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Rosemary I Patterson

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Relaxation and Relationship Advice from Tibetan Buddhism.
By Rosemary I Patterson
Last edited: Saturday, September 12, 2009
Posted: Friday, March 19, 2004

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Tips on Positive Relationships from Tibetan Buddhism.

Relaxation and Relationship Advice from Tibetan Buddhism. By Rosemary I. Patterson, Ph.D., author "Synergy", a romantic comedy embedded with Tibetan Buddhism principles. In order to derive maximum benefit from Tibetan Buddhist principles for relaxation and relationships it is first beneficial to see how the Buddhist world view differs from the world view coming from the west. Tibetan Buddhism starts with the premise that what is involved in life is first, birth, then, sickness, oldage and death. What a sharp contrast to modern western beliefs that life is largely a bowl of cherries. As a result of the miracle of modern medical technology people in the west are largely sheltered from the ravages of the sicknesses and early deaths experienced all the time in what are referred to as Third World Countries such as Tibet. Perhaps as a result of this early shelter westerners pursue a path of individual achievement geared towards career, relationships, and build up of material possessions. This path is largely of an outward, hedonistic nature. In sharp contrast the path of Tibetan Buddhism is one of blending with something higher than oneself and dedicating ones life to the benefit of all sentient beings not just human ones. This path is largely of an inward, altruistic nature. There are sharp contrasts in attitudes towards death as well. Tibetan Buddhists view death as a natural part of a cyclic existence for a non-materialistic spirit while most westerners equate death to a final cessation with the last breath of life extinguishing the function of the brain. As a result westerners have a marked feeling of taboo about death while in sharp contrast Tibetan Buddhists have a great deal of advice about dealing with the process of death and its aftermath. For instance, Tibetan Buddhists propose an interim dwelling place for the spirit called the Bardos where it is very important to avoid negative emotional states like fear, anger or resentment which in their view can lead to a premature rebirth in a very disadvantaged circumstance. Unenlightened birth is referred to as "Samsara", a state like a rodent on a treadmill, where the same life mistakes such as avarice, stinginess, grasping for material pleasures and what are called unskilled actions lead only to death and further disadvantaged births. In order to prepare oneself for both sides of a cyclic existence Tibetan Buddhists have practices that enable a person to remain in a positive state despite what is happening to and around them. These practices are precisely where westerners can draw hints and valuable information for both relaxation and relationship success in their own lives. To enter and move deeper into a state of relaxation that allows contact and even blending with a higher power Tibetan Buddhists practice chanting of positive affirmations and the recreation of mental images of drawings of various Tibetan personages such as Green Tara, the goddess of mercy. These practices are meant to still the mind from its habitual ramblings. The goddess and other images are also drawn on paper and made with colored sand. The sand drawings are destroyed after completion to illustrate the impermanence of life. While chanting in Tibetan and drawing Tibetan personages is not likely to help a stressed out westerner relax, the principle behind the practices (positively reprogramming the subconscious) is readily available in the west through relaxation and meditation classes and/or through subliminal, audio-hypnotic tapes, videos and CD's. With the use of these tapes, etc. it is possible to use the power of positive conditioning to develop altruistic compassion and joyous love. For those having their lives negatively impacted by repeated chains of relationship difficulties (similar to the Buddhist "Samsara") the principles behind attaining "Enlightenment" or the Buddhist idea of release from the ever reoccuring "Wheel of Life" can be remarkably helpful. For instance, practicing visualization techniques to first determine what is wanted (or not wanted) in a mate should seriously aid the tendency to presume that the charming but rather drunk fellow flirting from his bar stool with the ring through his nose is not the "White knight on the charger" that Hollywood has convinced us will descend out of the blue. For those tired of attracting selfish, and/or conceited,angry, moody, directionless, controlling, jealous, immature partners remember that like attracts like and cultivate generosity, patience, a positive outlook, discipline, concentration and an altruistic outlook in oneself. Consider the principle of "integration in relationships" and marriage. It is necessary to be true to oneself. It is better to be alone than agree to things you don't believe in or tolerate your spouse or partners imposition of guilt, anger, etc. to control those around them. Remember that it is possible, perhaps even probable that the Tibetan Buddhists are right and that life is beginning-less and endless. From this perspective one may find it very beneficial to reprogram your instincts and habits and start viewing the half-empty glass as being half-full. It is very true that the only choice in life we control absolutely is the ability to react either positively or negatively to the circumstances in our lives but we do have that choice.   

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Reviewed by Eddie Thompson 3/30/2004
Very interesting read.

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Rosemary I Patterson

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