One path on an uncommon journey

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Jerks We Encounter or the Teacher of Yesterday

One of the hardest things I find everyday is how to deal with the people that make life difficult. I struggle daily with the gossip, the bully, the stupid (God, I said it!), the incompetent, the whiner, et al. It is by far and away the most trying aspect of every day for me. It is very easy to anger, to fight back, to fix or to ignore when I encounter them.

More difficult is to understand the person and the lessons that are there for the learning. I am still a student, learning from reading and practical application. We are going to add two books to the bibliography this week. They are 'Everyday Enlightenment -The Essential Guide to Finding Happiness in The Modern World, by His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa and The Accidental Buddhist, by Dinty Moore ( I don't think he's the stew guy).

In the book 'Everyday Enlightenment,' we are told: 'It is very easy to love pleasant people and situations. But the true test comes when you are faced with the most unpleasant situation or people, whether you can take it or not. here, we can practice something on a day-to-day basis that really requires our attention. It is important that we try to make an effort, and so, if someone says something negative about you, as an acknowledgement, say something good about them. If you can't manage to do that, just keep silent.'

Practice love and compassion, stay on the path. Pretty simple in theory, I'll let you know the next time someone is going 50 in the left lane on the 190. Seriously, it is a great book, one of the best I have read. Gyalwang Drukpa is a Tibetan Buddhist.

Now let me preface anything else with this, I am a child of most religions. I have always been very spiritual and have found religion wonderful, intriguing, enlightening and the hottest topic of all. I just can't limit myself to the Roman Catholic beliefs I was born into. I have read a lot of Eastern religion, Catholicism and a lot of Judaism.

So, in 'The Accidental Buddhist,' Moore writes 'Jesus, Nhat Hanh points out,  "Jesus did not say that if you are angry with your brother, you will be put in a place called Hell. He said that if you are angry with your brother, you are already in Hell. Anger is Hell."'  Moore highlights his journey through religions in an entertaining and mostly enjoyable book.

The moral is that the negative thoughts and mental formations bind us, keep us miserable when there is so much more. It is more important to focus on the good, what matters.

All that being said, as Jack Nicklaus recently stated 'Sometimes you have to fish or cut bait.' I made that choice today. Rather than to be dragged into a war of words, I wished someone well and moved on. I did, also, unfriend someone that falls into the difficult category (Gawd how I love quotes), because, as Doc Holliday said, 'My hypocrisy only goes so far.'

Today was a good reminder for me and I hope enlightening for you. Let me know what you think!

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