I’ve had reason recently to visit this idea again. A most powerful idea, beautifully brought to us by Rumi.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I will meet you there.
More than six years ago I wrote about the idea in detail. I’d read a New York Times Modern Love column which was later turned into a book. Both saw the author Laura Munson go through hell with her husband, where she fought the urge to be right and he to be wrong (if played to this dichotomy he was so very in the wrong) and instead went out to the field. And sat. And waited.
She describes the process like this:
“Here’s a visual: Child throws a temper tantrum. Tries to hit his mother. But the mother doesn’t hit back, lecture or punish. Instead, she ducks. Then she tries to go about her business as if the tantrum isn’t happening. She doesn’t “reward” the tantrum. She simply doesn’t take the tantrum personally because, after all, it’s not about her.”
My meditation teacher Tim recently shared similar advice. “Do you want to be right or to love?”
Love, we want love. We want to sit in the field. It seems very nice and, well, noble.
But the waiting…the holding of our energy against the slings and arrows of outrageously bad behaviour…the being the bigger person even when up against the toughest of conditions…?
Because what if the heroic, noble trip to the field is being done for a destructive person? A person who you’re not certain is right (or wrong) for you?
Well, I guess they won’t meet you there. In the meantime, you can sit in some love. Right?
Have you done the trip to the field?