Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Good neighbours.

Hi Justin,

I have been a patient person for many years. I recently moved into a new apartment where my neighbour below my floor is a hawker. Everyday morning 4am, they will prepare cooking oil (using pig's meat), as the smell is very bad, my whole family will wake up. And we started to curse the neighbour. Despite we have sent management to talk to them and suggest them to cook at their stall, suggest them to cook different time, they refused to change and said this is their rights as they do at their home.

In such a situation, everyday my family has to live in hatred mood on these people whenever we smell this. We have tried many ways to prevent the smell and we are still trying.

This is dukha, I do not know how to change my mood in not dealing with "hatred" with this people, despite I am practicing meditation every week.

Pls help me to clear my thought.

Many thanks!

My comment:
Thank you for asking me.

In the Mangala Sutta, the Buddha noted that to have a suitable place to live is one of the highest blessings. It is a big problem that you are facing, no doubt. Perhaps as a last resort you may be able to round up all the immediate neighbours to have a "last stand". Failing which I think the best option is to move.


Barry said...

Hi Justin,
You've given this person good advice, I think.

We can only take responsibility for our own behavior - our impulses, thoughts, feelings, consciousness, and actions.

The hawker is simply engaged in private activity - nothing illegal, nothing immoral.

In such a case, we may have to admit to ourselves that we've made a mistake - something that most of us find very hard to do!

Best wishes in the Dharma,

Justin Choo said...


I really don't know how my answer would be taken by the other party. I just use my common sense and a little Buddhist wisdom to try to answer all the questions.

Thanks for the encouragement.



A true Malaysian said...

Maybe this guy should talk directly to his neighbour instead of sending 'management' to talk to them.

Understanding of each other situations and circumstances should be the approach to solve a 'problem'.

There is no point in cursing. After your cursing, will you be happy if your neighbour had an accident coincidentally and cannot do cooking at wee hours of the morning?

Justin Choo said...

A True Malaysian,

This case is surely either in Malaysia or Singapore.

Try complaining to your neighbour, and see the most probable reaction.

BTY, I did suggest that with the help of others.

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