spiritual perspective can go a long way in building a healthy and cordial relationship with every person who comes into our lives. Our parents, brothers, sisters, partners all come to us under karma. Not only when we love someone but also when we hate someone, we could be thrown into a closer relation with that person in the next life, say, as a wife, husband, brother, son, etc. Instead of giving up, when we endeavor to deal with an especially difficult child or a partner, we learn something, and pay off our karmic debt, to some extent. Light on the Path suggests: “No man is your enemy: no man is your friend. All alike are your teachers.” Towards those who are hostile to us, if we practice charity, kindness, and love, then this tendency of enmity will be one-third lessened in every life. On the other hand, if we continue to be hostile, we put off the “day of reconciliation” by three more lives.
Buddhism teaches that it is important to establish contact with our positive and negative emotions. They speak of four wholesome emotions, which include maitri or metta, meaning loving kindness or friendliness; karuna or compassion; mudita or sympathetic joy and upeksha or upekkha meaning tranquility or equanimity. These are four Buddhist virtues which are recommended to be developed by every person, endlessly, and without limit. There are four meditational practices connected with cultivation of these qualities or attitudes. The detachment and serenity experienced during hours of meditation, penetrates one’s whole life, leads to selflessness and permits one to look upon life impersonally.