I can't relate...?

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I can't relate...?

Postby ryanM » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:09 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm a new member of Dhamma Wheel, but I have a strong respect for this community from the time I've browsed the threads. Now, I'll skimp on the details for it might misdirect what I'm pointing to. So it's been difficult to have 'normal' conversations for quite some time now. I just want to talk about Dhamma, and that's a problem for people around me like my family. I don't go out anymore to socialize (I'm in school), but it's not like I can't communicate with people. Briefly, what's your advice? I've thought about this quite a bit and just can't reach a conclusion in which everyone has peace. An example being that I won't/can't make comments like, 'wow, how about that rain last week?', 'that commercial on channel X was so funny.' this inability, or choice, makes it hard for people who are close to me to know what to say.

with metta and much gratitude,

Ryan


:buddha2:
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby waryoffolly » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:17 pm

Maybe you should consider finding real life buddhist friends? Try searching for a group in your area.
Also, if the people who care about you want to have 'small talk' than there's no reason to not indulge them. Even though the conversation may seem meaningless to you, try to use it as a way to develop metta. If such empty talk has the purpose of learning to be kind to others, than the talk is no longer useless.
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby Sam Vara » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:40 pm

I just want to talk about Dhamma, and that's a problem for people around me like my family.


My advice is not to talk about Dhamma, but to talk in line with Dhamma. There are plenty of things you can talk about, just try to avoid lies, divisive speech, harsh speech, and pointless speech. Affectionate talk with others is, as waryoffolly says, a good way of relating to others. You might even find that as others learn that you are happy to talk, but not talk unskillfully, they change towards you and conversations become more rewarding.

Good luck, Ryan!
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:39 pm

I gave someone else with a similar problem, this counsel:

Too intense.
You need to find the Middle way and balance.
Or you will burn out.

As the lute strings should be neither too tight, nor too loose, to make pleasant and melodious sounds, so your practice should be balanced and in tune with your life.

Not too much, not too little....

Your attachment to the Dhamma will not serve you well, because at one point, it will be necessary for you to let go of the raft.....


Hope it helps.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

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‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby Sati1 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:26 pm

I have had similar experiences and have come to conclude that it's generally not beneficial to talk about the Dhamma to non-Buddhists, unless one can recognize honest curiosity (and even then, only slowly). It might help to remember that your current situation - your friends, your family, your job, etc - are the results of your past kamma, and whether it is pleasant or not, you cannot escape it. What you can do is transform the situation so that it becomes a vehicle on your path, rather than an obstacle. You can practice patience, for example, if someone is talking about a topic you find boring, or compassion. Much can also be done to work with restlessness, pride and anger in such situations. Only if your friends and family are dragging you into unwholesome actions or deterring you from practicing the Path, would I consider cutting the ties.
Sati1
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----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby ryanM » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:39 pm

Thank you everyone for your replies. I'll take them to heart and put them into practice. I wouldn't want to see these relationships spoil because of my narrow thinking.

:anjali:
Ryan
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby martinfrank » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:49 pm

ryanM wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm a new member of Dhamma Wheel, but I have a strong respect for this community from the time I've browsed the threads. Now, I'll skimp on the details for it might misdirect what I'm pointing to. So it's been difficult to have 'normal' conversations for quite some time now. I just want to talk about Dhamma, and that's a problem for people around me like my family. I don't go out anymore to socialize (I'm in school), but it's not like I can't communicate with people. Briefly, what's your advice? I've thought about this quite a bit and just can't reach a conclusion in which everyone has peace. An example being that I won't/can't make comments like, 'wow, how about that rain last week?', 'that commercial on channel X was so funny.' this inability, or choice, makes it hard for people who are close to me to know what to say.

with metta and much gratitude,

Ryan


:buddha2:


Dear Ryan

Your heart is full and you want to talk about what is on your mind. Maybe you can find some Dhamma friends here on Dhamma Wheel to "chat" about Dhamma. Try the chatroom http://www.dhammawheel.com/chat!

