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Thread: How to be a Buddhist and not be taken advantage of.

  1. #1

    How to be a Buddhist and not be taken advantage of.

    At times recently I have been struggling with trying to live with my understanding of Buddhist thought/ethics/practice and those in Western society who may view those ideals as weakness.

    For a most recent example, I was waiting in line to buy cheese at the deli counter. It was obvious, at least to me, that there was a line and that I was next in it. When a worker was available and stated "who is next" another person said they were, when I corrected them they proceeded with their order as though I was not even there. Anger welled up along with some other emotions but I recognized them for what they were, wished that person had been more respectfully but was able to calm myself by thinking that I can not expect everyone to live by my philosophy and waited until another clerk was available.
    As I continued my journey through the supermarket though I could not let the feeling that I should have been more aggressive, should have stood up for myself more, and do have the right to expect that people in society will abide by some sore of societal norms and not everyone can be all about themselves. How do others who may have more experience or more time on the cushion than I deal with these sorts of things (stolen parking spots, line cutters, rudeness, etc.)?

    Now obviously I could just move on and forget this occurred and be just as happy tomorrow as if I spend anymore time thinking about it. However it has brought up many feelings of how I can or should behave as a Buddhist while trying to continue being a supervisor of mostly type A personalities, a father of three young children, and a husband/son/friend. My work group is about 48 people who are constantly looking and probing for any perceived weakness for them to take advantage of. My kids, like many kids, will take as much as they can get away with and push right up to (or sometimes over) the edge.

    I greatly appreciate any insights you can provide and look forward to any discussion this post may generate.

    Sat today.

  2. #2
    Hi Bluecat

    Sometimes we act with compassion by letting others have the space, place in the line or last cookie. Sometimes we act with compassion by setting appropriate boundaries and not letting others take more than we have to give or they need. Kindess does not equal being a pushover.

    I find it is good to remember that everyone is the product of their environment and modern culture in the west tends to emphasise putting yourself first in order to make sure you get what you want, even if that involves being less than kind to others. Do you want to follow that example or instead treat others with kindness? Sometimes our kindness will get taken advantage of but that is the way of life and as far as I am concerned, is better than not giving at all.

    Standing up for yourself can be good, standing up for others is almost always good. If this needs to be done it can be done with kindness with words such as "I am not sure you realised but I/this other person was next in the queue." Some battles are more worthwhile to fight over than others, though. Sometimes someone may just be having a bad day or be in a hurry for a reason we are unaware of. Other times it may be their standard way of being. People who are routinely rude to others are rarely happy in themselves and are acting from a place of lack. Regardless of whether we address this or not, it is likely that others will and their path through life will be less than easy.

    As HH Dalai Lama said - "If you want to be happy, practice compassion. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion." Along with that compassion it is good to remember that each situation should be dealt with on its own merits rather than always applying the same solution.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #satoday
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  3. #3
    Ditto on kokuu. that person may not have been aware you were next. We have been conditioned to be aggressive and competitive when in truth there are resources enough for everyone. When someone cuts me off, cuts in front etc. It just makes me smile 😊 but I still curse at reckless drivers 😒. The important point is to let it go and move on. Life is too wonderful.
    Also, I don't feel that Buddhist ethics and practice make me appear weak or act weak. There is always more time than we think.

    I think with more practice what's truly important becomes more apparent.

    SAT today
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

  4. #4
    Hello,

    As this is conditional, cause and effect truly rule. Letting go and and allowing that which forms can, sometimes, be a comfort; and karma makes you laugh.

    Every day is a good day.


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

  5. #5
    Hi Bluecat,

    Grow some balls and do what is right.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  6. #6
    My balls have gotten me in enough trouble, thanks though.

    What is right is what I am trying to uncover.

    Sat today

  7. #7
    Hi,

    I usually know what's right. I just lack the balls to do it though.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  8. #8
    Bleccchhh. Balls. Again?

    Happy Testicular Holidays, boys!

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today
    keeping my ovaries out of it for now
    Last edited by Byokan; 12-24-2015 at 10:17 PM.

  9. #9
    Happy Holidays Lisa!

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Happy Holidays Lisa!

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_



    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  11. #11
    LOL! Refraining from tempting jokes about Christmas balls.

    Bluecat, do you by any chance live on Long Island, NY? I moved out of there when I went to college but still have family on Western LI, so I go to visit. I have noticed when I go to the supermarket there and wait in the the deli line (actually "on" the deli line, if you are from LI) people sometimes purposely barge into the line the way you described, sometimes brazenly, in front of myself and others. Sometimes folks in the line say something, sometimes the counter person then asks for their number (with so many people they have to take a tag), sometimes they get away with it. I just chuckle and think that if it's that important to someone to be first in line, I'm glad to let them go, although I doubt somehow that it really brings them any joy. It also keeps me in appreciation of the little supermarket in my hometown in Upstate NY where everyone is usually courteous and friendly.

