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Thread: Coping with people you find difficult

  1. #1
    Dear friends,

    Have you ever found it difficult to get on with anyone at work, in the family, or maybe a neighbour? Did you try to improve the relationship by applying Buddhist principles ..... or is the difficulty still on-going ?

    Kind wishes,

    A- D

  2. #2
    Forums Member srivijaya's Avatar
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    Massive problems with a neighbour. Did apply Buddhist teachings and it helped enormously. Still not a bed of roses but not too bad either.

  3. #3
    Forums Member fojiao2's Avatar
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    My teacher says that people you find difficult are your best teachers.

  4. #4
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Zeners have the ten Ox herding as a guideline for the practice of mindfulness. The last one, the tenth, tells about a return to the marketplace were everybody is enlightened; is as it is and as it is are the way things are. This tenth bull is known as "In the World" and goes like this:

    Barefooted and naked of breast, I mingle with the people of the world. My clothes are ragged and dust-laden, and I am ever blissful.
    I use no magic to extend my life;
    Now, before me, the dead trees become alive.


    Comment: Inside my gate, a thousand sages do not know me. The beauty of my garden is invisible. Why should one search for the footprints of the patriarchs? I go to the market place with my wine bottle and return home with my staff. I visit the wine shop and the market, and everyone I look upon becomes enlightened.

    Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
    Paul Reps
    There are some moments of mindfulness along the day or once a week, who knows. We do not notice them at first but after a while, with some practice, we start noticing them and this tenth bull happens to be understood. It seems that even in front of the worst person dealing with us we can be mindful and still and react in a noble way to what, in other moment, will have been a stressful experience.
    Last edited by Esho; 20 Mar 11 at 01:36.

  5. #5
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    Being mindful is to have an empty head. Whatever happens, you see it for what it is, you're not averse to it or imposing a self for it to "hit" which must immediately protect itself and react. If someone is yelling at you, they're not yelling at you. They're yelling, about something, and are clearly angry. See the conditions that give rise to their anger, talk to them calmly, let them diffuse and work out a solution to the problem.

  6. #6
    Forums Member clw_uk's Avatar
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    Working in a Call Centre I'm met with difficult people everyday when i'm in work

    However I find that they are excellent teachers, if there is mindfulness

    For example I can observe how a negative feeling gives rise to aversion which gives rise to dukkha or I can observe how patient I am etc


    However I would warn that one shouldn't be passive with overly aggressive people. By this I mean just observing while they are being very confrontational towards you.

    I experienced this with an ex boyfriend who was a violent alcoholic. First of all I tried the "just observing" method but found that this was not appropriate due to him thinking I was a push over, so on occasion I believe you must confront the person back, however this must be motivated by compassion for oneself and the other person.


    Of course this applies to a laymans life, I think in terms of a nuns/monks life it would be different (obviously due to lack of close relationships etc)
    Last edited by clw_uk; 20 Mar 11 at 04:44.

  7. #7
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloud
    Being mindful is to have an empty head. Whatever happens, you see it for what it is,
    That's it Cloud.

    Just 2 Zen'ts. To avoid confusion about an empty head that can lead to the wrong idea of nothingness that some people think that is about Zen I will tell a still mind not giving judgements but having discernment.
    Last edited by Esho; 20 Mar 11 at 05:27.

  8. #8
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloud #9
    but it's not our normal state... until it is.
    Sure!
    Last edited by Esho; 20 Mar 11 at 05:37.

  9. #9
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    Yes! A still mind. Stillness and clarity. That is enlightenment, but it's not our normal state... until it is.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by clw_uk View Post
    However I would warn that one shouldn't be passive with overly aggressive people. By this I mean just observing while they are being very confrontational towards you.
    I once had a boyfriend who became violent. I broke off the relationship calmly by phone as soon as I was in a safe place.

    I think in some circumstances if we enable the ill will of others then it becomes what Chogyam Trungpa called "idiot compassion"

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