Author Topic: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines  (Read 4937 times)

Offline Optimus Prime

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How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« on: June 12, 2011, 02:48:35 am »
In the Kinti Sutta, the Buddha gives us a guideline on when to speak up if there's a disagreement.

There are 4 variables for us to consider - whether:
- You will be troubled or not (because some people don't speak up because they know it'll be bothersome for them and it will give them trouble - even if it's for the greater good of all involved)
- They will be hurt (because they are prone to anger and resentment) or not
- They are firmly attached to their view or not AND whether you can change this firmly attached view or not

Basically the main criteria is whether you think there's a good chance of whether or not you can help them abandon the unwholesome and establish them in the wholesome - even if it troubles you, even if it hurts them (and causes anger and resentment in them) and even if they are firmly attached to their views.

So you reflect:
- It's a mere trifle that it troubles me or it hurts them and even if they are firmly attached to their views, if I can help them abandon the unwholesome and establish them in the wholesome, then it's worth it because that would be for the greater good.
- If on the other hand, the answer is no to all 4 variables, i.e., that I will be troubled, that they will be hurt, angry and resentful, that they are firmly attached to their view and it's unlikely you'll be able to change them - then it's best to observe equanimity.

Source:  http://www.yellowrobe.com/component/content/article/120-majjhima-nikaya/309-kinti-sutta-what-do-you-think-about-me.html

Offline heybai

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2011, 03:26:02 am »
Had simply no idea the Buddha had ever been a forum moderator.   :)

I am gobsmacked*. 


* http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gobsmacked

Offline heybai

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2011, 03:35:10 am »
In the Kinti Sutta, the Buddha gives us a guideline on when to speak up if there's a disagreement.

There are 4 variables for us to consider - whether:
- You will be troubled or not (because some people don't speak up because they know it'll be bothersome for them and it will give them trouble - even if it's for the greater good of all involved)
- They will be hurt (because they are prone to anger and resentment) or not
- They are firmly attached to their view or not AND whether you can change this firmly attached view or not

Basically the main criteria is whether you think there's a good chance of whether or not you can help them abandon the unwholesome and establish them in the wholesome - even if it troubles you, even if it hurts them (and causes anger and resentment in them) and even if they are firmly attached to their views.

So you reflect:
- It's a mere trifle that it troubles me or it hurts them and even if they are firmly attached to their views, if I can help them abandon the unwholesome and establish them in the wholesome, then it's worth it because that would be for the greater good.
- If on the other hand, the answer is no to all 4 variables, i.e., that I will be troubled, that they will be hurt, angry and resentful, that they are firmly attached to their view and it's unlikely you'll be able to change them - then it's best to observe equanimity.

Source:  http://www.yellowrobe.com/component/content/article/120-majjhima-nikaya/309-kinti-sutta-what-do-you-think-about-me.html


So the degree of their attachment to a view is the key because if one can help, one feels obliged, but if one wishes to help and discerns that it will probably be useless, it would be better to post in the "Almost Silent" thread.

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2011, 04:27:22 am »
It's actually whether or not you think you can change their view - even if they are firmly attached to their view (rather than just how firmly the attachment to their view is).  This is an important distinction.  Because the Buddha's advice was that even if they are firmly attached to their view and you do have the possibility of helping them abandon the unwholesome and establish them in the wholesome - then do so.

If they are so firmly attached to their own view that you won't be able to change it - then it will be a waste of everybody's time if you want to even try to change it AND it will make them more angry and resentful. 

Sometimes though, you don't know how firmly held their view is.  So you just talk to them to see where they're coming from and you can test their response and how open they are to your viewpoints - this will give you a better idea.

(See point 13. in the Sutta link I've provided - that relates to your question.  Points 10. to 14 are the various permutations the Buddha gives)

Offline heybai

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2011, 05:09:20 am »
Yes, thank you.  I saw that distinction in your first post but didn't express myself clearly.