    Gassho,
    Sierra
    SatToday

  12. #12
    Some wonderful guidance here from our wise folks.

    I would just add that some things in the world may be worth being more assertive about than others. Maybe one should be assertive and outspoken about social injustice, global warming, ending a war, harm to one's children and the like, and maybe cheese and cole slaw at the deli is not so important. In the latter case, I might speak up politely and say, "excuse me, but people are in line", but I smile, say it politely without rudeness or anger, and try not to get worked up if they ignore me nonetheless. Anger should not be part of it in any case. (Of course, human beings are hard wired in the most primitive parts of our brain to react with anger at someone violating our "territory", but as Buddhist we should learn to quiet those fires before they burn too hot).

    For ending a war or social injustice, it is sometimes necessary to march, carry a bull horn and organize a boycott. While there is room for a certain disgust in the face of a serious social wrong, there is also no room for anger (how foolish to be "angry" in trying to end anger, violence and war! In fact, the calm and focused, but determined, social reformer will last longer than the "hot head" who burns out quickly).

    As a father of children, a manager of my small translation office or the manager of this Sangha's administrative affairs and training, I sometimes need to be firm too sometimes. Still, anger should not play a part. (If you read a lot of Dogen's writings such as the Zuimonki, you see a fellow sometimes needing to keep his monks in line as if herding cats! He was a tough cookie).

    Being a Zen guy does not mean one need be a total pushover.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-25-2015 at 03:55 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    Joyo
    Guest
    As Kokuu said, we can still be acting with compassion by setting appropriate boundaries. I found a Buddhist term one time "idiot compassion" that meant exactly how it sounds, too compassionate, basically being a pushover. So just make sure you pick your battles wisely, something are just worth letting go, and others not so much.

    This is a lifelong thing. It's part of practice and I'm sure I'm not the only one who makes mistakes in this area, and learns along the way, so be kind to yourself. =)

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    just sat

  14. #14
    Happens that I thought of this thread today as I started to get edgy when someone cut ahead of me for a parking space at the grocery.

    Felt it welling up, let it go ... smiled at the person ... found another space.

    In Buddha's Parking Lot, space for everyone!

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    Mp
    Guest
    I have a similar story ... heading off to class go Tim Hortons for a coffee, sitting in line waiting my turn in the drive through. Just as it's my turn this guy pulls right in front. I too was like, "hey, what are you doing"? Got me a bit ruffed under the feathers until I get up to the pay window, low and behold the guy paid for my coffee an told them to pass on a sorry, as he didn't see me there. Then as I was driving to class I saw him in his truck, he noticed me, a tip of our coffees, a smile, and all was good.

    The thing I learned most from that was not all things are was they seem ... it was a dark morning, he may not have seen me. He might have been late for work and his boss might not be as forgiving. We all make mistakes, it is what we do with those mistakes that matters. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday #hohoho

  16. #16
    Eishuu
    Guest
    I can really relate to things not being as they seem, as Shingen says. Quite a few times recently I have taken things personally, misinterpreted people's intentions, and got angry or upset - more to do with my mental state. And then it has turned out that whatever intent I had imagined wasn't really there - things were badly worded or people were busy or struggling.

    I recently heard a story I found really useful and that I try to bring to mind when I am getting angry...I think it might have been in a Peter Matthiessen book or maybe it was on Treeleaf. Basically a man is out on a lake in a boat one morning, and another boat appears and starts heading towards him really fast. He gets really angry and starts shouting at the boat, standing up and shaking his fist at it. It smashes right into him and then he sees it is actually an empty boat. Whilst I probably don't appreciate the full depth of the story I do find it really helpful in letting go of anger.

    I haven't studied Buddhist ethics for a while but from what I understand it is the emotion or motivation that is important...so the same action could be done but if it's coming from compassion and wisdom it's different to if it's coming from anger and delusion. I think maybe I need to brush up on this and read some zen books on ethics.

    Gassho
    Lucy
    Sat today

  17. #17
    I think Jishin is just kidding. Certainly "balls" have caused most of the problems in this world!

    But his sentiment has truth. You can be assertive without being angry or aggressive. But some people are just naturally angry and aggressive. Lots of stories of angry Zen masters! Kodo Sawaki was certainly no pushovers. I'm sure he would have intimidated me.

