FatherSon Ventures

Building a Relationship through Adventure

Seek Peace and Pursue it

Written By: Scot Butwell - Dec• 23•12

20121218_164528Shunryo Suzuki in Zen Mind writes:

“When you do something, if you fix your mind on the activity with some confidence, the quality of your state of mind is the activity itself. When you are concentrated on the quality of your being, you are prepared for the activity.”

I am not a buddhist, but I read this zenful idea by Japanese writer Shunryo Suzuki and thought it related to the conflict between my wife and I had while driving to drop off D for Parents Night Out at our church.

We were arguing—I was going to say she was arguing, and I was a passive participant—and the quality of our collective state of mind was not good for preparing to be on a date.

I’ll skip the fine details of the argument–I didn’t get in the turn lane fast enough–but the point is: our mind was not fixed on enjoying spending time with each together on a date.

I repeated a mantra I’ve been saying to myself to deal with difficult situations: seek peace and pursue it, seek peace and pursue it, seek peace and pursue it.

It’s a bible verse the Wife texted me when I wanted to take D outside her five-mile radius for our father-son adventures, and it was her way of telling me to accept her answer without questioning it.

I wasn’t thrilled by her response, but the more I thought about what the bible verse said, it helped me to deal with the frustration of her not letting me take D where we planned to go.

The verse means I set my mind on peace and no matter what happens I strive to maintain peace. It means I must cultivate an attitude capable of withstanding any difficult situation.

If I know a subject will not create harmony with the Wife, I do not bring it up. I wait for a better moment, and if driving, I get in the turn lane right away, knowing it will reduce her anxiety.

This is how I can become a better husband, learning to dwell with my wife with greater understanding of who she is, what sets her off, and what actions promote peace between us.

So we made it to the restaurant, and the silence from the argument in the car remained, a logical consequence from not having cultivated a loving quality of mind towards one another.

Then I saw a boy skip by us, and it broke the silence. I couldn’t resist saying, “That’s a sensory kid.” The boy reminded me a lot of D, and I imagine he shared more similarities with D.

So as a result of us both seeking peace and pursuing it, and laying aside any resentments, we enjoyed a few hours of talking and listening to each other.

Seek peace and pursue it. It is amazing how much wisdom can be packed into five words, and how helpful they were to guiding Lisa and I to seeking  harmony rather than more conflict.

I know we will have more arguments–we have different temperaments–and so we need to follow this wisdom to strive to maintain a continuous loving state of mind towards each other.

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.