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plwk
01 Sep 11, 04:02
http://namastewilliamsburg.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/pema-chodron.jpg

http://www.facebook.com/notes/pema-chodron/heart-advice-of-the-week/10150292079346428
If we were to make a list of people we don’t like—people we find obnoxious, threatening, or worthy of contempt—we would find out a lot about those aspects of ourselves that we can’t face. If we were to come up with one word about each of the troublemakers in our lives, we would find ourselves with a list of descriptions of our own rejected qualities, which we project onto the outside world.
The people who repel us unwittingly show us the aspects of ourselves that we find unacceptable, which otherwise we can’t see.
They mirror us and give us the chance to befriend all of that ancient stuff that we carry around like a backpack full of granite boulders.
(From the book 'Start Where You Are', page 56) http://www.shambhala.com/heartadvice/
Those I perceive as 'difficult', are just my own undesirable qualities....what do you think?

hajurba
01 Sep 11, 04:40
Those I perceive as 'difficult', are just my own undesirable qualities....what do you think?
Absolutely plwk! Applies for me too! :neutral:

andyrobyn
01 Sep 11, 05:08
Undesirable qualities are one of the aspects of humanity which we all share.

stuka
01 Sep 11, 18:15
That really doesn't follow.

If I feel contempt for a co-worker who is lazy and makes a career out of sluffing off his work on to others, that does not mean i am lazy and sluff my own work onto others.

This is New-Age woo.

Aloka
01 Sep 11, 18:59
The people who repel us unwittingly show us the aspects of ourselves that we find unacceptable, which otherwise we can’t see.
They mirror us and give us the chance to befriend all of that ancient stuff that we carry around like a backpack full of granite boulders.


I have every reason to think that one of my male neighbours is a petty minded bully who looks down on women.

I can see that there must be causes and conditions for him to be like that but I really can't see how feeling that I want to avoid him makes me a potential mysogynist bully too!

Neither could a feeling of shock and repulsion at seeing a sudden violent act (like a stabbing) performed by someone mean that I'm violent, or have violent qualities myself.

I'm sure I still have plenty of undesirable qualites however ! :mrgreen:

.

Pax
01 Sep 11, 19:22
I have every reason to think that one of my male neighbours is a petty minded bully who looks down on women.

I can see that there must be causes and conditions for him to be like that but I really can't see how feeling that I want to avoid him makes me a potential mysogynist bully too!

Neither can a feeling of shock and repulsion at seeing a sudden violent act performed by someone mean that I'm violent, or have violent qualities myself.

I'm sure I still have plenty of undesirable qualites however ! :mrgreen:

.
Maybe it's not the manifestation you have in common (violence) but the view that others are "less" and therefore lack enough value to be treated as equals?

Aloka
01 Sep 11, 19:37
Maybe it's not the manifestation you have in common (violence) but the view that others are "less" and therefore lack enough value to be treated as equals?

Hi Pax,

I think maybe that's just speculation on your part.

Recognising that others are different in some ways doesn't mean I view anyone as 'less' or lacking in value to be treated as equals.

An example being that I worked with disaffected and sometimes extremely violent teenagers for 10 years - and I'm still in touch with some of them and their families and regard them with fondness.

I'm sure that Pema Chodron is a lovely well-meaning woman who's inspirational to others - but it doesn't mean she's automatically right about everything.

.

Pax
01 Sep 11, 20:48
Aloka-D My comments were in no way meant to suggest you had those traits, but more to point out that the origin may be further back in our traits than the actual behavior witnessed. No offense intended at all.

Aloka
01 Sep 11, 21:07
Aloka-D My comments were in no way meant to suggest you had those traits, but more to point out that the origin may be further back in our traits than the actual behavior witnessed. No offense intended at all.

Oh.... no offense was taken at all, Pax, I'm just debating ! ;)

Esho
01 Sep 11, 23:50
For sometimes it can be the case, but not necessarily has to be a norm or a pattern. Sometimes acceptance is experienced through understanding the why's and how's of people actions where the underlying pattern happens to be dukkha.

Just some thoughts... ;D

Aloka
03 Sep 11, 09:54
If we were to make a list of people we don’t like—people we find obnoxious, threatening, or worthy of contempt—we would find out a lot about those aspects of ourselves that we can’t face. If we were to come up with one word about each of the troublemakers in our lives, we would find ourselves with a list of descriptions of our own rejected qualities, which we project onto the outside world.



