Author Topic: Thoughts on arising and aversion  (Read 1226 times)

Offline Anemephistus

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Thoughts on arising and aversion
« on: January 12, 2018, 05:02:04 pm »
I would like to ask of all of you, if you have heard wisdom, know teachings, or have experience, would you mind sharing what you know of aversion and how to work with the cessation of it's arising? I see a lot of violence, recently I have seen more than normal. I feel aversion to work and to being where these events take place. Do not mistake me, this aversion is not overpowering, but it is stressful and uncomfortable and it takes up more of my thoughts than is appropriate.

 I would like fresh considerations, mine are in circles with this subject, I recognize the pattern but am having trouble with it.  Many of you know much about the Dharma, experiencing putting it into practice, and where to find relevant information.  I would like to ask you to share you thoughts. I have spoken to a professional, I think he is at a loss because he does not understand what the underlying principles of my morals and guidance are, while I attempt to teach him, I would appreciate input.

Thank you.

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 10:24:18 pm »
Dhamma friend Anemephistus

Sorry if I sound apocalyptic but our world has become increasingly lawless & violent recently, particularly since 9/11. 9/11 was a case where the negligence of the American people (in not demanding a proper investigation of 9/11) allowed the American government to become increasing totalitarian & violent; both domestically & internationally. This totalitarianism of govt has flowed on throughout the Western world & into the corporate world and entire society. Only this week, a superannuation (pension fund) consultant was at a friends home (who has cancer) who said workplace bullying is so out of control that the superannuation fund is compiling a report on it for employers (since it is costing them money due to many sick leave claims). The way to deal with violence is to reflect it is wrong because it harms not only the recipient but also the doer. Instead of responding with aversion, the mind should respond with dhammic disgust (disenchantment) & sadness. While I personally do not believe in a material 'hell' (but only in psychological 'hell'), try to imagine the traditional Buddhist view that all of those evil doers will spend eons burning & tortured in hell. This will end aversion & develop a wiser more tender emotional response.

 :namaste:
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 10:30:10 pm by VisuddhiRaptor »

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2018, 05:48:55 am »

Jj
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 11:13:51 am by IdleChater »

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 01:42:06 pm »
I would like to ask of all of you, if you have heard wisdom, know teachings, or have experience, would you mind sharing what you know of aversion and how to work with the cessation of it's arising? I see a lot of violence, recently I have seen more than normal. I feel aversion to work and to being where these events take place. Do not mistake me, this aversion is not overpowering, but it is stressful and uncomfortable and it takes up more of my thoughts than is appropriate.

 I would like fresh considerations, mine are in circles with this subject, I recognize the pattern but am having trouble with it.  Many of you know much about the Dharma, experiencing putting it into practice, and where to find relevant information.  I would like to ask you to share you thoughts. I have spoken to a professional, I think he is at a loss because he does not understand what the underlying principles of my morals and guidance are, while I attempt to teach him, I would appreciate input.

Thank you.

The thing with version and how you're dealing with it, is that there is no secific way of practice to approach aversion.

Aversion is the opposite of attachment.  They are taught to be to extremes.  The Buddhha taught a middle way between extremes.  In the case of aversion vs attachment the middle is called equanimity.  You don't to focus on the cessation of attachemnt and aversion.  This active approach won't work.  What you want to do is find a place where the is equanimity - niether aversion nor  attachment.

The only way you can reach this is through meditation.  Shamatha/Vipassana to be specific.  You beome mindul of the arising of aversion or attachment and rather than beating it back, you simply let it go.  It will disolve as surely as it arose in the first place.

There's more to it than that,  But there is a start for you.

