Pay no attention to the faults of others, things said or left unsaid by others, things done or left undone by others. Consider only what by oneself is said or left unsaid, done or left undone.
~ The real* Buddha
*At least three-quarters of the sayings you see posted on the Web and attributed to "Buddha" are treacly New Age verses with his title attached by someone who wanted to make it look more important. When you see an attribution here, it's taken from a direct translation of the Buddhist Canons or another reputable source. Same goes for The Dalai Lama.
“What we think, or what we know, or what we believe, is in the end of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.”
~ John Ruskin (1819–1900)
Practicing spiritual principles involves more than putting up with others; it requires a sincere desire to understand, respect and empathize.
Self worth wanes and shame remains when we fall short of our values–or are they someone else’s values? When we say “I should” it is worth exploring whose values we are measuring ourselves by.
~ Joe C., “Beyond Belief – Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life”, May 9th
Suppose you were shot with a poisoned arrow. Would you refuse to have it removed until the poison was analyzed and you were given the results?
According to a famous Buddhist teaching, one of the monks was troubled because the Buddha didn’t address existential questions such as “Is there a God, what happens when we die, and is the universe infinite.” (Some Buddhist sects do approach such questions, but that was added later.)
Anyway, the monk was kvetching, so the Buddha asked him, “Suppose you were shot with a poisoned arrow. Would you refuse to have it removed until the poison was analyzed and you were given the results? Would you want to know what kind of wood it was made of, what sort of feathers were used for fletching the arrow, the maker and strength of the bow and the name and clan of the archer?” Continue reading “The Poisoned Arrow”
What is a relapse?
That may seem like a silly question. It’s when you take a drink, or shoot up, or buy something you can’t afford, or patronize a sex worker, or begin doing for your addict (or kid) things that they need to be doing for themselves.
Well, sorta. How about if a drinker starts hanging around the local bar with his or her old drinking buddies, talking the same trash, acting out in all the old ways except taking a drink? What if, instead of cruising, a sex addict hangs out in the mall checking out all the girls walking by–or, instead of that, watches porn for an hour? Continue reading “What Is A Relapse?”
To become at peace with others,
become at peace with yourself.
Sometimes I find it difficult to embrace the virtue of tolerance. Over the years I’ve noticed it to be pretty much congruent with my feelings about myself. When my self esteem is diminished for some reason, whether it be because of interaction with another person or with the world at large–I want, I want (or “dukkha” as Buddhists call it)–I often turn into that guy who wants to make himself feel better by pointing out the faults of others: their conspicuous consumption, how stupid they are, their low standards of behavior–stuff like that.
On the other hand, when I’m feeling mellow I’m not only more willing to put up with other folks’ flaws, often I don’t notice them at all. If I do, I’m likely to write them off as amusingly human. When all’s right with me, all’s right with my world. Continue reading “To Become At Peace With Others…”