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Thread: Living with Karma

  1. #1

    Living with Karma

    Act like a dick and dick you shall be. (of course dick is a relative term, but fairly understood).

    Every moment, every action, every step, is Karma. Of course, worrying about it doesn't do much good. What does do more good is realizing the dickiness of "you". Misunderstandings happen all the time, and reactions to that make all the difference in the world. Of course, if we are struggling to even keep afloat, not much can be done about it. However, if we practice and open up a bit, we might notice a little more. There might be a little more wisdom there. Reactions, and selfishness all play a role in our misunderstandings. You see, right here is a nice little place where everything is it. Is what it is. Calm, cool and collective.

    Sometimes realizations will hit you in the face. They'll say "Hellloooo Mcflyyyyy." (for those Back to the Future fans). It takes two to tango. It takes two to prolong bad feelings and such. So, I don't know, maybe do something good. Maybe give a gift, maybe give a true warm smile. There's not much you can do sometimes but that. Smile, say hello, and continue. Why is it so hard to be nice and gentle? Why is it so hard to open up and just be where you are? That's a koan.

    Well, I must tell you. Today was a productive day. I'm going to leave it at that. Learning is one of the aspects of Zen.

    Gassho

    W

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: Living with Karma

    Thx for that , will. However, I truly feel sometimes in certain circumstances one may be required to be a dick for the benefit of others.

    Dave _/_

  3. #3

    Re: Living with Karma

    Like I said, Dick is a relative term. As long as one is coming from a place that is not selfish, then ok. It's your practice. It's your experience that you learn from. Like I said "Hellloooo Mcflyyyy".

    There are moments to shout, if that shouting is beneficial, but sometimes we think we are doing right, and what we are doing is just creating more Karma for ourselves and others. My point is to sit back sometimes and remember practice; remember to come back to it and use your intelligence (your natural intelligence).

    Gassho

  4. #4

    Re: Living with Karma

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    It takes two to tango. It takes two to prolong bad feelings and such. So, I don't know, maybe do something good. Maybe give a gift, maybe give a true warm smile. There's not much you can do sometimes but that. Smile, say hello, and continue. Why is it so hard to be nice and gentle? Why is it so hard to open up and just be where you are? That's a koan.

    Well, I must tell you. Today was a productive day. I'm going to leave it at that. Learning is one of the aspects of Zen.

    Gassho

    W
    Thanks for saying that. That smile opens a whole world of possibilities and your troubles become a distant past.

  5. #5

    Re: Living with Karma

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenDave
    ...in certain circumstances one may be required to be a dick for the benefit of others.
    Quote Originally Posted by "[url=http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/common_html/zuimonki/01-10.html
    Dogen[/url]":2312xyzr]...It is best to just leave the matter alone and stop arguing. ...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: Living with Karma

    James, sure. Arguing is one thing. But say you're at work ( i know the usual topic for me with this kind of thing) and you or several people have asked a co-worker not to do something. You ask nice several times. They don't pay it any mind ( i've been in situations where it goes on for weeks or months of someone saying something to the same person every day). Finally you get rude about it..and voila they actually start doing what was asked ( not speaking of preferrences for certain things, but more of someone not doing something correctly in a manner that interferres with the work of others).

    Dave _/_

    Edit: Now don't get me wrong,I'm not saying that's the best way to handle it, or that negative karma is not accrued. Or even that it is remotely within the Way. But at the same time some people choose not to respond to kindness. Should we constantly have to suffer through their crap? Funny though, the more I comment the more I feel pulled to just let it all go,*shrug*.

  7. #7

    Re: Living with Karma

    Look, I have people who think I'm dick all the time (I teach five hundred or more students every 6 months). You can't please every body and a lot of the time being a "dick" is just showing someone their own dickiness. Actually, not even that. Just being you. If a student hands me casually a speech or paper that is way too simple should I accept it? No. They know better. I expect more from them. If they don't want to work, then that's their problem. If the student puts in some effort, then my effort comes back to them in guidance, correction and such.

    If they can't even reach to ask their classmate when they don't understand the task, I make them get up and do that and tell them next time to do that.

    It's not a popularity contest.

    Have a nice day.

    W

  8. #8
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: Living with Karma

    Well that's the perception of being a dick.you are there to teach. some always will be mad when made to work. and no it's not a popularity contest. For me nowadays , alot of times i don't want to be like that.

    It's just a matter of having the tools you have to work with. Now, I used to not have a second thought in telling someone off if I felt justified. Now I wonder if there's another way. And it's more a point of how I react if/when i just get sick and tired of it and can't listen to a long line of excuses like " I got drunk last night I don't feel like doin nothin."

    Also, I have to ponder, " Is it worth my time? If they aren't gonna listen should I even bother? Or just save myself the frustration and do the work for no reward."

    Every situation is different, and tough love can come in many forms. This discussion is making me analyze alot of my own behaviors.

    Thx, Will Buddha *deep gassho*
    _/_

  9. #9

    Re: Living with Karma

    Um, IMHO, unethical is unethical. Forcing someone to do what you have decided is the best thing is still force (yes, yes, I am not talking about physically violent situations, situations with small children, etc.....)

    Also, good intentions do not equal ethical actions. I find it very scary that this attitude is prevalent in zen circles.

    As for finding better ways to deal in situations, what works for me is:
    - respecting/accepting that the other person has no ethical obligation to act as I want them to
    - Before I do something, specifically try to think of a "kind and gentle" way to present my viewpoint to the person, dropping all effort to manipulate them into doing what I want. Present the situation from my personal perspective (e.g. "XYZ is a problem for me in this particular way", NOT "doing XYZ is totally wrong and a problem for everybody in the universe")
    - sincerely ask the person what is going on with them regarding the situation
    - As a backup, find a way to disengage from the situation if that is what I need to do

    gassho,
    rowan

  10. #10

    Re: Living with Karma

    One can judge a situation according to the situation. It is exactly that. People are not going to be the way you want them to be. My previous point is about people who are not happy with me and would prefer I be something different. The point is to realize when it is time to be gentle and when it is time to be strict or curt. We also shouldn't be doormats for people to walk over and we shouldn't give in so easy to trying to please everyone. There is a time and a place.

    Gassho

    W

  11. #11

    Re: Living with Karma

    This would be a good opportunity to talk about mindfulness.

    w

  12. #12
    disastermouse
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    Re: Living with Karma

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinho
    Um, IMHO, unethical is unethical. Forcing someone to do what you have decided is the best thing is still force (yes, yes, I am not talking about physically violent situations, situations with small children, etc.....)

    Also, good intentions do not equal ethical actions. I find it very scary that this attitude is prevalent in zen circles.

    As for finding better ways to deal in situations, what works for me is:
    - respecting/accepting that the other person has no ethical obligation to act as I want them to
    - Before I do something, specifically try to think of a "kind and gentle" way to present my viewpoint to the person, dropping all effort to manipulate them into doing what I want. Present the situation from my personal perspective (e.g. "XYZ is a problem for me in this particular way", NOT "doing XYZ is totally wrong and a problem for everybody in the universe")
    - sincerely ask the person what is going on with them regarding the situation
    - As a backup, find a way to disengage from the situation if that is what I need to do

    gassho,
    rowan
    Black and white thinking is not typically associated with a developed sense of ethics. Each situation is its own truth and there may be several correct or incorrect actions in response.

    Chet

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