Author Topic: Not feeling generous  (Read 1291 times)

Offline Miranda

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Not feeling generous
« on: September 09, 2018, 11:24:52 am »
Hi friends, wonder if you could help me out here.  A friend of ours who has two dogs and want us to look after them for a month in December while she and her family go on holiday. Often, over the years, I have looked after the dogs when they went on holidays.

My family and I are feeling quite resentful about being taken for granted in this way. As a Buddhist practitioner  you are not meant to feel anger, or have negative thoughts in such situations. I agreed to look after them but now on reflection, feel quite taken for granted.

We love the dogs, but it is alot of responsibility -walking them everyday in the cold, letting them out in the garden for a wee every few hours and feeding, bathing and so on. I would look flaky if I went back and said we didn't want to have them for so long without looking rude. Also, the friend has had aggressive cancer treatments and hence I don't feel its right to turn her down. Not sure how to handle this?! any suggestions? Thank you

Offline Chaz

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Re: Not feeling generous
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2018, 02:54:02 pm »
Hi friends, wonder if you could help me out here.  A friend of ours who has two dogs and want us to look after them for a month in December while she and her family go on holiday. Often, over the years, I have looked after the dogs when they went on holidays.

My family and I are feeling quite resentful about being taken for granted in this way. As a Buddhist practitioner  you are not meant to feel anger, or have negative thoughts in such situations. I agreed to look after them but now on reflection, feel quite taken for granted.

We love the dogs, but it is alot of responsibility -walking them everyday in the cold, letting them out in the garden for a wee every few hours and feeding, bathing and so on. I would look flaky if I went back and said we didn't want to have them for so long without looking rude. Also, the friend has had aggressive cancer treatments and hence I don't feel its right to turn her down. Not sure how to handle this?! any suggestions? Thank you

It's very simple.  If you don't want to take the dogs, don't take them.

Remember, if you're feeling resentful of being taken advantage of, there's nothing in the Buddha's teachings that say you have to be a doormat. 

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: Not feeling generous
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2018, 03:50:47 pm »
If you already agreed to do this then I feel you should, simply because you said you would and you can.

A month is awhile for certain, but it is not a very long time. Perhaps there is more which makes this feel like a burden? I don't need to know, but perhaps it could be good to know the answer to a few things for your own reference...You may have already considered them but...

If you love the dogs, and this person is a friend and you have a situation in which this act is possible without serious disruption there must be a place which resistance is rising up into your thoughts from. Why does this feel like you no longer wish to do it, what have you been contemplating which makes this an action for which you feel you are being taken advantage of? Is the thought of doing this tiring or angry? Where is it focused, on you, on the dogs, on the friend, or the relationship? Does your friend seem ungrateful...If so, what is your expectation from the action? How is the expectation not being met or alternately is the expectation reasonable, possibly both...

I might contemplate why this comes to mind, perhaps its just muddy winter dogs and a resistance to out door potty time..but if there is a relationship which had the gravity to once overlook this inconvenience but now it does not, I would wonder why for my own part. An easy yes turning into a difficult no seems like there is a lot to consider internally about why before taking back something you said you would do, even though it might be a small thing it provides a chance to look and see the deeper why and possibly improve a more important situation than just the dog watching.


Offline Lone Cypress

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Re: Not feeling generous
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2018, 05:55:57 pm »
.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 04:40:53 pm by Lone Cypress »

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Not feeling generous
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2018, 09:19:36 pm »
So much thinking! Just attend to whatever comes your way, without discrimination or preferences, then "Every day is a good day."
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Suiseki

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Re: Not feeling generous
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2018, 05:20:36 am »
".... My family and I are feeling quite resentful about being taken for granted in this way. As a Buddhist practitioner  you are not meant to feel anger, or have negative thoughts in such situations. I agreed to look after them but now on reflection, feel quite taken for granted."

 :headbow: Hello Miranda,

The short of it? Just say NO!  :huffy:

The rest of the story?  :bigtears:

This life presents us with all manner and form of teachable/learnable moments- "Dharma gates" upon the path. These gates remain locked preventing pure progress NOW, or are unlocked and opened permitting some level of "progress". Only we may hold (locate) the KEY. The Buddhist "Three Poisons" are Passion, Aggression and Ignorance: I want, I don't want (avoid) and (basically) I SCREW-IT! (head-up-butt/ignore-ance.... speaking for myself only of course). Only one thing is common to all three poisons. I, Me, My (ego).

Buddha ostensibly said that RESENTMENT, (re-sentience- to FEEL the same (negative) emotion over and over again) was like me drinking the POISON, expecting the OTHER person to get sick. In this specific case both your friend and their dogs appear to be living (in your head), rent-free ALREADY.. .bathing and weeing and all?