    So, I guess what I try to do is be assertive, but leave the anger behind as much as possible.
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  18. #18
    Member Getchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Between Sea and Sky, Australia.
    Wow, this happens so often to me I cant even count.

    We live in a beautiful area that triples in population over Summer (Xmas/ NYE), and though I dont like to over-generalise, most seem to be very busy people who have no time for things like courtesy, or basic road rules.

    Its a bit hectic, and its the hottest time of year AND everyone is angling for that last parking space/ ham/ kilo of prawns etc.

    Honestly? Theres nothing my anger can change that my smile can't - and why would I want my hard-won state of mind to be blown about by someone who probably knows exactly what they just did but has done it so long they just think its not a big problem?

    I feel angry, but just like with my kids I think "they don't know any better, if they had just a taste of this freedom they could'nt be so onerous to there fellow peoples." Except with my kids, I know there little brains havent fully developed and so I have hope lol.

    Guess what im saying is that being buddhist/hindu/martian probably has very little to do with how people will treat you, its all surface appearance. What they will respect is firm boundaries. Listen to Jundo and decide what is worth fighting for, and what is just a great opportunity to be free!. I say all this because I used to be like that, and I feel sorry for those people and wish they could find there own freedom.



    Thankyou for all the tips guys, IMO its boredom and frustration that are teh biggest challenges.


    Geoff,
    a student.

    SatToday.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin View Post
    I think Jishin is just kidding. Certainly "balls" have caused most of the problems in this world!


    Nothing wrong with big balls.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  20. #20
    I think perhaps it stems from people getting far too wrapped up in "should be's"; we seem to get fixated to ideas that "X should be Y", and that when X turns out not to be Y we become upset, angry, anxious etc (ie. experience Dhukka), using Bluecat's example most people feel that others shouldn't jump the line and so when people do they are no longer adhering to our world view and so we become angry. On the flipside, perhaps that individual felt he should have jumped the queue, for whatever reasons they may have felt justified their action.

    However, if we are able to get past our "should be's" and come to understand and accept that X is fine being X and doesn't need to be Y (ie. accepting things just as they are, in their thusness) we free ourselves from the inevitable Dhukka that comes from resisting X being X. Going further, once we gain an intuitive insight into emptiness we are also able to see that X and Y are not separate, that X is X, is Y, and also Z, and is in fact the whole alphabet, without separation, yet remaining distinct.

    If we can realise this we can also realise that X and Y are just projections of our minds and that the alphabet doesn't exist as the alphabet, it's something more than that yet is nothing more than the alphabet, we just call it an alphabet.

    I feel if we are able to let go of "should" and let things just be as they are without labels, judgements and distinctions(which is the core of our practice) we can just observe the actions of others, smile and let it go. After all, why suffer because of our own views of how others "should" behave? Or on what we believe is "right" or "wrong"?

    Sorry I think I rambled on for too long and didn't say anything overly relevant

    Gassho

    Ryan

    Sat today
    Breathe...Relax...Let Go...

  21. #21
    Joyo
    Guest
    That was really insightful, Ryan. Thank you for sharing.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  22. #22
    I agree!! That's it in a nutshell. The more you can step back and catch the "shoulds" in your head the more awake you are and the less relevant and lasting the accompanying emotions become.

    Gassho,
    Sierra
    SatToday

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan379 View Post
    I think perhaps it stems from people getting far too wrapped up in "should be's"; we seem to get fixated to ideas that "X should be Y", and that when X turns out not to be Y we become upset, angry, anxious etc (ie. experience Dhukka), using Bluecat's example most people feel that others shouldn't jump the line and so when people do they are no longer adhering to our world view and so we become angry. On the flipside, perhaps that individual felt he should have jumped the queue, for whatever reasons they may have felt justified their action.

    However, if we are able to get past our "should be's" and come to understand and accept that X is fine being X and doesn't need to be Y (ie. accepting things just as they are, in their thusness) we free ourselves from the inevitable Dhukka that comes from resisting X being X. Going further, once we gain an intuitive insight into emptiness we are also able to see that X and Y are not separate, that X is X, is Y, and also Z, and is in fact the whole alphabet, without separation, yet remaining distinct.

    If we can realise this we can also realise that X and Y are just projections of our minds and that the alphabet doesn't exist as the alphabet, it's something more than that yet is nothing more than the alphabet, we just call it an alphabet.

    I feel if we are able to let go of "should" and let things just be as they are without labels, judgements and distinctions(which is the core of our practice) we can just observe the actions of others, smile and let it go. After all, why suffer because of our own views of how others "should" behave? Or on what we believe is "right" or "wrong"?

