Thoughts about criticism

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Thoughts about criticism

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:42 am

This, Atula, is an old saying; it is not one of today only:
they blame those who are silent,
they blame those who speak too much.
Those speaking little too they blame.
No one avoids blame in this world. (Dhp v 227)

In this world, one can barely speak without being criticised by someone. Whatever one says, even with a good intention, it may be taken in the wrong way by others.

It all depends on the motive behind the criticism. One should listen to the criticism of the wise, but one should disregard the criticism of fools.

Mahagandhayon Sayādaw
"While fleeing from a chasing tiger, don’t heed the dog’s barking.”
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Re: Thoughts about criticism

Postby Annapurna » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:29 am

Thanks for sharing this, Bikkhu.

To put some flesh on the bones of this thread.

I said to a fellow Buddhist, who often harshly critisises some others:

"You have a strong agenda..[he does].. can you understand that, from here, it looks like you're being a little attached to this? Not that I don't have my own attachments!" :smile:


My intention was to help this person realize he is being, a little, attached. (Always imo!)

I wanted to help him to relax about a certain situation in which he felt he was wronged. To let go of the past, and to help him stop being so angry. He is on warpath with some folks.

It caused this person to send me an outraged, offensive PM.

Gawd. :thinking:

So, was it unskillful of me?

I accept your judgement and will try to learn from it.
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Re: Thoughts about criticism

Postby Jechbi » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:24 pm

Hi Annabel,

Another thing to consider might be the nature of typing messages on a keyboard instead of talking face-to-face. Some folks just don't have the skill to compose written communications that convey the nuances of their intentions. So their messages come across as blurted out, angry, accusatory, hurt. In person, they might come across very differently, even if they are saying some of the same things.

Don't worry about it too much.

:smile:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Thoughts about criticism

Postby Annapurna » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:28 pm

Ok. Sure.

Did you just drop a hint??? :thinking: :tongue:

And of course, the receiver of a message can read things into posts as well.

It's really so much harder, online.
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Re: Thoughts about criticism

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:36 pm

Jechbi wrote:Another thing to consider might be the nature of typing messages on a keyboard instead of talking face-to-face. Some folks just don't have the skill to compose written communications that convey the nuances of their intentions. So their messages come across as blurted out, angry, accusatory, hurt. In person, they might come across very differently, even if they are saying some of the same things.

This is a very good point to remember on forums. A post addressed to one person is often taken as insulting someone else. :goodpost:

Even the Buddha was often misunderstood.
This is what he said about Venerable Sāriputta in the Dhammapada:
“Assaddho akataññū ca, sandhicchedo ca yo naro.
Hatāvakāso vantāso, sa ve uttamaporiso.”

“The ungrateful, faithless burglar, has ruined his life.
He eats what is vomitted by others, yet thinks that he is superior.”

If taken at face value, that is what the Pāli could be taken to mean. However, what the Buddha really meant by verse 97 of the Dhammapada was this:
The man who is not credulous, who knows the uncreate,
who has cut off rebirth, who has destroyed all results,
and expelled all desires, he is truly an excellent man. (Dhp v 97)
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Re: Thoughts about criticism

Postby Annapurna » Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:10 pm

Excellent teaching, thank you, Bikkhu.

Would the following translation be acceptable?

Original:
The man who is not credulous,1 who knows the uncreate,


new
The man who is not credulous, because he knows the uncreate


It would make the understanding easier, imo?

Thank you.

Anna
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Re: Thoughts about criticism

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:35 pm

Annabel wrote:Would the following translation be acceptable?
The man who is not credulous, because he knows the uncreate

Thats not what the text says. "ca" just means "and" not "because."

“Incredulous and knower of the uncreate (nibbāna),” is what it says.

There is no connection required between being incredulous and realising nibbāna, though one who had realised nibbāna would no longer need to take it on faith that it is the highest kind of bliss, as they would have direct experience of it. Venerable Sāriputta was very wise, while Vakkali, for example, had a great deal of faith in the Buddha.
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Re: Thoughts about criticism

Postby Annapurna » Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:31 pm

Stories like this often make me cry, I don't know why.
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