If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby Ayu » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:01 am

I'm in a discussion with a person about ethical conduct and non-violence.
Often I have only the choice between
a) telling him my honest thoughts about his furious thinking, speaking and acting or
b) keeping silent.
In case a) he feels offended, while case b) is something like maximum penalty, because he has not much buddhist friends, maybe even none, but I feel he needs this discussions desperately.

Now, when he feels offended, he beats back. The dernier cri is he tries to discuss about my spiritual buddhist daily practice. He tries to put me down to have advantage over me, and I see here it becomes difficult for me. Maybe now I have said all that had to be said and should keep him alone with this. Or am I running away?
But I see/feel: my practice is mine. It's nearly the only thing, that is mine and important in this crazy world. I should not let him spoil my energy. Is that understandable? If I discuss if my practice is useful or not, it will spoil the inspiration unconciously. I experienced that already and it took me much painful time to restore the contact to the deepness of my practice.

I think, I am not yet strong enough for such discussions and have to protect myself. On the other hand I have the avid desire to help him and not neglect him as he is a suffering being.

Has anybody similar experiences?
Last edited by Ayu on Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: If sb. tries to disturb your practice

Postby Simon E. » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:08 am

sb means what ?
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Re: If sb. tries to disturb your practice

Postby Ayu » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:12 am

Simon E. wrote:sb means what ?


Oh, sorry, I thought it is the shortcut for "somebody". I edited it now.
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From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby Soar » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:02 am

I think you are more or less on this track already, so maybe you know this, anyway:

Protecting yourself and helping him are not two things in contridication.

If you are helping him properly and assertively you will also be protecting yourself and actually boosting your practise and benefiting yourself. Compassion should make you feel stronger and happier otherwise we have slipped into something else unawares. So we need to stay very awake to what actually is going on in us and others in the difficult parts of relationships. Not always so easy, but thats why we need to study and practise to take our capacity to the next level.

Really I am sure this is the key to this problem, although not so sure if I explained it well! The Dalai Lama is excellent for making this very clear. It is a very common misunderstanding.

Also dont worry about losing how your practise was before. You can already do that and stabilsed at that level. So now these are challenges to take your practise to something else or new levels. Your practise is to help your life and how you live the rest of the time. Not the other way around.

Many, many times I felt that way with my practise until I realised that actually these were good things for the way I practised, challenge's to make it evolve, maybe find new practises or new ways of doing them etc.

You seem very ready for this to me, you write well and clearly about the issues invloved, so have more confidence.
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Re: If sb. tries to disturb your practice

Postby Simon E. » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:41 am

Ayu wrote:
Simon E. wrote:sb means what ?


Oh, sorry, I thought it is the shortcut for "somebody". I edited it now.



OK thanks.

:namaste:
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby Simon E. » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:49 am

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche used to say that he had noticed among westerners that if someone began to take an interest in Dharma sometimes their family/partners became very threatened by this and would sabotage.
He said that it was a very important lesson in patience..walking a tightrope between maintaining the relationship AND maintaining the practice.
He said it could be done but required lots of diplomacy.
He would give the example of his in-laws. who were very unhappy about their daughter marrying a Tibetan Buddhist teacher.. :o

Realistically of course the tightrope may be too tricky to walk...in which case a choice has to be made about which to prioritise..Dharma or relationship.
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby Ayu » Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:49 pm

Thank you both. :namaste:

Soar wrote:....
Protecting yourself and helping him are not two things in contridication. ....

You explained this very well further on. Sounds like this could be a missing link and I want to explore on this in the near term. :smile:

Simon E. wrote:...
He said that it was a very important lesson in patience..walking a tightrope between maintaining the relationship AND maintaining the practice.

This seems to be the same suggestion in other words.


Simon E. wrote:Realistically of course the tightrope may be too tricky to walk...in which case a choice has to be made about which to prioritise..Dharma or relationship.

Yes, this may be the simplest solution. But it could be possibly the best and only to stopp the discussion, if my preaches about non-violence are only disgruntling for him. That's like trying to dry something with a shower.
We will see what will be in this for us. :popcorn:
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby seeker242 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:16 pm

Abhaya Sutta: To Prince Abhaya
(On Right Speech)

The criteria for deciding what is worth saying

[1] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.


[4] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."

— MN 58


Getting "the sense of the proper time" I think that is the tricky part! Trying to gauge whether or not something will be beneficial, that's a bit easier IMO.

:namaste:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby LastLegend » Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:13 am

I am confused. Does he deliberately try to disturb you? Or that his behavior bothers you?
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby Ayu » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:32 am

LastLegend wrote:I am confused. Does he deliberately try to disturb you? Or that his behavior bothers you?

Good question. I don't know. I thought about that long time and I concluded that these are unconcious processes on both sides.
But actually it's all perception, and I can never judge what is real... The main questions for me are:
How does his behavior affect me? And how do I handle that?
He tries to manipulate, conciously or unconciously I can not say. But this is not pertinent, because I'm not looking for who is guilty. I'm just looking for the best way to serve the dharma. Very confusing for me sometimes.