    Sorry I think I rambled on for too long and didn't say anything overly relevant

    Gassho

    Ryan

    Sat today
    Hi Ryan,

    This X and Y is pretty much how I try to explain "Dukkha" to folks ...

    Buddha-Basics (Part I) — Scooby Dooby Dukkha
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...y-Dooby-Dukkha

    Buddha-Basics (Part II) — Noble Truths
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...7-Noble-Truths

    Our “dissatisfaction,” “disappointment,”‘ “unease” and “frustration” — Dukkha — arises as a state of mind, as our demands and wishes for how things “should be” or “if only would be for life to be content” differ from”the way things are.” Your “self” wishes this world to be X, yet this world is not X. That wide gap of “self” and “not self” is the source of Dukkha.
    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  24. #24
    Thanks Jundo, I always aim to take your teachings on board

    I actually came across your post Playing with Fire today and found it very apt

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ying-With-Fire

    Gassho

    Ryan

    Sat Today
    Breathe...Relax...Let Go...

  25. #25
    Read this and thought it might be appropriate

    Inclination of mind
    Others will be cruel; we shall not be cruel. Thus, one should incline the mind.
    Others will kill living beings; we shall abstain from killing living beings. Thus, one should incline the mind.
    Others will take what is not given; we shall abstain from taking what is not given. Thus, one should incline the mind.
    Others will engage in inappropriate sexuality, we shall abstain from inappropriate sexuality. Thus, one should incline the mind.
    Others will speak falsehoods; we shall abstain from false speech. Thus, one should incline the mind.
    Others will speak maliciously; we shall abstain from malicious speech. Thus, one should incline the mind.
    Others will gossip; we shall abstain from gossip. Thus, one should incline the mind.
    Others will be envious; we shall not be envious. Thus, one should incline the mind.
    Others will be avaricious; we shall not be avaricious. Thus, one should incline the mind.
    Others will be fraudulent; we shall not be fraudulent. Thus, one should incline the mind.
    Others will be arrogant; we shall not be arrogant. Thus, one should incline the mind.
    Others will be unmindful; we shall be established in mindfulness. Thus, one should incline the mind.
    Others will lack wisdom; we shall cultivate wisdom. Thus, one should incline the mind.

    - adapted from the Majjhima Nikaya, translated by Nanamoli and Bodhi, from Teachings of the Buddha by Jack Kornfield
    Gassho

    Ryan

    Sat Today
    Breathe...Relax...Let Go...

  26. #26
    In contemporary western culture, the 'helpful' are often the subserviant. I'm willing to bend over backwards for situations regarding helping someone meet nessesities and nooo further.

    Lost the most basic reins on life that impede your ability to stay alive and i can help somehow without endangering my own ability to meet nessesities? No problem. Want 'help' constructing an above nessesities life/empire to help you chase indulgences I wouldn't chase myself? No and if they get pushy, I curb their enthusiasm by giving the impermanence, gold looses its luster, actions for or against interdependent well being "speech" to spell out why I don't care to help and passively hint at how this is not only a futile attempt at happiness but greedy and self serving. If they say I'm getting preachy I point out that I don't care if they climb up a tree I see as fruitless, I just will not be joining them.

    noble eightfold path understanding and application here is key. I do *gasp* judge which request for assistance is noble assistance and which is worldly assistance.

    Being a buddhist is doing what is right and elaborating on when needed as to why you won't simply be a people pleaser, saying yes to whatever request. Also passively turns a dominering against yours, theirs and others well being attempt into a natural occasion to discuss buddhist views without yourself being a domineering, obnoxiously pointificating secular or spiritual annoyance.


    Sent from my SCH-R530M using Tapatalk
    A fine line separates the weary recluse from the fearful hermit. Finer still is the line between hermit and bitter misanthrope. - Dean Koontz

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra529 View Post
    LOL! Refraining from tempting jokes about Christmas balls.

    Bluecat, do you by any chance live on Long Island, NY? I moved out of there when I went to college but still have family on Western LI, so I go to visit. I have noticed when I go to the supermarket there and wait in the the deli line (actually "on" the deli line, if you are from LI) people sometimes purposely barge into the line the way you described, sometimes brazenly, in front of myself and others. Sometimes folks in the line say something, sometimes the counter person then asks for their number (with so many people they have to take a tag), sometimes they get away with it. I just chuckle and think that if it's that important to someone to be first in line, I'm glad to let them go, although I doubt somehow that it really brings them any joy. It also keeps me in appreciation of the little supermarket in my hometown in Upstate NY where everyone is usually courteous and friendly.