So what happens if we make a list of the people we admire and find charming or inspirational in some way .....?


.

plwk
03 Sep 11, 17:04
So what happens if we make a list of the people we admire and find charming or inspirational in some way .....?
Then perhaps we will see the same wholesome qualities in others as our own that we already have that can be utilised for wholesome causes?
I find an interesting parallel example here..

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an11/an11.013.than.html
"Furthermore, you should recollect the devas:
'There are the Devas of the Four Great Kings, the Devas of the Thirty-three, the Devas of the Hours, the Contented Devas, the devas who delight in creation, the devas who have power over the creations of others, the devas of Brahma's retinue, the devas beyond them.

Whatever conviction they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of conviction is present in me as well.
Whatever virtue they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of virtue is present in me as well.
Whatever learning they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of learning is present in me as well.
Whatever generosity they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of generosity is present in me as well.
Whatever discernment they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of discernment is present in me as well.'

At any time when a disciple of the Noble Ones is recollecting the conviction, virtue, learning, generosity, and discernment found both in himself and the devas, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the [qualities of the] devas.

And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the Noble Ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma.

In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm.
One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.

FBM
03 Sep 11, 17:37
That really doesn't follow.

If I feel contempt for a co-worker who is lazy and makes a career out of sluffing off his work on to others, that does not mean i am lazy and sluff my own work onto others.

This is New-Age woo.

I tend to agree. I don't think it's universally true, really, though it may sometimes be so. To the extent that it encourages greater introspection and compassion, though, I'm all for it as a working hypothesis. I also don't slough off my duties and I also am irritated by my co-workers who do. Yet, I see their presence as a warning for me. I do have the potential to be lazy, and if I weren't so often confronted with their bad examples, I could easily resort to doing the least I could get away with, instead of always trying to do my best.

This is interesting to me:

So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another. -- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

While it may not be universally true, it has an element of truth within it. Aphorisms are like that, I think. Taken too literally, their element of truth is lost. Taken metaphorically, they can be useful.

The Tao de Ching, for example, is pretty much just one aphorism after another. Not much that can really stand up to strict logical analysis, but curiously helpful, nonetheless, I think.


Some say that my teaching is nonsense.
Others call it lofty but impractical.
But to those who have looked inside themselves,
this nonsense makes perfect sense.
And to those who put it into practice,
this loftiness has roots that go deep.

I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.

-- Tao Te Ching

New Age woo is woo, no doubt, but I'm not sure that the fact that woo-ists use a certain sound byte means that it was originally a shallow, trendy, feel-good idea, lacking rigorous insight.

Aloka
03 Sep 11, 17:43
find an interesting parallel example here...

Thanks for posting the sutta, plwk

:hands:

andyrobyn
04 Sep 11, 08:54
That really doesn't follow.

If I feel contempt for a co-worker who is lazy and makes a career out of sluffing off his work on to others, that does not mean i am lazy and sluff my own work onto others.

This is New-Age woo.

Agree stuka - that is that what we find undesirable is necessarily due to having difficulties with that same aspects ourselves.

My earlier point was that we all have a personality, and this means aspects will be undesirable, to others and to ourselves - it is worth considering the things we find difficult, distasteful etc. and agree it is hard to get a look at aspects of ourselves which others can see easily. What we and others find distasteful says just as much about the taster as the one who is found distasetful.

Aloka
04 Sep 11, 09:33
What we and others find distasteful says just as much about the taster as the one who is found distasetful.

Having true non-judgemental compassion for everyone takes a lot of practice I'd imagine.

I often find it so much easier just to point my finger at others, lol !

andyrobyn
04 Sep 11, 10:13
Yes, there is this aspect too. In relation to this, do others think that non- judgemental compassion means not finding others difficult? ( In saying this I am not assuming that Aloka-D was saying this )

Aloka
04 Sep 11, 10:26
Yes, there is this aspect too. In relation to this, do others think that non- judgemental compassion means not finding others difficult? ( In saying this I am not assuming that Aloka-D was saying this )

In its purest sense, yes, because we'd be seeing them from a position of freedom from stressful feelings in relation to their difficult aspects





The Basic Passage on the Four Sublime States from the Discourses of the Buddha


I. Here, monks, a disciple dwells pervading one direction with his heart filled with loving-kindness, likewise the second, the third, and the fourth direction; so above, below and around; he dwells pervading the entire world everywhere and equally with his heart filled with loving-kindness, abundant, grown great, measureless, free from enmity and free from distress.

