Relationships are the web which holds our life experiences together. The crucial strands are our family, marriage, friends, work companions, spiritual community, and geographical community. The quality of our spiritual lives is measured by these essential bonds. Relationships enrich our lives with intimacy, purpose, healing, and wholeness. They also draw out our fear, anger, envy, hatred, pain, greed, and shame. The Buddhist practice of mindfulness helps us deal with all these dimensions of our relationships.
Andrea Miller, an editor and a staff writer for Shambhala Sun magazine has assembled this wide-ranging and cogent collection of writings on bringing mindfulness into our relationships. She and other editors of Shambhala Sun have divided the material into six sections:
• Visions of Mindful Loving
• Preparing the Ground
• Being in Relationship
• Dealing with Difficulties
• Growing Apart
• Love as a Spiritual Path
Some of our favorite essays are by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen master, on true love; Tara Brach, a mindfulness teacher, on our basic goodness; David Richo, a psychotherapist, on choosing a partner; Ezra Bayda, a Zen teacher, on becoming intimate with fear; Brenda Shoshanna, a practitioner of both Zen and Judaism, on excitement in relationship; Susan Piver, a meditation teacher, on heartbreak; and John Welwood, a psychologist, on relationship as a spiritual crucible.