    Gassho,
    Sierra
    SatToday
    Hi Sierra,

    I grew up on Long Island and spent over 30 years there, actually spent too many of my teenage years on the other side of the deli counter helping those on the deli line. Sadly I have not found a nice town in upstate NY where courteous behavior is the norm rather than an exception. I guess LI attitudes aren't restrained to just LI like I had heard so often growing up. People are people, doesn't matter if they are in Georgia or NY you are going to have rudeness, brazen bullies, etc. wherever.

    Just a challenge to deal with at times for me and an area where I can use some advice to refrain from letting anger get the best of me.

    Sat today

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan379 View Post
    I think perhaps it stems from people getting far too wrapped up in "should be's"; we seem to get fixated to ideas that "X should be Y", and that when X turns out not to be Y we become upset, angry, anxious etc (ie. experience Dhukka), using Bluecat's example most people feel that others shouldn't jump the line and so when people do they are no longer adhering to our world view and so we become angry. On the flipside, perhaps that individual felt he should have jumped the queue, for whatever reasons they may have felt justified their action.

    However, if we are able to get past our "should be's" and come to understand and accept that X is fine being X and doesn't need to be Y (ie. accepting things just as they are, in their thusness) we free ourselves from the inevitable Dhukka that comes from resisting X being X. Going further, once we gain an intuitive insight into emptiness we are also able to see that X and Y are not separate, that X is X, is Y, and also Z, and is in fact the whole alphabet, without separation, yet remaining distinct.

    If we can realise this we can also realise that X and Y are just projections of our minds and that the alphabet doesn't exist as the alphabet, it's something more than that yet is nothing more than the alphabet, we just call it an alphabet.

    I feel if we are able to let go of "should" and let things just be as they are without labels, judgements and distinctions(which is the core of our practice) we can just observe the actions of others, smile and let it go. After all, why suffer because of our own views of how others "should" behave? Or on what we believe is "right" or "wrong"?

    Sorry I think I rambled on for too long and didn't say anything overly relevant

    Gassho

    Ryan

    Sat today
    Thank you Ryan, this is very insightful and relevant.

    Sat today.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Ryan,

    This X and Y is pretty much how I try to explain "Dukkha" to folks ...

    Buddha-Basics (Part I) Scooby Dooby Dukkha
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...y-Dooby-Dukkha

    Buddha-Basics (Part II) Noble Truths
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...7-Noble-Truths



    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Jundo,

    The let x be x point seems to me to potentially conflict with only a narrow set of issues relating to nessesities.

    If I'm hungry for example I'd eat and want hunger to be satiated, literal thirst to be quenched. I see it as let whatever be short of my "personal" and "other" bare minimum well-being being impeded at which point action actually turns into a must if there are actions to take and only accept my lack of nessesities when stuck in some proverbial desert and accept the end approching, hopefully not retaining any reminant grasping at life nessesities when there are none after death should reincarnation be real and I cause another rebirth from the grasping.

    This is the best logical understanding I have thusfar as to how "nirvana with reminants"/life with body and nessesities remaining and "paranirvana"/death with complete nirvana and no further grasping.

    This view has settled into a steadiness that internal critique has found no holes in for a while and I'm curious if you have any input.

    Metta,
    Greg

    sattoday

    Sent from my SCH-R530M using Tapatalk
    A fine line separates the weary recluse from the fearful hermit. Finer still is the line between hermit and bitter misanthrope. - Dean Koontz

  30. #30
    Feeling a little called to chime in here.
    There is a list of 4 things in the martial arts called the Ethics of Defense in Combat.
    From lowest to highest, in goes something like this ...in a nutshell...
    The lowest form, one person attacks another and kills them, unprovoked.
    Next, one person provokes another, to cause the other person to attack (grocery line?).
    Next, one person attacks, and the other defends himself (basically what is accepted in society...self-fedense)
    But...the highest form, would be to defend oneself in a way, without causing yourself OR YOU ATTACKER, any harm.
    Difficult, but do-able.

    Many people now have carry and conceal weapons on them. Should you shoot someone? Hopefully not. We don't aspire to harm any living beings.
    Do you have car insurance? Hopefully so, but you hope you never have to use it, but it's nice to have just in case you do need it.

    Same with a carry and conceal gun. Same with studying the martial arts, and perhaps the same in our studies and sitting.

    We train, and prepare ourselves for this life and the next. We train to be assets to society and to help one another.

    Ive studied the martial arts over 46 years, and people ask me how often I train. I tell them...every day. I use something I have learned, either dealing with people, being aware, breathing, etc...every day.

    i think, that when we sit, we prepare ourselves for our practice of what we bring to others every day, and what we bring to ourselves......be it everything ... Or nothing.