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 03:50:37 pm »
Thank you for this thought IdleChatter. I think you must be correct, often I have had uncomfortable emotion, discussed kindly with uncomfortable emotion, and brought peace to it. This is very deep and hard to work with in this case. I am both attached and have aversion to my situation and the emotions arise from these states but really these formations are more of an uncomfortable recognition at this point which I am trying to come to an understanding of. The aversion is stronger than it has been in the past, and poses a greater problem to my circumstances. I have always heard equanimity as a thought for beings and the way in which we are all the same and suffer and have stress. Would you share some of links which are in accordance with your understanding of Samantha/Vipassana and equanimity with me? I would appreciate it very much   <3 :dharma:


VisuddhiRaptor, You and I do not agree about the subjective underlying arising cause of social circumstances in this instance. I mean you no disrespect but our world view is very divergent in what makes sense to us in some of the things you have said, but they are not the point of this effort and we can debate them if we like later. Your knowledge of cannon however and where Buddhist thought is found is impressive and I would like to clarify what I am facing <3

I may have not elaborated enough to express what exactly I mean. In a normal environment a person might face bullying, social stigma, oppressive behavior, and unkindness of all manner this is true. I am not special, many beings see what I do, because of the nature of what we (people who work in prisons) do for work we cannot be terribly specific and we do not have all of the outlets people with average jobs do to explain themselves. I cannot speak about open cases, in six months it is possible a person will have seen actively: suicide, attempted homicide, group attempted homicide against another group, group assault with intent to do great bodily harm, self mutilation, the result of attacks with bodily fluids, death, advanced disease, and other extreme violent interactions which are commonplace. I cannot say that currently they would be worse or better than I have seen them in the past, but now I am having trouble with empowered aversion.

I do not wish to walk away from a long career which gives me many options to help other beings in many ways, I am short on marketable skills :) and I seek to navigate this difficulty. The Buddha has shared teachings which I think all things can be understood through. I may be coming into an area of right livelihood, but protecting others, teaching the ignorant as much as possible, helping society where possible...These thoughts have always made this bearable. This is changing.

Do you know what the Dharma says of these things? where it can be found? I would like to know what the Buddha would say to me, and so I am looking for his words as well to guide me in this, he said so much...and my recollection of it all is very poor, once I recognize and internalize it...I have trouble remembering what I read, only to read it again later and see more from it.   :grouphug:

Thank you both.   :hug:

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 06:12:57 pm »
Thank you for this thought IdleChatter. I think you must be correct, often I have had uncomfortable emotion, discussed kindly with uncomfortable emotion, and brought peace to it. This is very deep and hard to work with in this case. I am both attached and have aversion to my situation and the emotions arise from these states but really these formations are more of an uncomfortable recognition at this point which I am trying to come to an understanding of. The aversion is stronger than it has been in the past, and poses a greater problem to my circumstances. I have always heard equanimity as a thought for beings and the way in which we are all the same and suffer and have stress. Would you share some of links which are in accordance with your understanding of Samantha/Vipassana and equanimity with me? I would appreciate it very much   <3 :dharma:

I've had problematic emotions from time to time when I first became a Buddhist.  I took this problem to my Practice Instructor.  After a lengthy description, he smiled and said. 

"It's just a thought."

And it's true.  These emotional stresses we go through, will be seen as trublesome, worrysome and as impediment to practice.  Just the same they are still merely thoughts and like any thought, when it arises we simply let it go.

I don't have links - only my guru's teaching as well as those of his senior students.  I've also recieved meditation instruction and guidance from Shambhala instructors including former students of Trungpa Rinpoche.  You can learn the necessary techniques at any Kagyu or Shambhala centers.


Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 07:46:40 pm »
VisuddhiRaptor, You and I do not agree about the subjective underlying arising cause of social circumstances in this instance.

That might be why you are confused. As a left-winger, you probably believed black Obama & female Hillary were liberal humanitarians rather than psychopathic mass-murderers. You probably think black & other lower class criminal people sourced their own cocaine & heroin rather than the CIA via Iran Contra & the Afghanistan War flooding the USA with cocaine & opium.

