Wednesday, February 17, 2010

... tell us about your difficulties ...

During an interview by Oprah, published in the March issue of O Magazine, Thich Nhat Hanh, the well-known and very well-regarded Vietnamese Buddhist monk said this:
Nhat Hanh: Yes. We should be able to say this: "Dear friends, dear people, I know that you suffer. I have not understood enough of your difficulties and suffering. It's not our intention to make you suffer more. It is the opposite. We don't want you to suffer. But we don't know what to do and we might do the wrong thing if you don't help us to understand. So please tell us about your difficulties. I'm eager to learn, to understand." We have to have loving speech. And if we are honest, if we are true, they will open their hearts. Then we practice compassionate listening, and we can learn so much about our own perception and their perception. Only after that can we help remove wrong perception.
Yes, it is vital that we try to be mature ― that is, speak from a stance of maturity of character ― recognizing that humanity is shared.

When I complain about Safe Ground, as I must, a "rant and carp" aspect of my character gets exposed. I am not carefully being loving and patient.  I am frustrated with the culture of, centrally, Loaves & Fishes which is poky and inattentive. "Sleepily malicious" is perhaps the best term that applies.  It is a place where unidentified dead trees fall from the sky.

The lovingness of Nhat Hahn and other Buddhist teachers is something I both deeply admire and am suspicious of.  Change happens only from seeing and dealing with difficulties. and lovingness all too easily metastasizes into a sugary gloss which is the opponent of the change that is necessary for betterment. 

It's hard to drive while wearing rose-colored glasses.  All the jaywalking pedestrians look like fluffy stuffed toys.



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