II. Here, monks, a disciple dwells pervading one direction with his heart filled with compassion, likewise the second, the third and the fourth direction; so above, below and around; he dwells pervading the entire world everywhere and equally with his heart filled with compassion, abundant, grown great, measureless, free from enmity and free from distress.

III. Here, monks, a disciple dwells pervading one direction with his heart filled with sympathetic joy, likewise the second, the third and the fourth direction; so above, below and around; he dwells pervading the entire world everywhere and equally with his heart filled with sympathetic joy, abundant, grown great, measureless, free from enmity and free from distress.

IV. Here, monks, a disciple dwells pervading one direction with his heart filled with equanimity, likewise the second, the third and the fourth direction; so above, below and around; he dwells pervading the entire world everywhere and equally with his heart filled with equanimity, abundant, grown great, measureless, free from enmity and free from distress.

— Digha Nikaya 13

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanaponika/wheel006.html#basic




:hands:

andyrobyn
04 Sep 11, 10:38
The important thing from the Sutta that strikes me tonight is how one gets to that point - I imagine, think and believe from the teachings and my interactions with others, that spiritually advanced individuals continue to have difficulties when interacting with others. I am not talking about righteous anger type behaviour in any way, rather that in social interactions by noticing the difficulty as it occurs rather than acting on it in any way it is able to be transformed - this may involve speaking to the other person about it or it may not and this is where the non-judgemental compassion aspect comes in.

andyrobyn
04 Sep 11, 11:07
One thing that has been useful for me, especially initially when I was a member at another online forum where I was finding I became distressed and reactive to other members posts, was to notice what happened for me when someone aggressively disagreed and wanted to invalidate what I said with nastiness ( as only happens in quite that way, to me, online !! ) I can easily feel the pull to discredit or invalidate this person and their position right back at them - lol.
In instruction and discussion with my teacher I came to see that my reaction was based on a belief that opposite views are tied to each other, now I remember breathe slowly and look for the thought and move on.

Aloka
04 Sep 11, 11:08
The important thing from the Sutta that strikes me tonight is how one gets to that point - I imagine, think and believe from the teachings and my interactions with others, that spiritually advanced individuals continue to have difficulties when interacting with others. I am not talking about righteous anger type behaviour in any way, rather that in social interactions by noticing the difficulty as it occurs rather than acting on it in any way it is able to be transformed - this may involve speaking to the other person about it or it may not and this is where the non-judgemental compassion aspect comes in.

Hi Andy,

Sorry but I'm not too clear about your meaning, so forgive me if I've gone off track.

I don't think it necessarily means one is particularly spiritually advanced to be able to notice feelings of irritation or whatever arising in oneself and therefore to be mindful of the responses one makes.

Personally I haven't been with anyone in social interactions that I've intuitively felt has non-judgemental compassion .. and I don't have it myself because I've still got a long way to go as far as practice is concerned !


Oh, I've just noticed #20 now...we must have been posting at the same time!

Aloka
04 Sep 11, 11:19
In instruction and discussion with my teacher I came to see that my reaction was based on a belief that opposite views are tied to each other, now I remember breathe slowly and look for the thought and move on

Sometimes saying less, or even not responding at all can be best. A fire always needs more fuel to keep it burning.

Aloka
04 Sep 11, 12:08
Some words of wisdom from Ajahn Sumedho:




This is where developing a sense of trust or confidence in awareness is so important.

I can still have views and opinions and preferences; that is part of the personality.

But its in a perspective through awareness; I don't go grasping those views and

then judging everything through that divisive process of "I'm right, you're wrong".


http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=TqKbrmljVdwC&pg=PA191&lpg=PA191&dq=im+right+your+wrong+Ajahn+sumedho&source=bl&ots=kZiYBsI-eB&sig=rdSHEhkKNteZpyiJz4R2pyTmPMo&hl=en&ei=P1ljTs6yM4XC8QO_xaW5Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&sqi=2&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

:hands: