Does being compassionate mean if we always have to be nice and we can express our opinions?

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bcol01
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Does being compassionate mean if we always have to be nice and we can express our opinions?

Post by bcol01 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:35 pm

I'm Italian and not that that as an excuse but I tend to be quite blunt and am often torn between wanting to be compassionate and kind and also be true to how I feel about stuff. Where is the middle ground?

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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Does being compassionate mean if we always have to be nice and we can express our opinions?

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:00 pm

Ajahn Brahm talks often about "sandwich method" that is say something nice, then your criticism and again something nice. :lol: It opens people up with the nice thing and they are less likely to get offended.

But it is better to start with being loving because from love compassion develops spontaneously. When you feel love towards beings and truly wish them the best, then often many problems disappear, but also you are able to express concern, your problems with the person, or etc. in a not hurting way.

Or... it is better to keep it to yourself. Silence is golden.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.

narhwal90
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Re: Does being compassionate mean if we always have to be nice and we can express our opinions?

Post by narhwal90 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:50 pm

I was advised "Mean what you say but don't say it mean"

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Does being compassionate mean if we always have to be nice and we can express our opinions?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:16 pm

bcol01 wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:35 pm
I'm Italian and not that that as an excuse but I tend to be quite blunt and am often torn between wanting to be compassionate and kind and also be true to how I feel about stuff. Where is the middle ground?
Sometimes you have to be impolite to be compassionate. Remember being compassionate is not about being liked, but about truly wanting the best for whoever you are interacting with. The challenge is to be honest while also considerate of others, and perceptive of their state...it's always a work in progress.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

tkp67
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Re: Does being compassionate mean if we always have to be nice and we can express our opinions?

Post by tkp67 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:24 pm

It is dependent on who is benefiting from the expression of that opinion and the capacity of the person(s) hearing that opinion.

If the only one benefiting from expressing that opinion is one's self it might be prudent to rethink the purpose, if the person(s) hearing the opinion are incapable of understanding it in a meaningful way what is the benefit of expressing it? Even honesty and good intention can have negative outcomes without proper application.

Conversely honesty for the sake of correction in the right context is absolutely compassionate so overly cautious silence has negative ramifications as well.

IIRC Nichiren comments on the wisdom of Confucius regarding deep contemplation regarding the words we speak
We are told that Confucius thought nine times before saying one word
https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd- ... 6#para-181

dude
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Re: Does being compassionate mean if we always have to be nice and we can express our opinions?

Post by dude » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:21 am

When a friend is in error and is likely to harm self or others, it is compassionate indeed to give a strict admonishment.

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Sonam Wangchug
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Re: Does being compassionate mean if we always have to be nice and we can express our opinions?

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:43 am

Motivation
"To have confidence in the teacher is the ultimate refuge." -Rigzin Jigme Lingpa

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Does being compassionate mean if we always have to be nice and we can express our opinions?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:07 am

Even though "mindfulness" is a popular buzzword these days, it really applies here.
If you really take time to examine your mind when you want to express yourself, this will help.
For example, the asshole driver who cuts you off or grabs the parking space you've been patiently waiting for,
you really want to give them a few choice words (and, for Italians, a few choice gestures as well).
Outwardly, you are expressing really "negative energy" (for lack of a better word)

But internally, what do you really wish for?
If you saw him take someone else's parking space, and that other driver pulled a gun and shot him,
would you call 911 or would you think, "good-- he got what he deserves"...?
So, even though the actions of our bodies, speech and mind may not seem compassionate on the outside,
On the inside, maybe you really just wish the guy wasn't such an ass,
because you see how really sorry and pitiful his state of existence is, that he has what he needs and yet is still unsatisfied,
so dissatisfied, in fact, he is rude and impatient.


This is just a hypothetical example, but usually the things we are angry with others about are aspects of their own suffering.
and...
The other thing to consider is that when others make you lose your cool, it's really also because of your own self-clinging.
So, this is also an opportunity to look at one's own mind.
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