Thank you, seeker242. This sutra is a good handrail.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby LastLegend » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:39 am

I don't have the skills to seek out people to help them. So personally, I avoid certain people.

If meets a poet, give a poem.
If meet a swordsman, give a sword.

This works for me.
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby Ayu » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:54 am

LastLegend wrote:I don't have the skills to seek out people to help them. So personally, I avoid certain people.

If meets a poet, give a poem.
If meet a swordsman, give a sword.

This works for me.

:smile: Sounds simple. Winsome.
But I didn't seek out to help him - we met and now he's hanging around my neck. A desperate, lonesome, ingenious, malicious mind...
And a Bodhisattva would not give the sword to a swordsman, because nothing could ever improve in this way.
:thinking: I think, I will do nothing anymore. Everything is said and there is no need to tell him these things twice.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby LastLegend » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:06 am

I don't know how it works for you. For me, I guess you can call it intuition. When meeting people (as arranged by conditions) who need help and I think I can provide, I would go for it. Otherwise, I am very wary and keep my boundaries. I don't think that I can help anybody. This is how I understand, if meet a poet, give a poem; if meet a swordsman, give a sword. This applies to offering Dharma, I think.
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby Ayu » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:53 am

LastLegend wrote:I don't know how it works for you. For me, I guess you can call it intuition. When meeting people (as arranged by conditions) who need help and I think I can provide, I would go for it. Otherwise, I am very wary and keep my boundaries. I don't think that I can help anybody. This is how I understand, if meet a poet, give a poem; if meet a swordsman, give a sword. This applies to offering Dharma, I think.

Okay. I agree.
I was following my intuition also to allow the contact with this person. That was good for some time. Now the things changed, he is becomming more and more aggressive. The conditions changed. Now at this time, I think, I need more reason and good Dharma-practice to come through.

Good to write about this here. It's getting clearer. :smile: This forum is a precious jewel.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby theanarchist » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:07 am

Ayu wrote:I think, I am not yet strong enough for such discussions and have to protect myself. On the other hand I have the avid desire to help him and not neglect him as he is a suffering being.

Has anybody similar experiences?



This is the behaviour of someone who has severe emotional problems, maybe even at a psychiatrically relevant level. Sounds like his problem has a strong narcissistic component and in those cases you simply can't do anything to help him, because if you allow them they will only use you for their own ends, walking all over you and if they feel ciritzised you are automatically the enemy and get attacked. Whatever you do, it will always contribute to their personal trip.

My advice, be polite and keep away,particularly if you are not stable enough to not get emotionally entangled when you are at the receiving end of this sort of BS.

Compassion doesn't mean that you have to become the door mat for all neurotic people out there. Also, you are not a therapist, and not a realized person on the bhumis. You also can have compassion from a "safe" distance. Particularly if you can't help them anyway.
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby Ayu » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:00 pm

This is the behaviour of someone who has severe emotional problems, maybe even at a psychiatrically relevant level.

Well observed, anarchist. This creates most of the difficulties.
I think, a sick person needs not only doctors but also friends - to a certain extent. But you are right, I can not do anything to help him really. :shrug:
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From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby lobster » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:18 pm

I'm in a discussion with a person about ethical conduct and non-violence.


Why?
It is not leading to ethical conduct or non-violence.

Karma anyone?

Don't engage. You will find those who can converse in a constructive way and he will find his needs. When you are more skilful, you might consider engaging in a way helpful to yourself and others.

Hope that is helpful . . . :smile:
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby Ayu » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:55 pm

lobster wrote:
I'm in a discussion with a person about ethical conduct and non-violence.

Why?
It is not leading to ethical conduct or non-violence.
Karma anyone?
Don't engage. You will find those who can converse in a constructive way and he will find his needs. When you are more skilful, you might consider engaging in a way helpful to yourself and others.
Hope that is helpful . . . :smile:


Yes, thank you.
You are confirming what I was thinking. Now I made a withdrawal and stopped the discussion.
It seemed to me as if he was calling unconciously for a feedback by provoking. That was why I tried to respond. Trial and error. The provokations have another reason. It's a strange, subtile thing, I can not explain. Briefly speaking: wrong concepts. Nothing to think about further.

It was a new lesson. :smile:
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby theanarchist » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:58 pm

For some pople provokation is the only way of communication they know. Likely because they learned nothing better when they grew up and got stuck on the emotional maturity of a three year old (toddlers like to provoke to get attention and test boundaries)

If that's the case he needs the will to change something about his social behaviour and therapy.
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Re: If somebody tries to disturb your practice

Postby Ayu » Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:39 am

theanarchist wrote:For some pople provokation is the only way of communication they know. Likely because they learned nothing better when they grew up and got stuck on the emotional maturity of a three year old (toddlers like to provoke to get attention and test boundaries).

This would explain some questions I had about him.
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From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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