Offline J. McKenna

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2011, 06:39:23 am »
- They are firmly attached to their view or not AND whether you can change this firmly attached view or not

Nope, that is not in any Sutta since their grammar was quite good!  The original link reads better.
...i found there was no "i" anywhere.....

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2011, 12:07:59 pm »
You would be incorrect if you are commenting on the use of "or not and" within grammarical framework when translated from Pali, as this this also occurs in Majjhima Nikaya translated by Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi:

Then the venerable Ānanda thought: “This General Viḍūḍabha is the son of King Pasenadi of Kosala, and I am the son of the Blessed One. This is the time for one son to talk with the other.” He said to General Viḍūḍabha: “General, I shall ask you a question in return. Answer it as you choose. General, what do you think? There is the whole extent of King Pasenadi of Kosala’s realm, where he exercises lordship and sovereignty; now can King Pasenadi of Kosala topple or banish from that place any recluse or brahmin, irrespective of whether that recluse or brahmin has merit or not and whether he leads the holy life or not?”

“He can do so, sir.”

“What do you think, general? There is the whole extent that is not King Pasenadi of Kosala’s realm, where he does not exercise lordship and sovereignty; now can King Pasenadi of Kosala topple or banish from that place any recluse or brahmin, irrespective of whether that recluse or brahmin has merit or not and whether he leads the holy life or not?”

“He cannot do so, sir.”


Source: Majjhima Nikaya 90
Part Two – The Middle Fifty Discourses (Majjhimapannasapali)
The Division on Kings (Rajavagga)




Offline J. McKenna

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2011, 02:48:57 pm »
Just because Pali translators use a structure, doesn't make it correct, grammatically speaking. Especially since the translation probably wasn't first to English    ....
 
But the point was that in the referenced link the incorrect grammar never appears .....
...i found there was no "i" anywhere.....

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2011, 03:22:28 pm »
Unknown to the majority of us, you might be an expert in Pali translation, but the point is that you didn't state such in regard to one particular sutta in reference, but stated that it doesn't occur ANY sutta.

Don't take me wrong, I'm no big fan of Bhikkhu Bodhi or his translations, but there was nothing ambiguous about your statement...  it was just wrong.

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2011, 03:44:44 pm »
Guys, that was actually my summary of the main points of the Kinti Sutta - and not a direct quote (Usually, I use italics for direct quotes).  I did it so that the main points of the Buddha's multiple permutations could be more apparent, looking for the repeating core within the structure and highlighting that which does not repeat.

So apologies if that particular sentence was ambiguous - I should've split it into 2 sentences to make it more clear.  My summary should read a bit more like this:

There are 4 variables for us to consider - whether:
- You will be troubled or not (because some people don't speak up because they know it'll be bothersome for them and it will give them trouble - even if it's for the greater good of all involved)
- They will be hurt (because they are prone to anger and resentment) or not
- They are firmly attached to their view or not
- Whether or not you think you can change this firmly attached in them

So the 1st 3 points can vary at will - but you can still speak up because it's a mere trifle for the 1st 3 points to turn out badly for you or for the person you are disagreeing with.  But if the answer is no to all 4 variables, then stay silent and leave them be - so the key is the 4th variable.

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2011, 04:03:30 pm »
Optimus Prime, there's nothing to apologize for... you were clearly paraphrasing, offering a summation of the sutta's content, something I'm sure wasn't lost to anyone reading it.

As a side note, it's only a disagreement on a thread about disagreement LOL

Yeshe

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2011, 03:44:13 am »
Never enter a disagreement without an exit strategy.

Especially if you plan to invade someone's thread and demolish their infrastructure.


Offline heybai

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2011, 04:51:18 am »
 :lmfao:

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2011, 04:59:52 am »
Yeshe, are you giving us advice about how governments should act?  :wink1:

Yeshe

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Re: How to approach disagreements - the Buddha's guidelines
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2011, 06:33:19 am »
Governments, marriages, gurus, online dating, forums .............. an exit strategy is always useful! LOL :)
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 06:58:50 am by Yeshe »

 


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