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christina
12 Aug 14, 22:03
I am very interested in Buddhism but am not a practising Buddhist.

The woman who lives next door to me - I have been very kind to - she has been parking her car a few inches on my drive so that she can have the feel of a larger drive for herself for many years.

I have been abused when i was younger and have only just recently realised that I have the right to challenge this and get my own drive back into my hands. So i went to her door and told her that it isnt comfortable for me to have her parking on my drive in future. Sexually abused people like myself have a great need for boundaries.

She eventually complied. yet every day I feel under threat from her parking her car on my drive again. I have been very understanding to her over the past several years - she has borrowed many things from me and I have not expected anything in return.
A few days ago I decided to put all of my rubbish bins along the side of the drive and I must admit that i felt better with this barrier there - the bins were not on her drive but on mine.

Whilst these bins have been there she has ignored me and slammed her car door many times. She eventually approached my daughter and emailed me to say that it distresses her to see these bins and could I please place them somewhere else.
I am a very sensitive lady and I do not want to go into battle with her - I feel that is pointless because I value my peace. So I have moved the bins.

So in effect I have sacrificed my peace of mind for her happiness. Now she will feel like she has all the power and I am now just waiting for her to annoy me again. I am not paranoid - I know what this woman is like. She likes to compete and get attention and I am not giving her any more attention - i am now attending to myself instead. But something is making me feel very uneasy about this situation. But at least I have some peace now and am avoiding bumping into her at all costs.

I am interested in anyone's views on this situation because a part of me now feels like victim again since I have chosen not to defend my borders. I am in complete conflict about this. If I put a fence up this womans anger will make her bang her car door into the fence - she has already damaged the wing mirror on my car due to her driving into her drive in a rage and sending one of bins careering into my poor car. I had no proof of this so I could not take it further.

Why oh why is she so obsessed by plastic bins? Believe me it is a focus for her. How do I cope with her. I need a change of attitude somehow and I am going to try meditation but I dont know how to meditate. I thought of joining a group of people to meditate but I would only pick up their feelings - I am so very sensitive you see.

Snowmelt
13 Aug 14, 01:08
Here is a message from my wife:


I really feel for you. I am also very sensitive. I know it probably doesn't help you much but I probably would have done the same thing: just let her have her way.

Aloka
13 Aug 14, 06:29
Hello Christina and welcome to BWB.

I'm sorry you are having problems and I hope that you have received some professional counselling for the sexual abuse issues in the past.

I think its important to maintain good friendships with ones neighbours and to try one's best to resolve any misunderstandings one might have in a calm and reasonable way, which is helpful to everyone concerned.

If your neighbour has difficulty in parking with precision in the driveway, then to be honest I don't think that's necessarily any reason to feel "under threat" from her. Life is far too short for getting caught up in quarrels with other people. My father dropped dead from an unexpected heart attack when he was on his way to angrily confront a neighbour about a parking issue. His neighbours weren't hostile people, but sadly he was easily angered himself.

I'm going to recommend that you try a practice which lots of people find very helpful to ease all kinds of difficulties ...and it can be done every day . Its called "Metta" (which means goodwill and loving kindness.) The video instruction below lasts for less than 5 minutes.

With kind regards,

Aloka ;D



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3_lqd4Sgfc

JustMike
13 Aug 14, 07:14
Hi Christina,

Welcome to the forum. My fiancee is a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) so I can relate to what's troubling you.

Firstly, if you feel that you are a sensitive person by nature (whether you've always been that way or whether what you went through has resulted in it) I (and my other half) can highly recommend this book to gain a better understanding of it:

http://www.amazon.com/Highly-Sensitive-Person-Elaine-Ph-D/dp/0553062182/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407913456&sr=1-1&keywords=the+highly+sensitive+person

In terms of your neighbour, perhaps she is feeling defensive? She may not have realised your need for boundaries, so to her it may seem that you suddenly asked her to stop parking her car there, and then for no reason (that she can see) you put your bins up. Obviously you did neither of these things with the intention of upsetting her of course, but does she know that?

From my own experience I have spent time worrying over similar situations and getting myself worked up, but the vast majority of the time the issues I was projecting on to the situation were worse. I know this is a lot easier said than done, but have you tried having a friendly chat? Maybe invite her over for a coffee and explain the situation. You don't need to go into lots of detail, but clearing the air can work wonders.

Metta as Aloka said is a great practice. You could also try staying in the moment. When you realise that you're fretting remind yourself that right now, nothing has happened, there is no confrontation, just your worry about a confrontation. If there is a confrontation later you will deal it with it then, but right now that's not happening. Focus on your breathing and try to let go.

I truly hope this gets resolved for you and your home once again becomes a place of peace.

Good luck,
Mike

christina
02 Sep 14, 10:35
Hi Mike
Thankyou for your kind words and support.

I have lived my whole live according to Metta. The trouble is that I am a kind very gentle person - but the people I am around are not - how can I change them?? If i could change them then I would not get upset and disappointed by them. They seem to think that I am an easy target. How on earth can I change what I feel?? You see part of the problem is that I live around them. Its easy for buddhist monks - they do not live with these awful people - so its no wonder they can have peace and serenity and meditate all day. I cant - I have to live with these people.

