Appearing sanctimonious

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Appearing sanctimonious

Postby Digity » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:34 pm

Do you ever worry about appearing sanctimonious by following the path? For example, not willing to drink, etc. I worry that people will think I'm trying to be holier-than-thou. I think in our modern society this type of conduct is not really welcomed. People don't want to be around someone who is too moral. Thoughts?

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Re: Appearing sanctimonious

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:50 pm

If your intention in not drinking or abstaining from other unwholesome activities is to appear better than others, then it is not a good thing to do. But if your intention is to live a heedful life, then you can't let the criticism of the foolish get to you. Just examine your intentions; if you're acting out of wisdom and self-restraint, then don't worry what others think. Just try and show them the positive nature of your actions through compassionate, wholesome living.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

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Re: Appearing sanctimonious

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:16 pm

In my experience - I don't have a problem with being accepted because I don't drink.
You won't appear sanctimonious because you don't drink - you'll only be sanctimonious if it appears you are moralizing about drinking.
If people want to know why you don't drink - you can tell them you don't like how it affects you.
Those who know you well will know you are a Buddhist.
Your wholesome actions will speak for you.
kind regards,

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

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Re: Appearing sanctimonious

Postby manas » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:13 am

Hi Digity,

I am careful not to draw attention to myself in those situations. If I am offered an alcoholic drink, I just quietly and politely say "no, thanks", then change the subject. It also helps if you are already holding another kind of drink in your hand, and just keep sipping it from time to time. And make sure it remains topped up, so that no one is tempted to pour anything nefarious into it. IMO, there is nothing sanctimonious about the method described above.

What would be sanctimonious would be to loudly say, "No thanks! I am a Buddhist, and we don't indulge in intoxicants, because this creates very bad kamma. Everyone here who is doing so is doing the wrong thing!" And while that statement might be true, it is not appropriate to the situation, because it will most likely not change anyone's mind for the better - it would just make people regard one as a sanctimonious wet blanket.

So it's all in how you handle the situation. imo.

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Re: Appearing sanctimonious

Postby Digity » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:53 am

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Re: Appearing sanctimonious

Postby Mal » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:55 pm

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Re: Appearing sanctimonious

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:32 am

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Re: Appearing sanctimonious

Postby SamKR » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:07 pm

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Re: Appearing sanctimonious

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:24 am

Old Sufi story:

A man goes to the local Mullah with a problem. He says, "My neighbor is always borrowing stuff from me. If it isn't my tools, it's food; if it isn't food it's money. Then half the time he doesn't pay me back. It's driving me crazy. How can I make him stop?"

Mullah: "That's easy enough. Tell your neighbor you've fallen on hard times and can't afford to loan him things anymore. That will put an end to it."

"But sir," the man said. "My neighbor will tell everyone. Word will spread that I've lost my standing in the community, my social position will suffer. My reputation will decline; people will gossip about me and look down on me."

"Ahh," says the Mullah. "Now you want to change the mindset of the world. This is another problem altogether."

Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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