I may have not elaborated enough to express what exactly I mean. In a normal environment a person might face bullying, social stigma, oppressive behavior, and unkindness of all manner this is true. I am not special, many beings see what I do, because of the nature of what we (people who work in prisons) do for work we cannot be terribly specific and we do not have all of the outlets people with average jobs do to explain themselves. I cannot speak about open cases, in six months it is possible a person will have seen actively: suicide, attempted homicide, group attempted homicide against another group, group assault with intent to do great bodily harm, self mutilation, the result of attacks with bodily fluids, death, advanced disease, and other extreme violent interactions which are commonplace. I cannot say that currently they would be worse or better than I have seen them in the past, but now I am having trouble with empowered aversion.

So you work as a "warden of hell", as described in MN 130: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.130.than.html

I do not wish to walk away from a long career which gives me many options to help other beings in many ways, I am short on marketable skills :) and I seek to navigate this difficulty. The Buddha has shared teachings which I think all things can be understood through. I may be coming into an area of right livelihood, but protecting others, teaching the ignorant as much as possible, helping society where possible...These thoughts have always made this bearable. This is changing.

Sure. It sounds like you are not seeing positive results from your work.

Do you know what the Dharma says of these things? where it can be found? I would like to know what the Buddha would say to me, and so I am looking for his words as well to guide me in this, he said so much...and my recollection of it all is very poor, once I recognize and internalize it...I have trouble remembering what I read, only to read it again later and see more from it.

You are obviously working in a very difficult/challenging work environment, which I imagine suits a 'personality type'. If you are short on marketable skills & are accumulating a pension plan, you might need to focus on this more 'selfishly' because the Dhamma teaches each ordinary persons needs a livelihood.

MN 130 states a prisoner is a 'Divine Messenger" or opportunity to gain enlightenment. Sorry, I can't offer much more.

Kind regards  :namaste:

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2018, 05:45:56 am »
Sorry, I can't offer much more.

That should read,  " Sorry I can't offer anything.", which is much closer to the qualitative analysis of your post.

You could have also wrote,"Sorry, but all I can offer is pointless, useless ad hominem and drivel."

Offline loopix

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2018, 11:30:00 am »
I would like to ask of all of you, if you have heard wisdom, know teachings, or have experience, would you mind sharing what you know of aversion and how to work with the cessation of it's arising? I see a lot of violence, recently I have seen more than normal. I feel aversion to work and to being where these events take place. Do not mistake me, this aversion is not overpowering, but it is stressful and uncomfortable and it takes up more of my thoughts than is appropriate.

 I would like fresh considerations, mine are in circles with this subject, I recognize the pattern but am having trouble with it.  Many of you know much about the Dharma, experiencing putting it into practice, and where to find relevant information.  I would like to ask you to share you thoughts. I have spoken to a professional, I think he is at a loss because he does not understand what the underlying principles of my morals and guidance are, while I attempt to teach him, I would appreciate input.

Thank you.



wise from damage, i am going to offer my advice and any amount of cents...


Dude, dont talk to a  westerm psychiatrist about dharma practice that's gone beyond philosphy and ethics.... they just do not have the academic capacity to understand. To them it's chemistry and brain scans, blood tests, and more tests, based on some other dudes writings.... veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery few of them even accept anything not empirically demonstratable.... which, well, you are bound to see if you see enough....

on the other hand, to them, you really are crazy, and they sincerely think they can help.... it's a tough one, but it too teaches compassion for all beings  :brick:


hope that helped  :wacky:

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2018, 03:35:43 pm »
You could have also wrote,"Sorry, but all I can offer is pointless, useless ad hominem and drivel."

God bless America   :lmfao:

Quote
Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion towards form, revulsion towards feeling, revulsion towards perception, revulsion towards formations, revulsion towards consciousness. Experiencing revulsion, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion his mind is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the knowledge: ‘It’s liberated.’ He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is nothing further [to do] for this world.’

SN 22.59

nibbindati: [ni + vid + ṃ-a] gets wearied of; is disgusted with.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 03:51:38 pm by VisuddhiRaptor »

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2018, 06:52:30 am »
I would like to ask of all of you, if you have heard wisdom, know teachings, or have experience, would you mind sharing what you know of aversion and how to work with the cessation of it's arising? I see a lot of violence, recently I have seen more than normal. I feel aversion to work and to being where these events take place. Do not mistake me, this aversion is not overpowering, but it is stressful and uncomfortable and it takes up more of my thoughts than is appropriate.

