The puzzle of relationship
Psychologist Richard Borofsky has been working on a koan — a question that cannot be answered conceptually or with words, only by manifesting an enlightened presence — given to him by the Japanese Rinzai Zen master Joshu Sasaki-roshi. The koan was, “How do you realize your true nature when you are with your wife?” This was a challenge to become an awakened, enlightened husband — a husband who is a Buddha.
It has been about 15 years since I was given this koan, “How do you realize your true nature when you are with your wife?” and I am not yet a Buddha-husband. I am merely an apprentice Buddha-husband. And this is good, for committed relationships insist, above all, on humility. I am no longer pursuing an enlightened, exalted state of happiness-ever-after. I am no longer expecting to graduate or receive a diploma. It wouldn’t matter if I did. For the diplomas from the University of Love are quickly obsolete.
What has happened during all these years, though, is that I have come to see relationship as a kind of spiritual education with a major in compassion. And I would like to offer you, however briefly, the benefit and merit of what I have learned from walking, waltzing, traipsing, and trudging down the path of relationship…
Richard Borofsky, Ed.D. is a clinical psychologist. He and his wife Antra are directors of the Center for the Study of Relationship, where they offer therapy and workshops for couples. He can be reached at 86 Washington Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140 or by email at Cambrich@aol.com.
The entire article appears in the September issue of Mandala. Subscribe now.