Author Topic: How do we begin?  (Read 3724 times)

overmyhead

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How do we begin?
« on: December 21, 2009, 04:57:00 pm »
The obstinance of certain people in my life is a source of constant frustration.  I only wish to lessen their suffering a little, but I am finding it impossible to get my foot in the door, anywhere.  People are just blinded by this carrot that is dangling in front of their eyes.

It seems like it takes a miracle for someone to take that first step.  What are the things we can say or do to help facilitate this first step, to create this first chink in the armor of samsara?  Ii don't want to proselytise.  I just want to give a little ... nudge.   :innocent:

Chaz

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2009, 06:14:35 pm »
The obstinance of certain people in my life is a source of constant frustration.  I only wish to lessen their suffering a little, but I am finding it impossible to get my foot in the door, anywhere.  People are just blinded by this carrot that is dangling in front of their eyes.

It seems like it takes a miracle for someone to take that first step.  What are the things we can say or do to help facilitate this first step, to create this first chink in the armor of samsara?  Ii don't want to proselytise.  I just want to give a little ... nudge.   :innocent:

I'd say you should begin by not beginning.

Don't be an evangelist.  Don't preach.  Don't even talk about it unless you're asked first.

Most people don't give a shit.  They don't care what you believe, and until they come to the personal realization that they are suffering or suddenty become intensly interested in the Dharma, they won't ask about it.

Better I think to orient your practice towards generating compassion for all beings.

TMingyur

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2009, 07:19:00 pm »
Dear omh

The obstinance of certain people in my life is a source of constant frustration.  I only wish to lessen their suffering a little, but I am finding it impossible to get my foot in the door, anywhere.  People are just blinded by this carrot that is dangling in front of their eyes.
Isn't this your own suffering?

What is the relationship beween one's own suffering and the suffering of others?
This question puzzles me ...

But to begin with I would recommend to realize all aspects of one's own suffering.

Kind regards
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 07:24:48 pm by TMingyur »

Offline pickledpitbull

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2009, 07:33:23 pm »
I'm with Chaz.  You can't help people.  They have to help themselves, just like you do.

Have you ever known someone that you just wanted to be around?  Do you know of someone that just makes other people feel good about themselves?  Be that person.  That's how you can begin.
You've been taught that there is something wrong with you and that you are imperfect, but there isn't and you're not.


~ Cheri Huber

Offline Monkey Mind

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2009, 08:23:44 pm »
But to begin with I would recommend to realize all aspects of one's own suffering.

As odd as it is, I agree with TMingyur. Lead by example, no evangelism needed. Recently one of the obstinate people in my life asked me how I stay so calm in the face of such overwhelming stress. (We work together.) I shrugged and stated spiritual practice refreshes me, and meditation tempers me against stress. The person did not overtly roll her eyes, but I knew the energy was there. But she asked, I answered. it was like a seed, planted and fertilized. 

TMingyur

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2009, 11:35:14 pm »
You can't help people.  They have to help themselves, just like you do.
Well I do not agree. But in order to be able to help others you have to realize your own suffering and its origine. Only then can you develop renunciation which has to be  the basis for developing the capacity to help others.

Kind regards

Offline lowonthetotem

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2009, 07:30:22 am »
Stubbornness is usually a question of perspective.  When people agree with us we see it as perseverance in the face of suffering.  When they disagree with us, we see it as obstinence or ignorance.  Mirror like wisdom is the remedy for such situations, although it may take a long time to cultivate.  It's best to act with restraint in the interim.

Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2009, 08:57:53 am »
The obstinance of certain people in my life is a source of constant frustration.  I only wish to lessen their suffering a little, but I am finding it impossible to get my foot in the door, anywhere.  People are just blinded by this carrot that is dangling in front of their eyes.

It seems like it takes a miracle for someone to take that first step.  What are the things we can say or do to help facilitate this first step, to create this first chink in the armor of samsara?  Ii don't want to proselytise.  I just want to give a little ... nudge.   :innocent:

Hi overmyhead,

Maybe it's entirely possible that you can help people with their suffering.  What is it you would like to do for them?  If it's conversion to Buddhism then it might be a fruitless endeavor.  But if they're suffering, what would they want help with?

Best,
Laura

overmyhead

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2009, 04:23:48 pm »
I am not talking about converting anyone.  It's more like I want to plant a seed which will one day, even briefly, cause them to seriously entertain the notion that something is seriously amiss with the way they perceive reality.  I do not accept that passively waiting for them to come to it is the ideal approach.  I'm thinking of something subtle, something which might stay dormant until one day, it comes to them as if it originated within them.

Offline humanitas

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2009, 06:07:05 pm »
I am not talking about converting anyone.  It's more like I want to plant a seed which will one day, even briefly, cause them to seriously entertain the notion that something is seriously amiss with the way they perceive reality.  I do not accept that passively waiting for them to come to it is the ideal approach.  I'm thinking of something subtle, something which might stay dormant until one day, it comes to them as if it originated within them.

I agree there isn't a one-rule for all kind of regulation in the dharma or anything.  I mean, I just had a long conversation last night with someone about the dharma who is not Buddhist, and even though I had not intended to really talk about anything specifically, we wound up on the topic and the conversation was a deep and interesting one.  Interestingly, we shared perspectives, our own internal vocabularies, and communicated profoundly.  I shared something of the dharma by being PRESENT listening and interacting, by practicing mindfulness and my brother "felt" that genuine connection to me.  But he hadn't asked, it interdependently arose I guess...?
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Offline withoutcolour

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2009, 10:29:31 pm »
Buddhists can teach and help by example.
Go out there, listen to your friends, be a good person. Nothing is a better teacher than showing other people how compassionate you are.
Inspire everyone to be a better person by being good yourself.
Best of luck, metta to you.
 :namaste:

TMingyur

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2009, 11:09:23 pm »
Nothing is a better teacher than showing other people how compassionate you are.
This is true if one assumes
1. that there is "true compassion" and
2. that this "true compassion" can be "shown" and therefore recognized by others as being "true compassion" and
3. that these others esteem this "true compassion"

Kind regards
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 11:11:16 pm by TMingyur »

Offline RedIron

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2009, 06:49:28 am »
i cannot advice anyone how to start on the path since myself i've been strugling for years with even stepping onto the path.

as far as i am concerned i haven't stepped onto the path yet due to a mental block or aversion to practice wich is beyond my understanding.

i can only hope that at some point i will understand how to start and then be able to show others how to start.

to some of you this may sound incomprehesible but this is exactly how it is.

i think it is a will disfunction or something else.


TMingyur

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2009, 10:48:54 am »
as far as i am concerned i haven't stepped onto the path yet due to a mental block or aversion to practice wich is beyond my understanding.
This is interesting. Is this suffering? Wanting but not getting ...? On the other hand if  you do not want, where's the problem?
If we do not have a (heartfelt) reason then we don't want to.

Kind regards
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 10:59:41 am by TMingyur »

Offline humanitas

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Re: How do we begin?
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2009, 11:59:18 am »
It seems like it takes a miracle for someone to take that first step. 

It can.  What convinced YOU to take that first step, and how many countless times have you taken that same step?  Remember you are not so separate from that person you are trying to nudge.  The division between you is mostly illusory.  Of course, when the step is taken, we rejoice in a homecoming.
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