Hi, Anemephistus.

The fact that you are repulsed (placed into a mental state of aversion) by violence speaks to your beneficial repertoire of morality.  As you already know, a condition worse than observing violence between others is to be a victim of it, or a perpetrator of it yourself.  In your role as an administrator in a prison, unless you are a person with no feelings for others, or totally amoral, you are being affected just the way you should be.  The real question is how do you go on in this role, when what you experience at work affects you to the point you don't want to go on with your livelihood?

My first suggestion would be not to ignore such feelings, but to "go through them", "face them fully", "come to grips with them" in a safe environment for you, which you indicated that you have already begun by seeking counselling. You may also want to expand such activities, perhaps you would find group sessions beneficial till you get to the point psychologically where you accept them for what they are:  feelings and emotional reactions, mental factors, or as IdleChater already pointed out:  thoughts. 

Quote
I would like fresh considerations, mine are in circles with this subject, I recognize the pattern but am having trouble with it.
 

One of the practices which has been helpful / beneficial to me is to use such thoughts (mental aversions) as indicators of a need for additional action on our part, hoping eventually to make friends with them and learn to use them as sign-posts of life situations, which are causing a reduction in "mental equanimity", a mind state goal of all Buddhist practitioners, a form of "peace", albeit short of enlightenment.

The second practice which has been very helpful to me is developing "compassion" for those whom I reflexively condemn, or summarily mentally judge as unworthy of life, but more than worthy of burning or blasting into their molecular components, atoms and plasma.  You know who they are:  The dirtbags, the sludge of humanity, the bastards who beat-up old women for their purses, the perpetrators of abuse, theft, rape, viciousness, murder, and all imaginable forms of heinous crimes against humanity. 

Buddha pointed out that such as these are perhaps most deserving of our compassion, because they are most certainly headed for the hell realms.  Angulimala, the murderer / thief is only one such example.


Quote
I have spoken to a professional, I think he is at a loss because he does not understand what the underlying principles of my morals and guidance are, while I attempt to teach him, I would appreciate input.


As stated previously, this is a helpful first step, and in livelihoods, which expose us to stressful conditions, in my mind it should be an ongoing one for the sake of formalizing and reporting our mental states, much like the practice of going to confession is helpful in those religions and practices, which offer it as a means of a psychological outlet.  In my wife's profession as a clinical psychologist she meets regularly with other psychologists where they discuss such situations.  It is called collegial conferences.  Perhaps you could find, or form such collegial groups with other members of your prison staff, or even from other prisons and share common experiences in this regard.  My guess is that you would find and share many experiences in common and thereby learn that you are not "The Lone Ranger", so to speak.

Quote
Many of you know much about the Dharma, experiencing putting it into practice, and where to find relevant information.  I would like to ask you to share you thoughts.

Here are some commentaries regarding "mental equanimity" and "insight", which you may find helpful:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn48/sn48.038.than.html

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mahasi/progress.html

Equanimity:  https://www.imsb.org/teachings/written-teachings-articles-and-interviews/equanimity-our-greatest-friend/

Detachment & Compassion:  https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/harris/bl141.html


« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 07:30:31 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2018, 08:27:23 pm »
I would like to ask of all of you, if you have heard wisdom, know teachings, or have experience, would you mind sharing what you know of aversion and how to work with the cessation of it's arising? I see a lot of violence, recently I have seen more than normal. I feel aversion to work and to being where these events take place. Do not mistake me, this aversion is not overpowering, but it is stressful and uncomfortable and it takes up more of my thoughts than is appropriate.

Hi, Anemephistus.

The fact that you are repulsed (placed into a mental state of aversion) by violence speaks to your beneficial repertoire of morality.  As you already know, a condition worse than observing violence between others is to be a victim of it, or a perpetrator of it yourself.  In your role as an administrator in a prison, unless you are a person with no feelings for others, or totally amoral, you are being affected just the way you should be.  The real question is how do you go on in this role, when what you experience at work affects you to the point you don't want to go on with your livelihood?

