Trust In Action
An example of this is how we engage with what’s happening in the world outside. We each have a different tolerance for intake of what’s going on in the world. I can be sensitive to all these scenarios created by the media and can get overwhelmed quickly. When I can't stay detached I have to work to stay in balance and keep my mind from being agitated.
Jim has more of a need to know what’s going on in the world outside and he’s really able to look at both sides of a picture, take in all the perspectives, and stay detached most of the time. This difference can lead to friction in our relationship.
Yeah, I’ll be reading about what’s happening out in the world and then. . . “Beth! Beth! Listen to this! I have to tell you!”
Yes! Exactly like that. And I want to respect his need to talk – he wants to talk about this, and I respect him for that, but I can take it on and become fretful and not be able to drop it. So, how can I help him learn to respect my needs as well as respect his need to share. So we're working on that. And, he's so good. He listens, he hears what I say, and he respects it.
That said, he's human! So sometimes something will happen in the world and he'll go "Beth! Beth..."
And I say “Noooo! Noooo!”
In the old days this would’ve caused a rift, and it would’ve taken long periods of time, and effort to work on it. But in this case. . . poof! It was gone.
That’s because we’ve been working, and I’ve been brave enough to say “Sweetie, this is what I need,” and he respects it and works on understanding it.
So, there is an example right in our home. We could be totally split, but we’re really working on it.
These examples are nuclear – it’s just inside our relationship, but we think it’s such a good model and can be expanded into a much wider context.
If the element of trust isn’t involved in any kind of relationship – between individuals, political relationships, social, it doesn’t really matter. . . If both sides don’t have trust, problems can be irresolvable. If one side has trust, and it doesn’t matter which side, then the issue can be resolved at some point. Maybe not soon. Maybe not easily. You can’t put fear against fear, or hatred against hatred, or selfishness against selfishness and come up with a good solution. Trust has to be there on at least one side.
I think we want to think things can change without suffering [laughs]. But, really, suffering’s not bad. The times I’ve suffered the most in my life, and I really stuck with whatever I knew I was being called to do, when I walked through it and got to the other side – those were the most valuable opportunities I’ve had.
Using the Eight Points to Dig In
Our connection is the key, and trust is the basis of that connection – even when it feels like there’s something that’s unresolved. At least on some level there’s a trust. And for us, “digging in” in this context is to have the guts to stay and not to say “Oh. Well, you feel that way? Adios, amigo.”
It’s not pleasant at any time. When these things happen, the mind floods the body with all kinds of chemical stuff so it doesn’t feel good at all. It can feel like the whole relationship is falling apart! But if you realize that “this too shall pass”, and you do the appropriate things (get exercise, get meditation, get enough sleep), you can help yourself so that you’re not in your own way causing the problem to stay, by either being rigid or being disagreeable in return.
The mind has such a direct connection with the body, and the body is the way we mostly express most of these things that happen internally, and so it’s really important to tend to it. To me, this is how the “digging in” happens. This, along with trust.
And the other thing is, when we first came together, I was so frightened. But we worked through it. We said, we want to use our practice to do things differently than we have in the past.
We did an exercise where we looked at each of the eight points and thought: how would you like to see each of the eight points as part of your relationship? For example, under meditation we each put that we wanted to meditate together, as much as possible.
So, we each made our own list and then we made a Venn diagram and in the middle we brought together what we agreed on was the principle for our relationship. And the middle wasn’t even the items that were similar on our two lists, but the ones that we agreed we could do.
So, for example, we agree we’ll say the mantram before meals. We agree we’ll eat our meals together, and that’s been a big part of our relationship. This doesn’t mean we’re rigid and have to have all our meals together – but these are the big parts of our relationship.
We have them written down and every year we take time to go off together and we pull them out and review them.
For me, this is what I mean in terms of “dig in”. These are principles that we have, and that’s what we do. We add to it over time. A few years ago we decided to add watching a nightly 15-minute video of Easwaran. That was three years ago now, and now we watch him every night for 30 minutes. Rarely do we not watch him.