The Devotee

A man, very dedicated to his spiritual
studies, was also a husband and father.
His wife was proud that her husband
was a good provider, a man of higher
faith and too, was devoted to their son.

As time went on, his work duties
took more of his time and his
wife and child saw less and less
of him. But still, faithfully,
he would meditate four hours
a day…two in the morning
and two in the evening.

Chores around the house that needed
attending were going undone.
The wife and son ate their meals
without the presence of husband and dad.

But still he kept to his sadhana schedule,
knowing his actions were adding up
to good karma and “right action.”

Social gatherings were missed, son’s
baseball games were not attended,
vacations were not taken and the years
rolled on with work taking precedence
next to the sacred practices that
he faithfully performed.

He would reap the rewards, he told
himself. His family would be blessed
by his astute and humble customs.
He took sanctuary in this knowledge
and committed even more to his endeavor.

But his relationship to his family dwindled.
No laughter or inquisitive talks were had.
Money was fluent but their emotions dry.
A deep imbalance had become evident.
After a time the wife divorced him and
his son felt forevermore like they were strangers.

Victoria demonstrates allegory for Writer’s Fourth Wednesday for The Bardo Group: http://intothebardo.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/writers-fourth-wednesday-allegory/

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7 Comments

  1. I know some of those guys. Good article.!

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  2. This is so thought-provoking–I’m not Buddhist but suspect that this would not be at all in accord with the teaching of the Buddha (Right Action). Going to my own roots, love comes first. When I was in the convent, I struggled with this lesson. I would often be called from prayer to attend to a patient’s needs. It takes a while to figure out that everything is prayer.

    I think it’s an allegory in that it is a story that teaches a deeper lesson. A very important one.
    Thanks for sharing this very thought-provoking narrative poem, Gayle. Sad, heh?

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    • Thank you for your most in-depth comment, Victoria. I’ve come to believe that all of life is our practice. We have countless opportunities each day to show love….which I think is the point of it all. I agree with you too…everything is prayer.

      I knew my little tale held an underlying lesson and hoped it fit your category. Yes, sad, Victoria.

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  3. Oh I could see where this poem was going. Well done, Gayle! He likely didnt even miss them.

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  4. Wonderful example of how this person who thought he was acting with right intention and right action forgot about one of the most fundamental lessons of the Buddha: the Middle Way.

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