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Author Topic: Buddhist couple who are never more than 15 ft apart  (Read 1485 times)
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« on: May 16, 2008, 04:52:32 PM »

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Buddhist couple who are never more than 15 ft apart

17 May 2008, 0109 hrs IST
 BOWIE (ARIZONA): Ten years ago, Michael Roach and Christie McNally, Buddhist teachers with a growing following in the United States and abroad, took vows never to separate, night or day.

By "never part", they did not mean only their hearts or spirits. They meant their bodies as well. And they gave themselves a range of about 15 feet.

If they cannot be seated near each other on a plane, they do not get on. When she uses an airport restroom, he stands outside the door. And when they are here at home in their yurt in the Arizona desert, which has neither running water nor electricity, and he is inspired by an idea in the middle of the night, she rises from their bed and follows him to their office 100 yards down the road, so he can work.

 Their partnership, they say, is celibate. It is, as they describe it, a high level of Buddhist practice that involves confronting their own imperfections and thereby learning to better serve the world.

"It forces you to deal with your own emotions so you can't say, 'I'll take a break,' " said Roach, 55, who trained in the same Tibetan Buddhist tradition as the Dalai Lama. After becoming a monk in 1983, he trained on-and-off in a Buddhist monastery for 20 years, and is one of a handful of Westerners who has earned the title of geshe, the rough equivalent of a religious doctorate. "You are in each other's faces 24 hours a day," he said. "You must deal with your anger or your jealousy."

McNally said, "From a Buddhist perspective, it purifies your own mind." McNally is 35 and uses the title of Lama, or teacher, an honor not traditionally bestowed on women by the Tibetan orders.

Their exacting commitment to this ideal of spiritual partnership has been an inspiration to many.

In China and Israel, and in the United States, where they are often surrounded by devotees, their lectures on how laypeople can build spiritual partnerships are often packed with people seeking mates or ways to deepen their marriages.

http://tinyurl.com/59rksf
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