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Thread: Entitlement

  1. #1

    Entitlement

    This word popped out the other day when I was posting about care-giving, and it has lingered. It raised a question that I'd like to raise here. "Entitlement" here does not refer to social policy, I believe everyone is entitled to food, shelter, health care, and dignity. It refers to what this little self feels the world owes it. “I” am an expression of emptiness, boundless and needless, but I am also a body and mind, and person in/of the world. I asked the question "what do I feel entitled too?", "what does the world owe me?" ..and the honest answer is nothing. I am not entitled to anything. The world does not owe me any material thing. It does not owe support or care of any kind. It does not even owe me breath. Breath can be taken away any time and the thought “this isn't fair” has no place at all, no traction. It doesn't mean there is a feeling of worthlessness or wretchedness. The way my Christian mother-in-law would say it is that everything is granted by “the grace of God”. “I” am a temporary formation, a flame, a lust for life, and I will dissolve. I am not powerless to act and make change, but whatever power I have is not mine. A quote from some Rinpoche (kalu?) comes to mind “ When you realize you are nothing, you realize you are everything”.

    All this is just one practice and experiencing, and not a claim to Dharma, but it is very clear to this mind. I think the sense of entitlement is an interesting thing to look into

    So... my question is. What do you feel entitled to? What does the world.. Life... society.. owe you?

    Thanks

    Gassho
    Daizan
    Sat Today
    Last edited by RichardH; 11-15-2014 at 06:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Haha! That's easy. Not a damn thing, my friend.

    This is why I am filled with gratitude for everything.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  3. #3
    As my grandad said 'laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone'.
    I guess we are entitled to our own suffering and by that argument we are also entitled to our own enlightenment. We have to make the choice ... and that really is our only entitlement.
    Gassho Heisoku
    #sat today
    Heisoku 平 息
    Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

  4. #4
    Often I feel as though I'm entitled to what I consider having a good time in general. Whatever small trifles that entails in a rich western context. Freedom to pursue my passions. Good food. Quietude. Not living in a state of agony or mortal danger. Then I remember that I should consider myself fortunate for a having anything close to a crack at having a good time.

    Gassho
    Aske
    ~ Please remember that I am very fallible.

    Gassho
    Meikyo

  5. #5
    Hello,

    "Learn self; forget self." not-Buddha

    The joy of this (salty) tradition is the intention of all sentient beings realizing together, and not the same.

    Ango!


    Gassho,
    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  6. #6
    Another way to think about it is what do we owe others? And aren't we two not one? I think we owe it to treat others with dignity and respect. We owe our time and love to our family. We owe our community and really the world to tread lightly and to give something back that makes it a better place.


    _|sat2day|_

  7. #7
    Quite simply, what Lisa said.

    Thank you for the question Daizan.

    Gassho,
    Sat today

    Quote Originally Posted by raindrop View Post
    Haha! That's easy. Not a damn thing, my friend.

    This is why I am filled with gratitude for everything.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  8. #8
    I like Troy's reversal of the question, making it: what do I owe others? or, do I only owe and am not owed? for me, feeling obligated usually comes pretty easily.

    Having in recent years gone through a pretty dramatic reversal of my economic situation, some of these issues came into focus pretty clearly for me. I think almost no one would be surprised to learn that very few people on earth feel in any sense obligated or even interested in their personal individual well-being. But how do you feel, what would you expect from or feel you owe toward those very near by? from or toward your family? I think this was at least part of the flavor I discerned in Daizan's OP.

    I often watch the give and take between panhandlers on streets and subways of NY and those who give them money. pretty much entirely, the interactions of total strangers. can the notions of entitled and obligated be dispensed with?
    in my case, ultimately, thankfully, help got where help was needed, and I think maybe those notions were dispensed with. it just flowed, like heat flows to where it isn't. or perhaps the issue is dissolved, for us, in the first Bodhisattva vow.
    my apologies, I didn't intend to bend this thread into my own personal story. thank you all for the discussion.

    gassho, O, who today sat.
    Last edited by Oheso; 11-16-2014 at 05:35 PM.
    and neither are they otherwise.


  9. #9
    If you put air in a pump you can sell it. If you put water in a bottle you can sell it. If you put up a fence or sign you can keep others off the land. We are polluting the earth and already I have to purify my water and maybe someday my air. As a human the only entitlement I have is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness which in Buddhist speech is peace of mind or enlightenment.
    Sat today

    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  10. #10
    I am entitled to my opinion.

    Gassho, Jishin

    #SatToday

  11. #11
    Hmm. I do not feel indebted to the world, like I owe the the world. Being frequently deluded and subject to spasms of greed and anger, I do cause or compound suffering , and do need to practice atonement. There is the absolute and relative atonement that Jundo has talked about.

    Doing good, helping, being generous, comes from an openness and spontaneity rather than a sense of debt, in my experience. There is a joy there.

    Gassho
    Daizan
    Sat today

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    There is a joy there.
    pure gravy right?
    and neither are they otherwise.


  13. #13
    Hi Oheso. Not sure what you mean by gravy. I mean joy as a lightness in going over completely into it. There is no heaviness here. It's just a sense of things.
    It's probably different for different people.


    Gassho
    Daizan
    Sat today

  14. #14
    Joyo
    Guest
    Hmm, well that's an interesting question. Back when I was a Christian my understanding of life (based on the teachings I had been taught from pastors etc) was that I was entitled to all sorts of things, and if I did not get them, then I had to pray, have faith and just believe for them to happen for me. As a result, I was not a very happy person. There was a constant battle going on in my head, and my life was one of complete duality.