My first suggestion would be not to ignore such feelings, but to "go through them", "face them fully", "come to grips with them" in a safe environment for you, which you indicated that you have already begun by seeking counselling. You may also want to expand such activities, perhaps you would find group sessions beneficial till you get to the point psychologically where you accept them for what they are:  feelings and emotional reactions, mental factors, or as IdleChater already pointed out:  thoughts. 

Quote
I would like fresh considerations, mine are in circles with this subject, I recognize the pattern but am having trouble with it.
 

One of the practices which has been helpful / beneficial to me is to use such thoughts (mental aversions) as indicators of a need for additional action on our part, hoping eventually to make friends with them and learn to use them as sign-posts of life situations, which are causing a reduction in "mental equanimity", a mind state goal of all Buddhist practitioners, a form of "peace", albeit short of enlightenment.

The second practice which has been very helpful to me is developing "compassion" for those whom I reflexively condemn, or summarily mentally judge as unworthy of life, but more than worthy of burning or blasting into their molecular components, atoms and plasma.  You know who they are:  The dirtbags, the sludge of humanity, the bastards who beat-up old women for their purses, the perpetrators of abuse, theft, rape, viciousness, murder, and all imaginable forms of heinous crimes against humanity. 

Buddha pointed out that such as these are perhaps most deserving of our compassion, because they are most certainly headed for the hell realms.  Angulimala, the murderer / thief is only one such example.


Quote
I have spoken to a professional, I think he is at a loss because he does not understand what the underlying principles of my morals and guidance are, while I attempt to teach him, I would appreciate input.


As stated previously, this is a helpful first step, and in livelihoods, which expose us to stressful conditions, in my mind it should be an ongoing one for the sake of formalizing and reporting our mental states, much like the practice of going to confession is helpful in those religions and practices, which offer it as a means of a psychological outlet.  In my wife's profession as a clinical psychologist she meets regularly with other psychologists where they discuss such situations.  It is called collegial conferences.  Perhaps you could find, or form such collegial groups with other members of your prison staff, or even from other prisons and share common experiences in this regard.  My guess is that you would find and share many experiences in common and thereby learn that you are not "The Lone Ranger", so to speak.

Quote
Many of you know much about the Dharma, experiencing putting it into practice, and where to find relevant information.  I would like to ask you to share you thoughts.

Here are some commentaries regarding "mental equanimity" and "insight", which you may find helpful:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn48/sn48.038.than.html

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mahasi/progress.html

Equanimity:  https://www.imsb.org/teachings/written-teachings-articles-and-interviews/equanimity-our-greatest-friend/

Detachment & Compassion:  https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/harris/bl141.html

Thank you Elder Ron. Very much.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2018, 04:16:12 am »
I am not special, many beings see what I do, because of the nature of what we (people who work in prisons) do for work we cannot be terribly specific and we do not have all of the outlets people with average jobs do to explain themselves. I cannot speak about open cases, in six months it is possible a person will have seen actively: suicide, attempted homicide, group attempted homicide against another group, group assault with intent to do great bodily harm, self mutilation, the result of attacks with bodily fluids, death, advanced disease, and other extreme violent interactions which are commonplace. I cannot say that currently they would be worse or better than I have seen them in the past, but now I am having trouble with empowered aversion.

I do not wish to walk away from a long career which gives me many options to help other beings in many ways, I am short on marketable skills :) and I seek to navigate this difficulty.

I imagine that being a prison officer (?) is an extremely challenging job.  Any possibility of reducing the hours you work?  What support are you getting outside work? 
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2018, 09:18:24 am »
I am not special, many beings see what I do, because of the nature of what we (people who work in prisons) do for work we cannot be terribly specific and we do not have all of the outlets people with average jobs do to explain themselves. I cannot speak about open cases, in six months it is possible a person will have seen actively: suicide, attempted homicide, group attempted homicide against another group, group assault with intent to do great bodily harm, self mutilation, the result of attacks with bodily fluids, death, advanced disease, and other extreme violent interactions which are commonplace. I cannot say that currently they would be worse or better than I have seen them in the past, but now I am having trouble with empowered aversion.