    Thoughts?

    Gassho my friends

    Frank

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by GregJanL View Post
    Jundo,

    The let x be x point seems to me to potentially conflict with only a narrow set of issues relating to nessesities.

    If I'm hungry for example I'd eat and want hunger to be satiated, literal thirst to be quenched. I see it as let whatever be short of my "personal" and "other" bare minimum well-being being impeded at which point action actually turns into a must if there are actions to take and only accept my lack of nessesities when stuck in some proverbial desert and accept the end approching, hopefully not retaining any reminant grasping at life nessesities when there are none after death should reincarnation be real and I cause another rebirth from the grasping.

    This is the best logical understanding I have thusfar as to how "nirvana with reminants"/life with body and nessesities remaining and "paranirvana"/death with complete nirvana and no further grasping.

    This view has settled into a steadiness that internal critique has found no holes in for a while and I'm curious if you have any input.

    Metta,
    Greg

    sattoday

    Sent from my SCH-R530M using Tapatalk
    Hi Greg,

    If I understand, the Buddha also ate and slept and "desired" to teach Buddhism and walk around India. Moderate, balanced, healthy desires are not usually the problem (assuming, of course, that one is not being starved unwillingly or on a desert island). It is really only excess and unhealthy, harmful desires that are the problem, causing greed and attachment, frustration, anger, jealousy, fear and the like.

    In that way, desires are much like fire ... in small quantities, well managed and well timed, fire provides warmth and heat to cook our food ... in excess it burns down the house or the whole forest.

    I happen to believe, by the way, that the Buddha's structure of his Sangha Community, including his recommendation to lay folks, met most of Maslow's basic needs ...

    By the way, psychologist Abraham Maslow has his famous pyramid of basic human needs which, when fulfilled, allow us to be "self-actualized" at the top.



    I have always felt that there is something to this. We all need basic food, shelter, safety and security, friendship, a sense of connection, etc. I believe that, since the Buddha's time, the "Buddhist Lifestyle" has been geared to fulfilling such needs. Also, we learn to keep excess needs and desires in check (for things we may hunger for, but which are ultimately harmful or far beyond what we truly need. An Oryoki eating bowl means to receive "just enough"). The peace I feel, even in the face of death, provides the ultimate sense of safety and security. A sense of "self-worth" comes both when we realize that there never was quite a "self" from the start, yet also that all little "selfs" of the world shine like jewels on a great chain, each their place in the sun. What Maslow described as the "self-actualization" at the peak of the pyramid (perhaps "non-self actualization" in Buddhist terms ) includes an "appreciation of solitude", but also "deeper personal relations with a few close friends and family members" ... a tendency "to view the world with a continual sense of appreciation, wonder and awe, yet even simple experiences continue to be a source of inspiration and pleasure" ... a heightened "sense of personal responsibility and ethics" ... and a tendency to "peak experiences, or moments of intense joy, wonder, awe and ecstasy. After these experiences, people feel inspired, strengthened, renewed or transformed".

    http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/Maslow.html

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...-actualization

    I am not a psychologist, but I have always felt that there is something to this, and that Zen Practice points such way.
    Your story also reminded me of this old classic ... the tigers and the strawberry ...

    https://www.storyarts.org/library/nu...trawberry.html

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  32. #32
    Jundo,

    Seems fair enough, and I generally also have that nessesities pyramid in mind when I relate to life these days.

    The strawberry story is something I read before and could never quite "get" the point. It's really a wonderful point however, to be so graceful even in the most imminent peril of death is why I grew to see so much in teachings and practices that have no gross impact on anything in life, yet they do. The guy hanging off the cliff without hesitation absorbed himself in x no longer being able to be anything but x in that situation, his soon to come death and was able to enjoy his last moment fully eating a berry when there was nothing left to do rather then throwing a pointless life clinging fit when more life was as unrealistic as winning a big jackpot lottery many times over.

    It's a really inspiring story of clear sanity and composure that motivates me to continue doing myself the favor of taking buddhism seriously and really grow into the "sitting like a mountain" frame of existence in all my happenings.

    Thank you for continuing to host this online zendo, it is a enormous relief not having to sort through second and third hand online information. I might not be a mountain yet but I do feel I'm not a dry leaf getting blown around at the slightest wind anymore.

    Metta,
    Greg

    sattoday

    Sent from my SCH-R530M using Tapatalk
    A fine line separates the weary recluse from the fearful hermit. Finer still is the line between hermit and bitter misanthrope. - Dean Koontz

  33. #33
    I stand in line and another person seems to stand in his own line. The right line is only in my mind. If I become angry about this, then I am weakened.