When you are confronted with everyday chat, say something sweet and loving, like "Mum, you look great today!"

We don't need to talk at length about the weather but saying "I hope it will not rain all day" doesn't harm. Try focusing on stopping the chat stream in your mind. Let others talk. We cannot change others. We can change ourselves.

When you are new to Dhamma Wheel, it may feel like a club of grumpy old men, but if you start looking around, you'll find a mine of suggestions, encouragement and links to original texts.

May you and all beings be happy!

Martin
The Noble Eightfold Path: Proposed to all, imposed on none.
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby Mkoll » Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:27 am

Sati1 wrote:I have had similar experiences and have come to conclude that it's generally not beneficial to talk about the Dhamma to non-Buddhists, unless one can recognize honest curiosity (and even then, only slowly).

:thumbsup:
Peace,
James
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby LXNDR » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:45 pm

there's a host of topics which the Buddha identified with idle chatter and idle chatter is a speech misconduct, applying to lay people as much as to monks

to monks he advised either discuss Dhamma or keep noble silence
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby cooran » Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:42 pm

Hello LXNDR,

When making assertions about what the Buddha taught, please give links or traceable references.

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby LXNDR » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:03 am

cooran wrote:Hello LXNDR,

When making assertions about what the Buddha taught, please give links or traceable references.

With metta,
Chris


it's tiresome, sorry

this is also a Lounge section, not Theravada per se

if ryanM or anyone asks me for quotations i will readily provide them
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:55 am

LXNDR wrote:
cooran wrote:Hello LXNDR,

When making assertions about what the Buddha taught, please give links or traceable references.

With metta,
Chris


it's tiresome, sorry

this is also a Lounge section, not Theravada per se

if ryanM or anyone asks me for quotations i will readily provide them


Hmmm... so if a MEMBER asks you, you will provide it, but as a Moderator has asked you, you decline the request....?
Because it's 'tiresome'....?

I wonder if such an action would come under "Speech Misconduct"....? Arguing with a Moderator.... Someone likes to live dangerously....! :D

Said TheNoBSBuddhist...... as this is the Lounge section...... ;)

:jumping:
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



Image

Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby waryoffolly » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:30 pm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... tml#speech
Check out the section under "unskillful verbal action". This ,I believe, is the reference LXNDR is missing in his post.
However, also look at the section in "Skillful verbal action". Here we have an instruction to speak words that are " polite, appealing and pleasing to people at large".

While the first section does say to avoid idle chatter, trying to only speak to others about the dhamma when they don't care to hear about it in some cases could definitely be considered "unskillful". Notice the instruction to be polite. This lets us know that at times we must follow a bit of social convention when choosing our speech.

Does this mean it is correct to speak about things that are harmful to path?
I do not think so, however the vast majority of small talk you might have shouldn't be a major issue in affecting your mental development unless you are actively starting and actively maintaining conversation that leads to an increase in lust, greed, and/or delusion.

Sometimes you may need to redirect the conversation if you notice these unwholesome qualities arising, but overall if someone wants to talk to you about something that isn't dhamma, and they are a family member or close friend, be polite and indulge them a bit!
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby Sea Turtle » Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:42 pm

Hi Ryan,

It's wonderful to witness your enthusiasm for the Dhamma. You have gotten some useful suggestion here in terms of connecting with others who share a similar mindset. As you have pointed out, though, the majority of our daily interactions (as lay practitioners) are likely to be with folks who have no knowledge of or interest in the Dhamma.

However, be patient. Over time, you may notice yourself relating more and more to others -- even developing a keen interest in what others have to say. By carefully attending to what underlies the chatter, your interactions with others could become a contemplation on the truth of suffering. The chatter has suffering at its root, which is universal, so there is your point of entry.

It can be an incredible act of kindness to attend closely to the words of others, without judgement, and regardless of whether or not we find the content interesting or engaging. It could give you a precious opportunity to demonstrate the Dhamma without saying a word!

