I am my Beloved’s And he is mine. Come my beloved, Let us go forth into the field; And lodge in the villages. Let us go up early to the vineyards; Let us see whether the vine has budded, Whether the grape has opened, And the pomegranates are in bloom; There will I give thee my love. The mandrakes give forth fragrance, And at the door are all manner of precious fruits, new and old Which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.
The Buddha spoke about four elements that constitute true love: the capacity to be kind and offer happiness, maitri in Sanskrit, compassion, the capacity to relieve suffering, karuna; the capacity to bring joy every day, mudita; and finally, the capacity of nondiscrimination, upeksha. When there is true love, there is nondiscrimination. The pain of the other is our own pain; the happiness of the other is our own happiness…To make our love meaningful, we need to nourish our bodhicitta, our mind of boundless love and compassion…First, we learn to love one person with all our understanding and insight; then we expand that love to embrace another person, and another, until our love is truly boundless.
May your love be firm, and may your dream of life together be a river between two shores—by day bathed in sunlight, and by night illuminated from within. May the heron carry news of you to the heavens, and the salmon bring the sea’s blue grace. May your twin thoughts spiral upward like leafy vines, like fiddle strings in the wind, and be as noble as the Douglas fir. May you never find yourselves back to back without love pulling you around into each other’s arms.
They say they will love, comfort, honor each other to the end of their days. They say they will cherish each other and be faithful to each other always. They say they will do these things not just when they feel like it, but even—for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health—when they don’t feel like it at all. In other words, the vows they make could hardly be more extravagant. They give away their freedom. They take on themselves each other’s burdens. They bind their lives together… The question is, what do they get in return?
They get each other in return… There will always be the other to talk to, to listen to… There is still someone to get through the night with, to wake into the new day beside. If they have children, they can give them, as well as each other, roots and wings. If they don’t have children, they each become the other’s child.
They both still have their lives apart as well as a life together. They both still have their separate ways to find. But a marriage made in heaven is one where a man and a woman become more richly themselves together than the chances are either of them could ever have managed to become alone.
Rising Sun! when you shall shine, Make this house happy, Beautify it with your beams; Make this house happy, God of Dawn! your white blessings spread; Make this house happy. Guard the doorway from all evil; Make this house happy. White corn! Abide herein; Make this house happy. Soft wealth! May this hut cover much; Make this house happy. Heavy Rain! Your virtues send; Make this house happy. Corn Pollen! Bestow content; Make this house happy. May peace around this family dwell; Make this house happy.