Wednesday, January 31, 2007

DA MBA and thoughts on Tibetan marriage

I know, I know, I have been the worst blogger in history of mankind. I am not even trying to apologize anymore. Thing is that there's not enough time in one day. Had to finish my studies, which I did. Had to work like crazy to prevent from drowning in the political arena and had to attend too many new years gala's and parties. Also made a new website for personal business. Click here to have a look if you like. Most of the precious free time however I'd rather spend with my loved ones then sitting behind the desk I have noticed. And that's a good sign as far as I'm concerned.

These days we are also preparing our Tibetan wedding. We have decided to get married in Lhasa by means of a Buddhist ceremony and then travel through Tibet and Nepal somewhere in May.

Siddhartha (later known as the Buddha), was married and had a family and so in this respect it is quite natural for Buddhists to marry and have children. In fact, in the Mahamangala Sutra the Buddha spoke of many aspects of family life as those things which would lead to happiness and blessings:
  • Supporting one’s father and mother
  • Loving one’s wife (or husband) and children
  • Being generous and having a sense of duty
  • Helping relatives and acting blamelessly
  • Reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude and listening to the Dharma

Clearly the idea of duty and support needs to be understood in the context of Indian society where the extended family is quite important and a sense of maintaining traditions a priority. However, it can also be seen that developing these attitudes will also help someone towards achieving Enlightenment as each of them will gradually lead to a person becoming less focused on their own needs and more towards those of others. It is this attitude which will ultimately lead to greater compassion for all living things (for more information on this see An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics (GCSE)).

It is also important to note how marriage and family provide opportunities to apply the The Five Precepts

The Five Precepts

To refrain from killing or harming living things.
To refrain from harming another human includes making sure one's actions do not lead to emotional suffering. In the context of marriage both partners should make sure the other knows how much they are valued. There should be a positive attempt to always express appreciation for the other person. Taking someone for granted is the root of many problems between a husband and wife.

To refrain from taking what is not given.
In this modern age of an increased sense of equality between men and women it is important that duties in the household are shared. It is wrong for men to presume that only women should take care of the family and the home. Assuming such an attitude may take away from time the woman has the right to spend elsewhere (E.g. Meeting friends, hobbies, relaxing, chatting with their partner...).

To refrain from sexual misconduct.
Applied literally this means husbands and wives should not have affairs (see below). However, it could also apply to the quality of their sexual relationship. Sex should be a natural expression of closeness between a husband and wife and should reflect the quality of their whole relationship. A good sex life normally means one has a good relationship. Doing things the partner may not wish to do, or insisting on sex when the other person does not want it, are examples of 'unskillful actions' which can lead to emotional suffering. This is clearly against the first precept. (For more on this see Buddhism and Sexual Ethics.)

To refrain from false and wrong speech.
Marriages should be based on truth. Neither partner should hide anything from the other (unless it is to do with buying a present!). Also, neither partner should be afraid of saying anything to the other. Many marriages fail because one or both partners have been afraid to communicate their true feelings about the other person (or the quality of their relationship). HOWEVER, speaking the truth does not mean being nasty! For a Buddhist, speaking the truth would have to be balanced by the first precept. It is possible to do tremendous psychological and emotional harm to a person simply by what you say to them.

To refrain from drink or drugs which cloud the mind.
For a Buddhist remaining clear minded is important as it keeps them focused and allows them to remain in control of their feelings and emotions. Many affairs have begun due to drunken antics at an office party. Many partners have also been the subject of abusive behaviour at the hands of a drunken spouse.


Mary said...

Very nice to hear from you. I can't think of anything more perfect than a Tibetan wedding. I also agree that free time is better spent w/loved ones. I myself am at this moment avoiding the annual tax filing and would rather cruise the blogs.
Congratulations on finishing the studies!

Granny said...

We could all learn much from those precepts.

Good to see you back.

Ingrid said...

Congratulations Da and Ursula, how lucky we are that you are so adventurous and will embark on a beautiful wedding/honeymoon so we can benefit from the pictures! (hint hint!)
Seriously, I am happy for both of you because this appending marriage seems to be very consciously sought after and I am with Granny, those precepts sound so enlightened and simple at the same time, we all could use them and ahem, our partners too (I'll make sure James reads this except for the comment section of course! lol)
btw..I could not see the pics you posted is there a way for you to re-do them? hugs and kisses to both,

lindsaylobe said...

Below is a reflection from ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ by Louis de Barmier. May I dedicate to your marriage. It seems to encapulate your posting, that your love like the branches of a tree may grow ro be the one tree of love.

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because that is what love is.

Love is not breathless; it is not excitement; it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being ‘in love ‘which any of us convince ourselves we are.

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches were found that we were one tree and not two.
best wishes

JBlue said...

Congrats to you both, DA. I'm convinced you will make an excellent partner in this marriage. I wish you well.

Vee said...

Hi Dimi, your tibetan wedding sounds pretty. Sorry, I don't know how else to describe it, that's the word that came to mind. :) all the values that you've listed are inherent in hindu wedding ceremonies and our way of life, so while it's quite natural for me to grasp what you have listed, it might take some time to practice. :) wishing ursula and you all the very best.

and you're right, spending free time with loved ones supersedes any extra time that needs too be spent in front of the computer. :)

Mary said...

Dimitri- I just received my prize! Thank you. It is lovely. Perfect.

Gary said...

Hey need to apologize (you didn't, did you?)

The wedding sounds wonderful. I watched a film the other night - Ten Questions for the Dalai Lama. If you can get it, have a look. It's a wonderful insight into Tibet, Buddhism, the DL himself and yes, there really are 10 questions.

Best to you my friend ... and to those you love.

tina said...

What a beautiful way to start your life together, Dimi.

Tina said...

Best wishes for the nuptials and may you both be as happy and in love as I still am with my beloved hubby after nearly 8 yrs of marriage. Love and marriage is hard work, but when you do it with someone you are in love with, it hardly seems like work at all.

Shaneena said...

Hi! Long time no see...

Just wanted to say hi... and that I miss your comments! Although... I havent been writing much lately... so I guess there hasn't been much to leave comments to...!!

It also seems you're sort of busy with the important stuff yourself! So, I just wanted to say good luck to you, and thank you for your inspirating texts here at your blog :-)

Perhaps, if I go to Amsterdam one day, we could all meet?

with love

Callooh said...

but didn't Siddhartha leave his wife and child to discover the path of enlightenment? sorry being pedantic... and just teasing.

sounds like an incredibly romantic and grounded way to begin a life together. I wish you two the best.

ps what was it they said about alcohol??? ;-)