    Now, I'd have to agree with Lisa. Hard, fun or exciting times, healthy or sick they are all just what they are--life, a beautiful, chaotic mess. And I guess what we do with it all is up to us.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today
    Last edited by Joyo; 11-17-2014 at 02:42 AM. Reason: grammatical error

  15. #15
    Daizan, I guess I mean just that kind of joy that isn't compensatory at all, just as you say, a lightness in going over completely into it. that grace of God that comes floating into life sometimes, entirely free of earned or owing.

    gassho, O, who, having sat, sits
    Last edited by Oheso; 11-17-2014 at 04:22 AM.
    and neither are they otherwise.


  16. #16
    I am too simple on this ...

    I seek to treat every day as a gift ... nothing I am entitled to, yet am endlessly grateful for.

    Most vitally ... this gratitude includes the sweet and the bitter, the health and the sickness, the gains and the losses.

    It is nothing more than what the world places in our begging bowls.

    gratitude & Great Gratitude

    A Buddha's Gratitude is Vast and Unlimited ... a Gratitude both for that which we love and that which we may not, a Treasure beyond yet holding mere "silver linings" "brass rings" and "lumps of coal". It is a Peace and Wholeness which transcends "pro vs. con", a Beauty which sees even the ugly times as "gorgeous day". We are grateful for life, for death, for health, for sickness .. each and all as Sacred. It is a Gratitude in the face of a cancer diagnosis, Gratitude that dances all disappointments, a Gratitude which comfortably holds even the tragedy of Syria or any other bloody field (a Gratitude that is Grateful, even as we seek to stop such tragedies in the world).

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...reat-Gratitude
    And don't forget that we must work to help all the Sentient Beings ... because they-we deserve that! As Troy said ...

    I think we owe it to treat others with dignity and respect. We owe our time and love to our family. We owe our community and really the world to tread lightly and to give something back that makes it a better place.
    Gassho, J

    SatToday (and Grateful for it!)
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-17-2014 at 04:46 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I am too simple on this ...

    I seek to treat every day as a gift ... nothing I am entitled to, yet am endlessly grateful for.
    I too like this Jundo, clear and simple. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #SatToday
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  18. #18
    Joyo
    Guest
    Thank you, Jundo. I also like this very much.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  19. #19
    Thank you, Jundo.


    Daizan
    Grateful for the whole beautiful painful messy wonder.

    Sat Today

  20. #20
    Like Jundo and Raindrop said - No entitlement

    Gassho
    Vincent

    Sat Today
    Ongen (音源) - Sound Source

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    This word popped out the other day when I was posting about care-giving, and it has lingered. It raised a question that I'd like to raise here. "Entitlement" here does not refer to social policy, I believe everyone is entitled to food, shelter, health care, and dignity. It refers to what this little self feels the world owes it. “I” am an expression of emptiness, boundless and needless, but I am also a body and mind, and person in/of the world. I asked the question "what do I feel entitled too?", "what does the world owe me?" ..and the honest answer is nothing. I am not entitled to anything. The world does not owe me any material thing. It does not owe support or care of any kind. It does not even owe me breath. Breath can be taken away any time and the thought “this isn't fair” has no place at all, no traction. It doesn't mean there is a feeling of worthlessness or wretchedness. The way my Christian mother-in-law would say it is that everything is granted by “the grace of God”. “I” am a temporary formation, a flame, a lust for life, and I will dissolve. I am not powerless to act and make change, but whatever power I have is not mine. A quote from some Rinpoche (kalu?) comes to mind “ When you realize you are nothing, you realize you are everything”.

    All this is just one practice and experiencing, and not a claim to Dharma, but it is very clear to this mind. I think the sense of entitlement is an interesting thing to look into

    So... my question is. What do you feel entitled to? What does the world.. Life... society.. owe you?

    Thanks

    Gassho
    Daizan
    Sat Today
    Seeing that 'I' is so limited, so painful, so full of dissatisfaction, who would ever want to live there?

  22. #22
    Hello,





    Gassho,
    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  23. #23
    My experience is similar to Joyo's. Now however, I suppose I am entitled to perceive the world through my senses and mind. To choose to cling excessively to things of failing consequence, or to let them go and watch beauty bloom and pass, appreciate what is there to experience and the intricacies of life. I am also entitled to give back should I so desire(or at least try).

    Gassho,
    Paul, sat today
    Paul

    Gassho,
    sat today

  24. #24
    Nindo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Heisoku View Post
    I guess we are entitled to our own suffering and by that argument we are also entitled to our own enlightenment.
    I like this. I was baffled by the original question.

    Gassho,
    Nindo

    sat today

  25. #25
    Every day I try to

    expect nothing
    give everything

    Some days are more successful than others!

    #satToday
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (Open Heart aka Matt)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin View Post
    Every day I try to

    expect nothing
    give everything

    Some days are more successful than others!

    #satToday
    I like that Kaishin. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  27. #27
    Daizan,

    That was one of the realizations I had right "before" I started practicing Zen. It came along with, "I'm choosing to be depressed." While we're owed nothing, what we're given we choose to view as we wish. More and more Zen seems to come down to a line from the Yellow Submarine movie. "It's all in the mind."

    Gassho, John
    Sat Today

  28. #28
    Hi John. That sure seems to be true. There is an objective element to immediate sense contact, the shape of a branch, a patch of blue,... it is what presents and it doesn't need to be made so. But any narrative at all, any story, is made by this mind , and it can be seen and dispelled. Every day is a new day. Every face is a fresh face. So I'll keep sitting.

    Gassho
    Daizan

    Sat Today

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