I do not wish to walk away from a long career which gives me many options to help other beings in many ways, I am short on marketable skills :) and I seek to navigate this difficulty.

I imagine that being a prison officer (?) is an extremely challenging job.  Any possibility of reducing the hours you work?  What support are you getting outside work?

I was thinking the same thing.  Rough duty.  There are therapists in practice that are Buddhists and offer therapy from that POV.

It tends to give ideas about "right livelihood" a run for it's money.  There should be a section for "anything that causes extreme stress".

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: Thoughts on arising and aversion
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2018, 02:16:37 pm »
I am not special, many beings see what I do, because of the nature of what we (people who work in prisons) do for work we cannot be terribly specific and we do not have all of the outlets people with average jobs do to explain themselves. I cannot speak about open cases, in six months it is possible a person will have seen actively: suicide, attempted homicide, group attempted homicide against another group, group assault with intent to do great bodily harm, self mutilation, the result of attacks with bodily fluids, death, advanced disease, and other extreme violent interactions which are commonplace. I cannot say that currently they would be worse or better than I have seen them in the past, but now I am having trouble with empowered aversion.

I do not wish to walk away from a long career which gives me many options to help other beings in many ways, I am short on marketable skills :) and I seek to navigate this difficulty.

I imagine that being a prison officer (?) is an extremely challenging job.  Any possibility of reducing the hours you work?  What support are you getting outside work?

Quote
I was thinking the same thing.  Rough duty.  There are therapists in practice that are Buddhists and offer therapy from that POV.

It tends to give ideas about "right livelihood" a run for it's money.  There should be a section for "anything that causes extreme stress".

I have my Wife, my Daughter who is nearly 20, and many good close friends. Of my friends, several tried my employer, they all eventually found other work.  Since you wondered about the title...I am a Lieutenant. For my department there are only two security ranks higher though this is more complicated than one might expect when administrative staff are taken into account. I am the first response and second shift supervisor. I am almost always second in command of the working officers on shift (8 hours). I run to and respond to all of the emergencies that happen when I am there 40 hours a week. Usually this is individuals who are acting in a manner that threatens safety or security or both, sometimes it is large tactical response scenarios which involve dynamic and dangerous circumstances.

 I have personally dealt with everything in my above description at one time or another. I do not share specifics due to liability concerns and because the things that shake me in this regard are too far beyond the scope of what people should really contemplate idly and I feel like it would be unkind to explain a situation which caused me stress in detail, there are people prepared and paid for that.   

One of the striking details about all of it to me is the reaction of those who I serve with. The exposure to the phenomenon of the prison damages them in very specific ways. Reduced compassion, reduced emotional response, increased stress and aggression. From a Buddhist's perspective the exposure to the level of ego (self/ emphasis on self) present is almost palpable, the force that the inmates use in expression both physical and physiological and the reaction of the staff to that force by countering it with equal measures is striking.  After a time the staff become cold and unkind, sometimes rather dualistically, they are apparently well loved outside of their work but the personality they adopt to survive their stress can be savage and unempathetic. The exposure for long term officers results in shortened life span, studies show a 50% survival rate of staff who retire past five years, that is, they retire then only about half live longer than 5 years. I am going into my thirteenth year of service, I have seventeen more to go if I wish to retire from this.

There is no way to really reduce my presence with consistency, I have scheduled multiple vacations early this year to take a break all about a week long. I live in a region of the Midwest united states which is primarily protestant christian. There is very little access to Buddhist resources.  I have found a few temples dotting my state none of them are within a reasonable frequent driving range. The specific schools Idle Chatter Suggested, the nearest is over 16 hours away.  I spent a long time getting past many troubles with the teachings, my life has been improved immeasurably by them. I feel very like I have had a new mountain to climb arise in front of me when I took this promotion about a year ago, its a good challenge but I am getting tired and old and mountains are always there.

 

 


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