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Tom

I am probably wrong here - especially wrong - but I do think you have to allow things to tumble in your head, which is the means to know all the facts and to go through the process of sorting things out.

After all, you are 'on the job,' and this data gathering is flat necessary.

But THEN you should try to 'go inside' and respond (and feel things) in the manner proscribed by the "37 Practices."

But as I have demonstrated through the years, for me, things tumble and I never get around to any damn 37 Practices. Woe me.

Scott

Is there a difference here between an observation and blame? Which of these two is meant by "complaint"? Are you noticing what can be improved, or are you expending energy on reliving your anger/resentment at those who made the decisions which were... unwise?

Can you see the situation and forgive your superiors by thinking to yourself that the decisions that seem to you unwise or the actions that caused unhappiness in others -- these actions were made out of ignorance? Can the decisionmakers be blamed for not knowing what they don't know? For not seeing what they cannot see?

The bodhisattva has a legitimate "complaint" when someone is causing others to suffer or is causing harm to others. While the bodhisattva may act to protect the suffering one, it doesn't mean she will act without compassion on the one causing the suffering.

But then I don't know nothin' about nothin'. I've been reading in Buddhism for little over a year now.

"Eating all the blame." This seems to me ideal, but not very real. Not very human. And will eating all the blame stop true injustice?

Scott

I thought about this a little more and I bet I am misunderstanding "eating the blame." My first impression was that "eating the blame" meant taking the blame for the whole problem. Further thought suggests to me "blame" doesn't mean "guilt" here; instead it means anger/resentment/pain/labeling. "Eating" suggests, perhaps, a kind of tonglen exercise, whereby the bodhisattva absorbs the anger and resentment circling around an issue and being produced by it; at the least, this means trying to dispell these feelings from the parties involved so they can see past their conditioned responses and their ignorance; if they can do this, then perhaps they can see the person on the other side of the problem as human and worthy of respect and compassion, and perhaps they can see themselves (or their egos) as not truly threatened by this situation. Just a thought....

frank

Budhisattva, one studying Buddhist law, must accept all abuse and treat her assailant respectfull as her master. as long as he does not harm himselve. If for instant he states that he will kill himselve after having raped her she must offer her life instead of his for the good of all assailants past and future.

frank

Self destructive Budhisattva vows are:In ages of dire famine may I myself serve as food and drink (canibalissm); My body I dedicate to the well being of the world; should anyone wish to kill, abuse or beat me, the responsibility is purely their own; let them do as they wish with me, so long as it does not harm them; respond toward me with anger, our meeting contribute to the fulfilment of their wishes.

cliff

so you are human and you hurt.bathe yourself in loving kindness.you are doing the very best you can in a very difficult situation.trust your good heart and carry on.
i send you lots of merit.

Lala

You're articulating almost exactly what's been going on in my head in a similar situation.
I'm finding a real tendency to use "selflessness" as an excuse to put myself on center stage - if not at first, then eventually.
In the 8 Verses on Training the Mind In Enlightenment, of Tibetan buddhism, one is instructed "May I think of myself as the lowest of all
And from the very depths of my heart
May I respectfully hold others as supreme." But I also recall that I've been specifically taught that that doesn't mean I should be a doormat - it doesn't benefit anyone to allow them to take advantage or abuse people - or even just to be a jerk.
For me, the best way to approach this is to remember that I am exactly the same as any other being - to have compassion for myself in my frustration, and to realize that if I'm being subject t behavior that I would find unacceptable for someone else to have to deal with, maybe I shouldn't either - that is, I need to remember to have a spine, especially if I know that I will resent the other person later because of my spineless today. Of course, this is harder than just a blanket "I'm taking on blame for everyone". It requires discernment, and a lot of patience, and a realization that I have a long way to go.
Sorry for the long answer. Thanks for articulating this question and giving me an opportunity to think about it.

dominic

being compassionate to all beings includes yourself!

the buddha did not find enlightement while being an ascetic.

just eating it is maintenancing a situation that isn't working, and that is maintenancing suffering rather than ending it.

quitting (in the most responsible compassionate way you can for you and co-workers) is just one viable option.
among other things, you could also speak truth to power, and/or try to use some conflict resolution techniques (like looking for win/win resolutions rather than win/loose outcomes, for example) first, if you haven't already.

Shrijnana

These situations and reflections are SO familiar. For what it is worth, I can tell you what has helped me move on from the anger and resentment particular work situations give rise to: I acknowledge and empathize with whatever need I have that is not met. For example, I say to myself "I am angry when someone else gets credit for work I have done because I need honest and fair acknowledgment of my contributions." Then the focus is on meeting genuine needs rather than someone else's actions. (Without denying that other's actions do have an effect.) If I am not sure what I or someone else needs in a given situation, I use the universal human needs list from Rosenberg's nonviolent communication website (cnvc.org) for possibilities. Once the initial emotional response has passed, then I am in a much better position to address the situation on a practical level.

There are so many ways to interpret this statement: 'To the bodhisattva, everyone is blameless but himself'. The way I interpret it is that I alone am responsible for my existential suffering. If someone drives erratically and dents my car, they are responsible for their poor driving and the dent, I am responsible for the mental anguish I might have about having a car with an imperfect appearance.

So I would say that a Bodhisattvas do have legitimate human needs (fairness, physical comfort, creative expression, etc..), which they are responsible for communicating and finding ways to meet.

Michiel Trimpe

Personally I keep finding out more and more that when I blame others, I am really blaming myself.
For example lately I have been blaming people around me for always wanting to go out clubbing, while I feel that this indulgence does no good for humankind.

So I blame them for going out all the time, I blame them for trying to (often successfully) manipulate me into going out as well. I am blaming them for making me go astray from 'the right path'.

Of course in reality, I am just blaming myself for this. Their manipulation doesn't go much further than "ahh please" or "you're boring", so I am just blaming myself for not being strong enough.

During the moments I truly accept this, I suddenly see the people I blame as what they are: people trying to make the best of it with the means available to them and I see my anger towards them as hatred towards my own weakness.

Theodora Wells

This is from someone quoting the Dali Lama when asked a question about this same thing (I got this from a retreat I attended last year): "I'm a Buddhist, not a doormat!" So when the bodhisattva of love and compassion says something like this, it does get me to thinking. Just because you take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha should never be an excuse for allowing anyone to walk all over you. To me, self-abuse (for the sake of enlightenment?) is not what the teachings are for.
Also from another retreat that I attended this year was talk about what true happiness was. True happiness should not be at either your own or another's expense. So are you happy arguing with your self? Is that the most compassionate thing that you can do to help yourself and the other person that you are have problems with?
(I also have the voices running in my head and they never fail to do a number on me. Pardon my awkwardness, but even after four years of practice I find that I am still very new at this.)

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