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7495Re: dealing with people

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  • John Pellecchia
    Aug 3 5:03 PM
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      Danielle,

      Please excuse the lateness of my response but, as my father-in-law
      used to say, I wanted to "mull it over in my mind" and collect my
      thoughts a little before I responded.

      I read with interest you comments regarding others and how to deal
      with them. Each of us has, and continue to have, much the same
      problem. That's why we witness strife in this world of samsara. Just
      look at the Middle East situation as an example of the extreme.

      As a very wise person wrote (and I paraphrase), "It is easier to
      practice loving-kindness alone in a hermitage than with others in the
      'real' world." Try to view those who try your patience as being placed
      there to teach you to be more patient -- and we all know how difficult
      that may be.

      Maybe the following passage from the VietNam Buddhist monk Thich Nhat
      Hanh's book "Living Buddha, Living Christ" may help explain. "...look
      at the person we consider to be the cause of our suffering. If we
      practice looking deeply into his situation and the causes of how he
      came to be the way he is now, and if we visualize ourselves as being
      born in his condition, we may see that we could have become exactly
      like him. When we do that, compassion arises in us naturally, and we
      see that the other person is to be helped and not punished. In that
      moment, our anger transforms itself into the energy of compassion.
      Suddenly, the one we have been calling our enemy becomes our brother
      or sister....Looking deeply is one of the most effective ways to
      transform our anger, prejudices and discrimination. We practice as an
      individual, and we also practice as a group."

      Certainly, this is not easy to accomplish. We all fall at some point
      but that's why it is called a "practice." It's like watching an infant
      taking his first steps. We totter and fall but we invariably
      (hopefully) get back up and try again. Eventually we will succeed if
      we continue our practice.

      In regard to "right speech" -- this is generally done without anger
      but to point out to the person the error of his/her ways. It is not
      done in a haughty, self-righteous manner. To continue with our
      hypothetical child, it is done in the same manner of correcting an
      infant who has put him/herself in a dangerous situation. We would
      naturally correct the child -- not out of anger or to "prove a point"
      but to instruct the child in what is safe for the child's own
      well-being. It is done out of love; not anger.

      Some people frequently misinterpret "right speech" as "the right to
      speak." Nothing is further from the truth. "Right to speak" means that
      I may express my views freely whether they be "right" or "wrong." It
      puts the power in the "I."

      "Right speech" is much deeper and more subtle in its meaning. It is an
      instructional means relating to The Dharma; to instruct others
      according to The Dharma when they stray from the path. Not to prove
      that "I know more than you" but that "I love you and want to help
      you." It is the intent as much as the wording.

      I do apologize for the rambling and any errors contained herein are
      mine alone.

      May all be at peace.

      John
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