Aloka
02 Sep 14, 17:04
.
I have lived my whole live according to Metta. The trouble is that I am a kind very gentle person - but the people I am around are not .

Hello again Christina,

You mentioned in your first post that you're not a practising Buddhist, so you might like to read more about the Metta Sutta and the practice of Metta at this link :

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/buddharakkhita/wheel365.html

You might also find that reading about The Four Noble Truths could be helpful when reflecting about your feelings :

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/4nobltru.pdf


how can I change them?? If i could change them then I would not get upset and disappointed by them

The purpose of Buddhist practice is to primarily address one's own attitudes and misperceptions, not to try and change other people. Ideally, if we can try to be kind and friendly towards the people around us and make an effort to be patient, it can help us relax a little, instead of getting angry and upset if they don't meet with our expectations. In this way, situations can begin to change for the better.


Its easy for buddhist monks - they do not live with these awful people - so its no wonder they can have peace and serenity and meditate all day. I cant - I have to live with these people


Life isn't easy for Buddhist monks. it can be quite hard - and they don't sit around meditating all day.


With best wishes for you and your neighbours, Christina, and hoping things become more positive for everyone concerned.

Aloka :hands:

rob
04 Oct 14, 13:01
Christina,

The question of violence is to be dealt on the basis of knowing who are the people who use violence against you.
Buddha used to say that he was a great knower of the realm of death. And it is the realm of death we are talking about here. Consciously or not, people who hurt you, belong to that realm. The realm of desire, of greed, power, feelings, etc.
So there is one way very simple to stop them. And this is to tell them that what they are laying on you is not yours. It's theirs.
I like to tell people that they are putting their trash in my bin, and that the trashcan is getting full and spilling over. And that I have to give them back what they are putting on me.
Not that I want to hurt them; only that I have to give them back what belong to them. And maybe (if the thing goes on and on,) the all thing at once; like cleaning up the all thing while we are at it. Give them the all thing they are doing to others. Etc.
Trust me; they will understand. That is the Dhamma.
Tell them gently: "take it back; its all yours; live with it; have a nice day; have a nice week (or an aeon) - They might play cocky; but not for long.

You don't have to be compassionate with the friends of death; just gentle. You just have to tell them "In your world, the prerogative to annoy people is one of your attributes. It's a fact - I can't do nothing about it. And its not me, and I don't have that prerogative to annoy you - My only prerogative as someone who does not live in your world (of death,) is to decide. And I have decided to give you back the bad things you put on me. Period.
Trust me. Do that firmly.

There is an absolutely lovely Danish film called Haevnen, by Suzanne Bier. It is just about Ahimsa. And there is this episode in the movie where the peaceful character (the doctor in war zone) meets with the terrorists and just goes untouched and unharmed, through the all ambient violence; in the pure way of the Buddha. Great movie.


Note: Now, if you are part of their world, it will obviously fail. They will have a reason to scorn you. That is a Buddha's advice; not a Bhudda-Zorba magic trick.

Aloka
04 Oct 14, 13:40
The question of violence is to be dealt on the basis of knowing who are the people who use violence against you.

Where did christina say her neighbours had used violence against her ?


Buddha used to say that he was a great knower of the realm of death. And it is the realm of death we are talking about here..


Could you provide links to actual sutta references which show that the Buddha said he was "a great knower of the realm of death", please.

In general, I think it's worth remembering that the Buddha said:




"Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding.

Even then you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.'

That's how you should train yourselves."

(MN 21)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.021x.than.html


:hands:

rob
04 Oct 14, 16:49
Aloka,



Could you provide links to actual sutta references which show that the Buddha said he was "a great knower of the realm of death", please.


MN034 - Culagopalaka
Bhikkhus, as for me I am clever in this world, clever in the other world, clever in the domain of death, clever in the domain of non-death, clever in the sphere of death and clever in the sphere of non-death. Bhikkhus, it will be for their well fare and good for a long time that some will think to listen and take faith in me. Then the Blessed One further said thus:
The one who knows has declared this world and the other world,
What could be attained by death and what could not be attained by death.

Note: Cleverness from the Noble search.



I think it's worth remembering that the Buddha said


I prefer the Metta.lk translation:
O! Bhikkhus, even if robbers cut your limbs one after another with a two handled saw, if your mind be defiled on account of that ......
to that of Thanissaro bikkhu:


Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered .......

I do not let my mind being defiled.
I do not respond to "violence (physical and mental) by violence.
There is no aggression, no ill will.
No intention for a Mediterranean drama; or a Hollywood movie's plot of revenge.
I am just sending back what is not mine.

Instead of me saying "you should not be compassionate with the friends of death, but gentle"; I think I should have said "you should be gentle & compassionate with the friends of death" (what I have a hard time with, as far as compassion is concerned).
Yet, I will have to check the translation and meaning of that word (compassion) also. (that is because I remember something Buddha said also - I'll check them both).

Cordially

rob
12 Oct 14, 15:44
How do I deal with this situation please?

Now, Christina, you might have done the "this is not me, blabla" and it worked!

Yet, there is still dukkha around there, because there is still pride and a bit of "revenge" under all this; isn'it?
And that much, we must get rid also. mustn't we?

Take care!