Even your stated concept of just exactly what a "Buddhist practitioner" is, may be such a Dharma gate in light of the fact that you have mentioned it specifically. It must have an illuminated significance to you? You said you feel resentment, do you perhaps feel resentment for being a "Buddhist practitioner" too? Maybe if you weren't a Buddhist practitioner you could just say"screw-it", and back-out of your promise while perhaps gleefully telling your friend to take their $%@^^ dogs to a %$%%^! kennel! No resentment whatsoever? Doubtful because I detect a warm, caring and sensitive person in your disposition or you wouldn't have opened-up to this forum in the first place.  :)

Personally, I've practiced Buddhism and Hinduism of various flavors for almost 50 years, but as yet have never actually claimed to be either. They probably wouldn't have me anyway which is good, because to quote Groucho Marx, "I refuse to join a club that would have me as a member!" :lmfao: Yes- Perhaps this is one of my-own intransigent Dharma Gates remaining PROUDLY locked? Humm......

"Practice" is somewhat like rehearsal- not the full-blown paid-for performance. Funny how doctors and lawyers are only licensed to practice and render their "opinion", but we AGREE to pay full-price anyway!  :wink1:

Maybe you could (or should?) put your Buddhist practitioner "status" into the same niche of AGREEING previously to pay full-price (for promising)- to take care of the dogs? Only you know.

 :pray:

 
 

Upon reflection, I feel as though my dear friends here deserve at minimum a humble explanation.

Suiseki: (Water and Stone), is a "True man of no rank" Zen and literati name (gago). It was presented to me in 1981 by my Zen and Shodo (calligraphy) teacher, the late Reiun Sensei.

I am humbled and profoundly fortunate to have had several superlative teachers, guides and true spiritual friends. "Swami-ji", the late His Holiness Shankaracharya of Kashmir Gaddi Swami Swanandashram, graced my personal presence here in America for 17 years.

Swami-ji guided me in the Yoga tradition of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism), specifically non-dual (Advaita Vedanta) philosophy. He named me Madan Mohan, although I prefer to remain religion-free to this day.

May we share here collectively in our individual spiritual plight with humility, respect, compassion and sincerity. :)

Offline Miranda

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Re: Not feeling generous
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2018, 10:16:52 am »
Hi all, thank you all very much for your responses. They made me reflect on what I was really angry/resentful about.  I didn't want to go into a lengthy spiel with the background but maybe I could put some of the issues in perspective.
The reality is that the lady is not really a friend but I kindly chose to call her that. Her daughter went to school with mine . They were not friends either but her daughter requested mine to look after the dogs about six years ago,  when they were going on holiday. My daughter agreed and since then it became a pattern to leave the dogs with us whenever they went on holiday or in emergencies.

Like Lone Cypress mentioned, it does feel out of bounds when someone who is not close to you, wants you to take responsibilities for their dogs for a month. The other reasons are that it does not give us the flexibility to go away on a short break in December as it is the only time my husband can take off. We were free at the time she requested the pet sitting.  I really did not have the time to give it any thought before I said yes. But now it dawned on that it is for a month and we want to be able to go away.

I don't expect anything -she does bring some gift or the other. I'd rather we weren't left for long periods with the dogs. My only connection to the lady is the dogs -we don't socialise otherwise. This, perhaps, is part of the reason for resentment -someone who is not close to me thinks its okay to have me look after the dogs whenever she chooses to go away.I want to do the right thing but, it is human nature to be offended when someone uses you in this way. I am trying to look at what lessons I need to learn from this imposition. Working out some past karma or the other!

Suiseki, calling myself a practitioner was for the want of another way to describe my Buddhist leanings . Just as yourself, I also have a long way to go on the path. By picking on  my term "practitioner" and describing it in the way you do, and claiming that you don't label yourself makes me think that there are ego issues you need to reflect on after 50 year of spiritual/religious exploration! My excuse is that I began my journey only three years ago and will  fall numerous times before I can walk on steadly.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 12:55:19 pm by Miranda »

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Not feeling generous
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2018, 03:33:50 am »
I am not partial to dogs yet generally pacify dogs when they are near me; given most dogs are untrained by their owners and reflect the mentality of their owners. Their owners think I love dogs because I massage dogs into pacification yet I only do this to pacify their bad behavior.

You have done the kind act of looking after those dogs many times. Their owners should be grateful. However, now you no longer can do it.

Kind regards  :namaste:




Offline Miranda

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Re: Not feeling generous
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2018, 05:35:25 am »
Thank you VisuddhiRaptor, for your comments that is thoughtful and not judgemental. Since I committed myself, I will undertake to look after them with acceptance and no resentment. But will have a more open discussion next time. :anjali:

 


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