Living Together

When we live with another person, to protect each other’s happiness, we should help one another transform the internal formations that we produce together. By practicing understanding loving speech, we can help each other a great deal. Happiness is no longer an individual matter. If the other person is not happy, we will not be happy either.To transform the other person’s knots will help bring about our own happiness as well. A wife can create internal formations in her husband, and a husband can do so in his wife, and if they continue to create knots in each other,one day there will be no happiness left.Therefore, as
soon as a knot is created, the wife, for example, should know that a knot has just been tied in her. She should not overlook it. She should take the time to observe it and, with her husband’s help, transform it. She might say, “Darling, I think we’d better discuss a conflict I see growing.” This is easy when the states of mind of husband and wife are still light and not filled with too many knots.

The root cause of any internal formation is a lack of understanding. If we can see the misunderstanding that was present during the creation of a knot, we can easily untie it. To practice mindful observation is to look deeply to be able to see the nature and causes of something. One important benefit of this kind of insight is the untying of our knots.

Reference: Peace Is Every Step p. 67-68 by Thich Nhat Hanh