Unkindness at dharmawheel

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
Simon E.
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Re: Unkindness at dharmawheel

Post by Simon E. » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:57 am

DGA wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:26 am
Simon E. wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:34 pm
My definition would be to place the emphasis on long-term good. Rather than on social emollients. :smile:

Most of the complaints I see about unkindness on Buddhist forums are actually meta-discussion about styles of address. And some of those that make the complaints are often those still circling the runway a year, two years, or three years down the line...still vewwy cwoss.

I cant imagine how they would fare if in the company of some of the Dharma teachers I have met.

Me ( some years ago ) 'I am finding it hard Rinpoche. I am exhausted and unwell. My life is shit'

Chime Rinpoche " DON'T TALK TO ME ABOUT HARD! YOU HAVEN'T A CLUE ABOUT HARD! I WATCHED PEOPLE DYING OF COLD AND HUNGER! ( he was one of a party that escaped across the Himalayas in winter) GROW UP!


That was kindness. Thank you Rinpoche... :namaste:
I've been reflecting on this, and on similar admonitions I've been given that were not so easy to hear at the time but were excellent medicine. One is the flip side of the coin from your story, Simon: when I was a young man, maybe 21, I sat for a session at a local Zen center. The teacher there opened the floor for questions. I asked mine. The teacher gave specific and direct advice for me to relax, lighten up, lay off the coffee, and eat some ice cream--and only then to resume seated meditation. It was as though this teacher had just looked right through me, sized me up, had a laugh, and set my bearings for me to the next way-station... when what I thought I needed to hear was practice harder! harder! harder!

What was extraordinary about this exchange is that her kindness was articulated in a manner that wasn't polite or impolite, politic or impolitic, or really anything but matter-of-fact: it was presented in a way that I could accept it at a gut level. I never saw her again. Maybe I didn't need to? The ice cream that afternoon was vanilla with blackberry sauce, and it was a joy.

This was among the first of many such exchanges I've had with teachers in a few Buddhist traditions. I think it's a characteristic of the teacher-student relationship we've been discussing in a separate thread.

I'm not capable of offering this kind of kindness. I'm not a teacher of anyone in the Dharma sphere. I'm also not yet convinced that such kindness is possible over an internet forum. That's OK, because as we are all reminded, this is a place for dialogue and sharing of resources, not for instruction.

I think your most important point is that kindness ought not to be conflated with politeness or an insistence on sugarcoating, which are different functions. I brought up all this other stuff to underscore the flip side of that coin: we need to continually refine our discourse with peers that can communicate kindness in a way that is not only correct, but effective in reaching the target. I think my posts show that I am not often capable of this either, but I do make some effort at it, as I trust we all do.
Thanks for your characteristically reflective reply DGA.
"Any major dude with half a heart
Will surely tell you my friend,
Any minor world that breaks apart
Can fall together again.
Any major dude will tell you."

Steely Dan.

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weitsicht
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Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: Unkindness at dharmawheel

Post by weitsicht » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:50 am

Thanks very much for this Exchange here. :thanks:

I read an old Newsletter by Ani Tenzin Palmö yesterday while commuting. And I understood dana is much more that just the materialistic aspect of giving.
Being conscious of others is also giving.
I like that one http://tenzinpalmo.com/gatsal/GatsalTea ... nglish.pdf and thought I should share / remind
DGA wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:26 am
I think your most important point is that kindness ought not to be conflated with politeness or an insistence on sugarcoating, which are different functions. I brought up all this other stuff to underscore the flip side of that coin: we need to continually refine our discourse with peers that can communicate kindness in a way that is not only correct, but effective in reaching the target. I think my posts show that I am not often capable of this either, but I do make some effort at it, as I trust we all do.
Indeed, I am also against mistaking sugarcoating for kindness!

It's all the waves up and down of samsara

Correctness does not exist. There is no right and wrong. Don't be too harsh to yourself or others.
If any of us feels provocated: just let drop.
Just have ice cream and go on.
DGA wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:26 am
I'm not capable of offering this kind of kindness. I'm not a teacher of anyone in the Dharma sphere. I'm also not yet convinced that such kindness is possible over an internet forum. That's OK, because as we are all reminded, this is a place for dialogue and sharing of resources, not for instruction.
DGA, please have more trust in yourself.
We all are each others' teachers.
You have the same potential to the open awareness as any of the teachers you had met and admired -and hence the same potential of compassion and of spontanely knowing what should be applied.
Big hug! W :hug:
When conceptual thinking arises,
Don't look at what arises: be what knows the arising.
Like an oak peg in hard ground,
Stand firm in awareness that knows.
And go deep into mystery.

Lama Jigme Lingpa http://yeolde.unfetteredmind.org/revela ... sent-good/

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odysseus
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Re: Unkindness at dharmawheel

Post by odysseus » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:37 pm

Be kind. There is always the possibility to be kind.

This was something like the Dalai Lama said.
Let a man not seek for the respect of his peers, but let him seek wisdom.

-- Dhammapada

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PuerAzaelis
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Re: Unkindness at dharmawheel

Post by PuerAzaelis » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:55 pm

weitsicht wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:50 am
There is no right and wrong.
Then there's no point in being kind at all.
And nobody in all of Oz. No Wizard that there is or was.

DGA
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Re: Unkindness at dharmawheel

Post by DGA » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:17 pm

weitsicht wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:50 am
Thanks very much for this Exchange here. :thanks:

I read an old Newsletter by Ani Tenzin Palmö yesterday while commuting. And I understood dana is much more that just the materialistic aspect of giving.
Being conscious of others is also giving.
I like that one http://tenzinpalmo.com/gatsal/GatsalTea ... nglish.pdf and thought I should share / remind
DGA wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:26 am
I think your most important point is that kindness ought not to be conflated with politeness or an insistence on sugarcoating, which are different functions. I brought up all this other stuff to underscore the flip side of that coin: we need to continually refine our discourse with peers that can communicate kindness in a way that is not only correct, but effective in reaching the target. I think my posts show that I am not often capable of this either, but I do make some effort at it, as I trust we all do.
Indeed, I am also against mistaking sugarcoating for kindness!

It's all the waves up and down of samsara

Correctness does not exist. There is no right and wrong. Don't be too harsh to yourself or others.
If any of us feels provocated: just let drop.
Just have ice cream and go on.
DGA wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:26 am
I'm not capable of offering this kind of kindness. I'm not a teacher of anyone in the Dharma sphere. I'm also not yet convinced that such kindness is possible over an internet forum. That's OK, because as we are all reminded, this is a place for dialogue and sharing of resources, not for instruction.
DGA, please have more trust in yourself.
We all are each others' teachers.
You have the same potential to the open awareness as any of the teachers you had met and admired -and hence the same potential of compassion and of spontanely knowing what should be applied.
Big hug! W :hug:
Thank you for the kind words.

Trust me, I'm fine and I'm not lacking in self-confidence.

The truth is that we are NOT each other's teachers. We can be friends and supporters, but the kinds of relationships we cultivate online are different in quality and kind from the relationship of a disciple to student.

I am not a Dharma teacher. I do not have a Dharma teaching role. I am not so stupid as to proclaim myself as one on my own, Eckhardt Tolle-style.

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