Wishing you well,
Helena
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby Aloka » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:12 pm

ryanM wrote:

I'm a new member of Dhamma Wheel, but I have a strong respect for this community from the time I've browsed the threads. Now, I'll skimp on the details for it might misdirect what I'm pointing to. So it's been difficult to have 'normal' conversations for quite some time now. I just want to talk about Dhamma, and that's a problem for people around me like my family. I don't go out anymore to socialize (I'm in school), but it's not like I can't communicate with people. Briefly, what's your advice? I've thought about this quite a bit and just can't reach a conclusion in which everyone has peace. An example being that I won't/can't make comments like, 'wow, how about that rain last week?', 'that commercial on channel X was so funny.' this inability, or choice, makes it hard for people who are close to me to know what to say.



Hello and Welcome Ryan,

I don't think there's anything wrong with socialising with your school friends occasionally, or in having conversations with others about ordinary life.

When I first came into contact with Buddhism, I was so excited that I wanted to convert everyone else too, which didn't go down so well with friends & family! However,practising the Dhamma is really about looking inwards and seeing how we can improve ourselves and be a good example of the teachings we study. Maybe if we can do that, others might feel inspired by our company in a natural way, without us having to go into any detail unless we're asked.

...Anyway, the good news is that you can talk about the Dhamma here!

With kind wishes,

Aloka :)
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby ryanM » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:04 am

Aloka wrote:
ryanM wrote:

I'm a new member of Dhamma Wheel, but I have a strong respect for this community from the time I've browsed the threads. Now, I'll skimp on the details for it might misdirect what I'm pointing to. So it's been difficult to have 'normal' conversations for quite some time now. I just want to talk about Dhamma, and that's a problem for people around me like my family. I don't go out anymore to socialize (I'm in school), but it's not like I can't communicate with people. Briefly, what's your advice? I've thought about this quite a bit and just can't reach a conclusion in which everyone has peace. An example being that I won't/can't make comments like, 'wow, how about that rain last week?', 'that commercial on channel X was so funny.' this inability, or choice, makes it hard for people who are close to me to know what to say.



Hello and Welcome Ryan,

I don't think there's anything wrong with socialising with your school friends occasionally, or in having conversations with others about ordinary life.

When I first came into contact with Buddhism, I was so excited that I wanted to convert everyone else too, which didn't go down so well with friends & family! However,practising the Dhamma is really about looking inwards and seeing how we can improve ourselves and be a good example of the teachings we study. Maybe if we can do that, others might feel inspired by our company in a natural way, without us having to go into any detail unless we're asked.

...Anyway, the good news is that you can talk about the Dhamma here!

With kind wishes,

Aloka :)


I'm new to this 'quoting' bit, but I just wanted to say thank you! I guess it's a personal treasure of sorts.
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby ryanM » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:06 am

LXNDR wrote:
cooran wrote:Hello LXNDR,

When making assertions about what the Buddha taught, please give links or traceable references.

With metta,
Chris


it's tiresome, sorry

this is also a Lounge section, not Theravada per se

if ryanM or anyone asks me for quotations i will readily provide them


ha it's OK, I've run into those themes before, so I don't need any quotes, but thank you.

:anjali:
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Re: I can't relate...?

Postby jonno » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:03 am

Hi Ryan. What I find useful is to realise that the Dhamma is meant to enable us to interact with and communicate with all beings rather than cut us of from them. We do not have to shun idle chatter with our friends but using skilful speech we can inject a quality of compassion into the conversations . Eg. When our friends. Are criticising another we can gently point out their good points and speak of their attributes rather than their faults. Also we can redirect the conversation into subjects which are of benefit without using Bhuddist terminology in a way your friends can relate to. Try to find joy in others, you don't have to go along with their views. But equally you don't need to be judgemental. Look for your friends pluses and take pleasure in the company of these beautiful beings even though that beauty may be hidden , uncover it and you will find yourself in them and them in yourself. Loosen up babe and enjoy this beautiful world
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