    SAT2day
    Kind regards

    Erik

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik de Heiden View Post
    I stand in line and another person seems to stand in his own line. The right line is only in my mind. If I become angry about this, then I am weakened.

    SAT2day


    Gassho

    Ryan

    Sat Today
    Breathe...Relax...Let Go...

  35. #35
    I haven't posted much lately; I've been on vacation for the holidays, and I've been kind of laying low after Ango.

    So anyway, I feel compelled to post here even though I think Kokuu and Jundo really speaks to my heart. But I'm compelled. hahaha

    I'm compelled because I think we can either fall into the form or emptiness "sides". Even though Form is absolutely Emptiness and vice versa. And Form is Form and Emptiness is Emptiness, I don't think we always live with that, and I don't think we always speak to that insight and realization. And I think when we cling to Emptiness, it turns Zen into something its not, which is a passive accept things as they are - it can make it "heady", up in the clouds, etc; if we cling to Form - I think this is more my conventional approach to things before finding Zen: it's the opposite, we grasp at how we see things as the only way, solid, unchanging, etc. But if we transcend these, zen shows us how to live alive and engaged. It's real, living, it's not some passive "dead fish" philosophy. It's certainly extremely practical; it's right here!

    I should probably be posting this in the "Opening the Hand of Thought" but I think I find this compelling because I've been asking myself this type of question a lot. I think this question of "How to apply Buddhism to my life, marital problems...." is so important. Why did Bodhidharma come from the West? It's the same question. It's about how to make this practice real in my life. When Uchiyama Roshi talks about finding a true way to live. That's what this question is about to me also. So even though it seems a very innocuous question about how to deal with a real world situation using Buddhism, I think it gets to the core of practice; at least for me, this is one of the most important questions I ask myself -- I tend to ask myself this a lot after Ango for some reason.

    I have these ideals of Zen practice: Ryokan, Dogen, these heroes, these ideas of these people and how it was to live as a monk. Then I look at my life, and I feel like a failure. Yes, it's a weird pattern of thought and I'm sorry for rambling but this thread has opened this up. lol So anyway, I start resenting my practice because I don't know how to live like that. So I just have to drop that thought; they are inane thoughts from my ego. So that's my answer; practice is alive here, we need to figure out how to make it alive. So don't come at it like how do I do this as a Buddhist? Buddhist, or whatever label doesn't matter; just live in a genuine, true way. And I think practice is a compass pointing to that.

    So, anyway, right, the only line is in my mind. Lines, language, money are human creations in a way. So there is no line, the absolute. But we live in a world of form, where we use and create things to allow us to communicate, so those lines that are imagined are also very real. They point to things that are real anyway, things that allow us to interact with the universe and each other. As Dogen states, and I'm paraphrasing, you can't eat a painted rice cake, but those painted rice cakes can fulfill your hunger.

    I mean green light, red light, both are the same in the vastness of blah blah blah, but you better adhere to the rules of the road or someone will get hurt.

    Because it's not just emptiness. It's form too. Both are the same. So in the end, right, I mean it's just a line and someone cuts in front of you, just say something, and if the person is having a bad day or really wants to get "ahead", if that's important, I mean we're waiting for lunch meat; in the big scheme of things not a big deal.

    I think it's just important to remember, and this is just my personal experience/I'm just a newer sitter, that even though we drop all thoughts of going anywhere, although we drop all divisions, that does not mean passively lying down and living in la la land. To paraphrase Jundo, that dropping is a very, very powerful thing beyond emptiness and form. To sit without a goal is not zombie zen; it's "magic" for lack of a better word.

    We live in this world, so although (and to quote/paraphrase Dogen again from Nishijima/Cross translation of Genjokoan):

    As all things are Buddha-dharma, there are grocery store lines, lights and language and monetary systems, enlightened beings and fools.

    When the myriad dharmas are each not of the self, there are no lines or language or monetary systems.

    The Buddha’s truth is originally transcendent over abundance and scarcity, and so there are these things! There are these things. But perhaps experienced differently from this perspective.
    Happy New Year and Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday
    Last edited by Risho; 01-04-2016 at 07:10 PM.

  36. #36
    I agree with both Ryan and Risho. Ryan in that yes, ultimately this "should" thinking is meaningless, so we should let it go. But as Risho points out, we live in the phenomenal, relative world, so "shoulda" are important. Yes, cutting in line is trivial, but this line of "no consequence" thinking is a slippery slope that could lead to passivity in the face of more serious situations.

