Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just strive on.

(Picture from CK Hon)

dear justin choo,
i am concentrating on meditating and focusing on speaking, thinking and acting kindly. I can work on finding happiness within myself but i have come across a problem.
When others around me are unhappy, or when others are directly taking their unhappiness out on me, i am finding it very hard to keep a peaceful and happy state of mind, i can't help but take their unhappiness on board and worry about them- which makes me unhappy.
i would like to know how buddha delt with others unhappiness?
what do you do when angry or unhappy people attack you? should it upset me? i want to stay loving and happy but how do i do that when others are not?
thankyou for taking the time to read this :)
love s.

My comment:

Hi S,

Thank you for asking me.

First we have to accept the fact that we learning to be good. We are not perfect and very unlikely that we can be perfect in this life. As Buddhists, what we are doing is to try our best to better ourselves in terms of being mindful of the real nature of this world and to accommodate problems as they arise. Unless we are very well trained in our mental culture, we will be succumbed to the sorrows of life. What we must realize is that we are going through a long and arduous journey of learning to walk the right path. The only difference of us from others is the knowledge that we are trying our best to live wisely by following the Buddha's teachings. Each time we fail, we take it as a lesson learnt. In this process we can live with our failures.

In theory it is very easily said that we should be detached from our problems as well as others' problems, and to stay happy at all times. In reality as you know, it is a very different cup of tea. It is natural that we get upset when people disturb us. It is also natural that we empathize with others' problems. However, the Buddha taught us a method of not dwelling into the problem continuously. This is what we refer as accepting that which we cannot avoid and "to note and to let go". It is certainly very difficult. On the practical side, we can strive to solve our problems and others as well. Having done our best, it is time to rest the issues. As getting angry with people, the only help is to realize that we are the ones to suffer and not our "enemies". This is so because we generate our hateful thoughts in our minds; we are the only recipients of these thoughts. Our systems burn inside us. For the sake of our well being we should then stop this unwholesome reaction.

To be skilful in our living it takes much effort and practice to be mindful of the nature of this world at every moment. Buddhist meditation is training to be more mindful in our lives. When we are able to maintain this mindfulness, we will find that we can respond to problems in a more skilful way.

In the meantime, let us strive on with diligence and vigilance.

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