Ilya Shambat

Ilya Shambat
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
November 21
Adda Enterprises
Born in Russia, family moved to America when I was 12. Got a degree from University of Virginia at 18. Worked for Oracle, translated four books of classical Russian poety, was part of San Francisco and Washington, DC poetry and music scene. Good friends with San Francisco's own Persephone's Bees and acquainted with Patch Adams. Currently married with children, residing in Australia and working on a clean energy technology implementation.


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JANUARY 31, 2013 4:37AM

Possessiveness and the Dalai Lama

Rate: 4 Flag
After my wife left me to be with another man, I had a choice as to how to react to this situation. She had an ex who had been persecuting her ever since she left him; and there was another man who kept threatening an honor killing against her and her new boyfriend. I did not want to go into either of these directions; so the answer that came to me was this: To forgive.

I was more unhappy about getting possessive feelings than I was about my wife going with another man. I've done a lot of spiritual work on myself, and I did not want to feel things of that nature. The world would be a better place without jealousy and possessiveness, and as a part of that I needed to do away with these kinds of feelings in myself. Reading the Dalai Lama helped in seeing past these kinds of feelings and into a better state of mind.

I used to see the Dalai Lama as a snake oil salesman; but my view of him has improved. Here is someone who had his whole country destroyed by the Chinese invaders, yet he has refrained from hating the Chinese. If he can remain compassionate and forgiving in such circumstances, then what else does it become possible to forgive?

It's really these kinds of situations that are the test. It's easy to be peaceful and compassionate when things are going your way; but if they don't go your way it requires directed choice to handle them rightfully. These situations test the commitment to spiritual growth. And it is when one can remain peaceful and forgiving in such situations that one can be said to be seriously doing what one needs to do as part of spiritual development.

Really, the more people do this, the better the world. Women will be able to have relationships with men without having to fear violence or persecution. The world would be safe for romance and beauty. And relationships that do take place will be done from a freer and kinder perspective where there is more room for love and compassion and less room for oppression and violence.

It is from this understanding that I made the choice that I did. And although it is painful it's better than the alternative. I advise this stance for anyone who's had a partner who left them. If I can do this, then so can any number of other people. The well-being of the world and humanity demands nothing less.

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Best wishes to you in navigating this territory. It is one of the fundamentals of all relationships, our attachments to our own desires and securities versus our recognition for the same in others. As we get older, many of us accumulate more and more "past relationship" karma and that is for us to change, now, in the moment, day by day, and let go. Naturally, we need to understand what liberty means to us, and it can be incompatible with the rules of marriage and property law.
Congratulations. This bodhicitta thinking - for the benefit of others, which you call the well-being of the world and humanity, has the power to lead us through great challenges. True forgiveness is a great challenge for many. But it purchases peace and health. Wishing you continued peace and health.
Not just 'liberty,' but 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness'; never get in the way of someone's pursuit of these three things, and you stand to learn much; about yourself, about humanity; about your significant other.

Good post.