Re: person of integrity talks about others good points, own bad points?
- Dear Sharon,
�Criticising and nagging is attacking the whole person, not just the one
aspect of behaviour which can be negotiated without anger.�
A belated thankyou for your detailed replies on this topic. When my
concentration is better I may read them again.
I�ve started applying this teaching with my relationship with my father.
When I was angry about having 3 large cartons of milk in the fridge because
they were on special price and wanted him to freeze one, or because he was
downloading flat out making my internet slow, I realised that by remembering
my gratitude for his kindness and efforts to provide me with broadband
internet defused the anger. He even affectionately said �Patience is a
virtue in Buddhism right?� I told him that I was grateful. He replied
Now I have realised that finding fault with someone is losing sight of the
big picture. Criticising and nagging is attacking the whole person, not just
the one aspect of behaviour which can be negotiated without anger. I ended
up doing a deal with my father to peel potatoes for mash rather than have
rice if he would freeze one of the milks. As it turned out, we�ve ended up
defrosting the milk a few days later and it would have been drunk before the
expiry date anyway (he was right all along).
Sharon Salzberg likened attachment to the idea �I will love you if you
behave in the following 15 ways�. One student said �Only 15? That�s not so
bad� <audience laughter>
That�s all for now.
May this be of benefit;
May you be well and serene,
>From: "Sharon Werner" <sharonwerner@...>
>Subject: Re: [Buddhaviharas] person of integrity talks about others good
>points, own bad points?
>Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2005 06:51:53 -0500
>Ouch! ;o) That post really hits home with me today . . .
>I'm not sure about this from a Theravada (Pali Canon) perspective, but I do
>know that many of my Tibetan teachers have recommended a similar technique
>to their students, not so much to encourage their students to disparage
>themselves as to counteract the normal human tendency to criticize others
>(fault finding), and at the same time oh-so-conveniently see only the good
>in ourselves. It's so easy when we're angry or disgusted with someone to
>list over and over in our minds their faults and ignore their good points.
>It's so easy to compare ourselves and say, "I'm glad I'M not like that!
>a good person, decent, compassionate . . ." (I find myself doing this with
>my mother-in-law, who is constantly harassing my husband I about our
>child-rearing techniques. It's very, very easy to go on a mental tirade
>about how hideous she is, and in the process ignore the many other helpful
>things she does.) Maybe the point is just to be willing to admit to our
>faults to ourselves and others without being so defensive.
>I remember Sharon Salzberg in a lecture on Metta talking about the
>"proximate cause" of Metta being the willingness to see good (in oneself,
>others, in situations), which I think ties in a bit. . . noticing that we
>cultivate ill-will when we constantly focus on another's flaws.
>It ties into right speech, of course. Ven. Thubten Chodron has an article
>entitled "Speaking of the Faults of Others" which is really interesting on
>this subject. She points out that there *are* some times when it is
>appropriate to speak of another's faults (such as when you are an employer
>who is required to give an accurate and honest evaluation of an employee
>a job reference), but that most of the time we fault-find in order to build
>ourselves up and make ourselves feel superior to someone else. It seems
>that at the same time there really are times when we need to honestly be
>able to talk about our own good qualities, too.
>It's an interesting article if anyone is interested:
>What do the rest of you think?
>Antony, you always bring up such good points! Thank you.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Antony Woods" <antony272b@...>
>Sent: Friday, March 04, 2005 6:01 PM
>Subject: [Buddhaviharas] person of integrity talks about others good
>own bad points?
> > Dear Sharon and Group,
> > According to the Pali Canon, the Buddha taught that a person of
> > talks about other people's good points and his own bad points (and of no
> > integrity the opposite):
> > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/anguttara/an04-073.html
> > How can this be practised without being self-disparaging?
> > Thanks / Antony.
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