A relationship lesson from Vipassana class

Published by Manjula on


Relationships are an important aspect of our life. We have various relationships like parents, spouse, children, siblings, and so on. Like anything in life, relationships also have up’s and down’s. They bring us love, joy, and also some tough times.Sometimes, we experience relationship challenges like arguments, irritating moments etc. How to handle such scenarios? I always remember a story I learned in my Vipassana class and this helps me handle relationship issues.

My journey with Vipassana:

I am quite passionate about the journey of meditation and meditated for more than 10,000 hours in my life. Meditation helps me connect with myself and takes me into an inward journey. There are many different types of meditation and I practiced various kinds in my life. At some phase of my meditation journey, I practiced Vipassana meditation, and in one of the courses, Goenka Ji – the teacher of Vipassana meditation – said a small story which taught me a profound lesson. The story goes like below.

Story of black seed:

A mother prepared kheer for her child with great love and care. Kheer is an Indian sweet dish. Mother, out of all her love, added ghee, dry fruits, lots of milk, and made the kheer. Kheer came out delicious. She gave it to the child. The child looks at the kheer to eat and he spots a black cardamom seed. He does not know how it tastes. He does not know the benefits of cardamom seed. To his sight, the black seed in kheer did not appeal and therefore he refused to eat the kheer. 

The mother said it tastes good but the child is in no mood to listen. She even offered to remove the seed but the child is still adamant that he cannot eat the kheer because of this black seed. Now the black seed can be easily removed if the child does not like it. But because of the child’s sole focus on black seed, he missed the entire kheer, all the dry fruits and delicacy.

Isn’t the child a bit foolish to refuse kheer just because of a small cardamom seed? But we adults too take the same approach in our life when it comes to relationships.

Lessons from the story:

This story looks simple but it has an extraordinary message in it. Goenka ji told this story in the Vipassana class and he helped us understand the deeper lesson. He taught us that relationships would also have such black seeds like arguments, disagreements, mistakes etc. For example, in a work relationship, an argument can happen between you and your boss. In marriage, things will not be rosy all the time and misunderstandings may happen. When such situations occur in life, we have two choices. 

Option 1:To focus on the argument or misunderstanding and ignore all the good things of the past. 

Option 2: To focus on the good things of the past and ignore the argument or misunderstanding.

When things go wrong, where do we focus on? Many of us choose Option 1. We tend to become emotional and we focus on the things that went wrong. We meditate on such things for hours and hours. Eventually, we build resentment, and sometimes, we even think of discarding the relationship in the spur of the moment because of one negative incident. We forget all the good moments of the past and focus on this one negative incident just like the child who refused to eat kheer because of a small black seed.

Option 2 is a better and wise choice because EVERY relationship in this world will have some level of imperfections. No one is perfect. No relationship is perfect. We are humans and tend to make mistakes. Arguments and misunderstandings tend to happen. When such things happen, we can ignore or resolve them and focus on all the good things that happened in the past because of this relationship. When we learn to ignore or remove the black seed, we can enjoy the kheer. It’s the same with life and relationships.

How to apply this lesson in life?

Next time an argument happens with your spouse, don’t hold resentment against your spouse or think of leaving your spouse. Instead, try the below steps.

1. Think about the good things that happened between you and your spouse. Remember the happy and loving moments. Think of all the times your spouse went the extra mile for you.

2. Now, think of the current argument or misunderstanding and think about how to resolve the issue. There will always be a solution in life. Just give time and think through.

When your focus is on good things that happened in a relationship, you will automatically find a way to resolve issues. You happily ignore or work with imperfections. We just need to shift our perspective. Apply the lessons of this kheer story every time you face a challenge in your job or personal relationships. Don’t let a small thing destroy your relationships or stop you from enjoying the kheer called life.

Remember the kheer story and make wise choices in your life. I use this story in my life in various instances and it helps me rise above the temporary arguments and imperfections. This story helps me see the big picture of life and relationships. My gratitude to the Vipassana class for teaching me this beautiful message.

Wish you and your family lots of love and peace! 

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