    So... I think we should realize what Ryan says, have a chuckle to ourselves for the ultimate pettiness of the issue, BUT then say, "Hey, buddy, there's a line here..."

    I wouldn't let it go, but again you can be assertive without being an asshole.

    -satToday

    P.s. Sorry if I'm misinterpreting someone
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  37. #37
    I agree with you Risho and Kaishin

    I feel the challenge is, as Risho says, how do we apply Zen and Buddhism to our lives? What is the best way to live in the world without becoming ensnared by forms or becoming lost in emptiness? How do we transcend both of these to live the middle way? How do we discern when it is best to let something go and when it is necessary to take action?

    My best guess is to follow the Precepts, sit Zazen, and understand the perfection of wisdom as best we can

    Gassho

    Ryan

    Sat Today
    Last edited by Ryan379; 01-05-2016 at 12:40 PM.
    Breathe...Relax...Let Go...

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan379 View Post
    I agree with you Risho and Kaishin

    I feel the challenge is, as Risho says, how do we apply Zen and Buddhism to our lives? What is the best way to live in the world without becoming ensnared by forms or becoming lost in emptiness? How do we transcend both of these to live the middle way? How do we discern when it is best to let something go and when it is necessary to take action?

    My best guess is to follow the Precepts, sit Zazen, and understand the perfection of wisdom as best we can

    Gassho

    Ryan

    Sat Today
    Hi all,

    Yes, I think sitting zazen and taking refuge in the Triple Jewel and living by the precepts is how we get to be Buddhists in a world where abusive people seem to be more by the day.

    But being a Buddhist doesn't mean we allow others to step on our backs. The way I see it, we must live our practice. We must be compassionate and giving all the time. But we also have to take care of ourselves, our families and jobs. All without being attached to desire.

    It seems overwhelming at first, but the more we sit and read the dharma, the easier it gets as years go by. The thing is we can't push things or be in the urgency mind set.

    Things will happen when they need to happen or when we are ready for them. Sometimes we also have to work hard for getting things done. But over all, this practice teaches us to be patient and diligent.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  39. #39
    Thank you Kyonin

    Just one more from me (promise!)

    How can we best bring the Zazen mind from the cushion into our everyday lives? How best can we live a shikantaza life?

    Edit: I found an answer from Jundo here: http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ful-of-mindful

    Gassho

    Ryan

    Sat Today
    Last edited by Ryan379; 01-05-2016 at 06:26 PM.
    Breathe...Relax...Let Go...

  40. #40
    Hi there,

    just a thought,

    it's really easy to confuse compassion with non-action - the slippery slope to relativism.

    To be a caring human being (we don't need to stick the label 'Buddhist' on this) we need to be focused and attentive and carefully use our
    energy to attend to situations that call for intervention. I probably might not bother about someone cutting in line though it would possibly inwardly irritate me.

    When people are acting in a way that feels annoying to me - or really out of line with my value system, I try to check out with myself whether I don't
    also act out the same sort of behaviour without consciously realising it - or at least have the same inner impulses that are just under tighter control. Invariably
    I find that I do.

    I then have to work on my irritation that if I can put work into trying to be a better human why can't others This is the slippery slope to being a pain in the
    butt 'born again' I'm a really nice person thing !


    None of the above leads to compassion or real tolerance. I would suggest that real compassion comes from accepting that even the worst acts that human beings
    are capable of are primarily a statement about that individual's inner life - so the worse the act the sadder the statement.


    We don't need to sink into relativism and we don't need to be overtly judgemental - we just need to cultivate wisdom and know when to take clear action and when to let something go.

    It's a tall order.

    Gassho

    Willow

    sat today
    Last edited by Jinyo; 01-05-2016 at 03:40 PM.

  41. #41
    Hello all
    Such a great discussion from a simple everyday event! It prompted memories of the time-pressed anger that used to arrive in me at the smallest infringement of MY (most important) world. I laugh and feel sorry for that person, since time and sitting has eroded all that feeling of importance of my world and ME.
    So what changed...wasn't time or getting older. Well I did started sitting. And in daily sitting something did change. Not something you notice every day but something that drips and seeps, not into you but out. A letting go of mind stuff, while retaining nature stuff. Like that poem about plum blossoms, 'balding the head' and a 'hard cold rubbing the nostril'.
    Where I am now is maybe a decade passed that angry fellow, who pushes into parking spaces, but I see the change. I can see the weather and the seasons, I feel the breeze in my face when I go to work and my mind has space for the people I meet, in whatever mood they are in. And I am grateful, and can actually smile, as this is a much 'greater' place to be. Just sit.
    Gassho Heisoku
    Sat today


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Heisoku 平 息
    Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

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