Dealing with people who are Dhamma-Resistant

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Mehdi
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Dealing with people who are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby Mehdi » Thu May 15, 2014 4:09 pm

Since I've embraced the Dhamma, I really feel how difficult it is to see people around me suffering so much, from the same things, over and over. Fear, Ego, Craving, etc. I tried so hard to express what I found, to communicate to them the solution that came through to me. But most people seem to be so unreceptive.
How to deal with close people, family, companions, that are still imprisoned in their fear and ego, who are easily offended, who get easily angry...
I've spent 7 years with a woman and the result was null. I've tried so hard to explain and pass on Buddha's message with little to no result.
When I moved on to another relationship I accepted to take the person "as is" and not try to change her nor convince her. But now after a couple of years I am beginning to feel tired of having to live through the same reactions, on and on. No will to accept the fact that ego has taken over the power, no will to understand the root causes of anger, to stop fighting the outside and start changing the inside... It's like talking to a wall. i've also experienced this with my mother. People blinded by their suffering just can't listen and look deeper into things. It is so frustrating.

First Question is
, how to pass on the message in an efficient way ? I have to say that I feel like there are 2 kinds of people : Those who easily get it and those who don't.
Secondly, how to deal with people who are not only ignorant of the dhamma, but also severely rejecting it ? It is easy with strangers and acquaintances, but with close people and relatives, it is another story. All I can do is showing compassion. But when it comes to a partner, to be honest, after some time, I just want to call it quits and leave.
Last edited by Mehdi on Fri May 16, 2014 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dealing with people that are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby culaavuso » Thu May 15, 2014 4:57 pm

Mehdi wrote:First Question is, how to pass on the message in an efficient way ? I have to say that I feel like there are 2 kinds of people : Those who easily get it and those who don't.


One option is to share with people what they're interested in and what they find helpful. This would mean not being distracted by perceptions of what they should be interested in or what they should find helpful.

Mehdi wrote:Secondly, how to deal with people who are not only ignorant of the dhamma, but also severely rejecting it ? It is easy with strangers and acquaintances, but with close people and relatives, it is another story. All I can do is showing compassion. But when it comes to a partner, to be honest, after some time, I just want to call it quits and leave.


Dhp 4 (50) wrote:Let none find fault with others; let none see the omissions and commissions of others. But let one see one's own acts, done and undone.


Head & Heart Together: Bringing Wisdom to the Brahma-viharas by Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Of these four emotions, goodwill (metta) is the most fundamental. It's the wish for true happiness, a wish you can direct to yourself or to others. Goodwill was the underlying motivation that led the Buddha to search for awakening and to teach the path to awakening to others after he had found it.

The next two emotions in the list are essentially applications of goodwill. Compassion (karuna) is what goodwill feels when it encounters suffering: It wants the suffering to stop. Empathetic joy (mudita) is what goodwill feels when it encounters happiness: It wants the happiness to continue. Equanimity (upekkha) is a different emotion, in that it acts as an aid to and a check on the other three. When you encounter suffering that you can't stop no matter how hard you try, you need equanimity to avoid creating additional suffering and to channel your energies to areas where you can be of help. In this way, equanimity isn't cold hearted or indifferent. It simply makes your goodwill more focused and effective.


AN 5.57: Upajjhatthana Sutta wrote:To the extent that there are beings — past and future, passing away and re-arising — all beings are the owner of their actions, heir to their actions, born of their actions, related through their actions, and have their actions as their arbitrator. Whatever they do, for good or for evil, to that will they fall heir.


AN 4.111: Kesi Sutta wrote:"If a tamable person doesn't submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild & harsh training, then I kill him, Kesi."

"But it's not proper for our Blessed One to take life! And yet the Blessed One just said, 'I kill him, Kesi.'"

"It is true, Kesi, that it's not proper for a Tathagata to take life. But if a tamable person doesn't submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild & harsh training, then the Tathagata doesn't regard him as being worth speaking to or admonishing. His knowledgeable fellows in the holy life don't regard him as being worth speaking to or admonishing. This is what it means to be totally destroyed in the Doctrine & Discipline, when the Tathagata doesn't regard one as being worth speaking to or admonishing, and one's knowledgeable fellows in the holy life don't regard one as being worth speaking to or admonishing."


Dhp 23 (328-330) wrote:If you gain a mature companion —
a fellow traveler, right-living, enlightened —
overcoming all dangers
go with him, gratified,
mindful.

If you don't gain a mature companion —
a fellow traveler, right-living, enlightened —
go alone
like a king renouncing his kingdom,
like the elephant in the Matanga wilds,
his herd.

Going alone is better,
there's no companionship with a fool.
Go alone,
doing no evil, at peace,
like the elephant in the Matanga wilds.

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Re: Dealing with people that are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby Mkoll » Thu May 15, 2014 8:24 pm

Mehdi wrote:Since I've embraced the Dhamma, I really feel how difficult it is to see people around me suffering so much, from the same things, over and over. Fear, Ego, Craving, etc. I tried so hard to express what I found, to communicate to them the solution that came through to me. But most people seem to be so unreceptive.
How to deal with close people, family, companions, that are still imprisoned in their fear and ego, who are easily offended, who get easily angry...

You haven't found the solution yet, either. You're still subject to craving and fear. Believing that you have found a solution gives you an air of superiority that most people can sense immediately and it shuts them down. You'll not convince many people by assuming you've solved all your problems and they haven't solved theirs. And you have the answers to solve their problems.

Mehdi wrote:I've spent 7 years with a woman and the result was null. I've tried so hard to explain and pass on Buddha's message with little to no result.
When I moved on to another relationship I accepted to take the person "as is" and not try to change her nor convince her. But now after a couple of years I am beginning to feel tired of having to live through the same reactions, on and on. No will to accept the fact that ego has taken over the power, no will to understand the root causes of anger, to stop fighting the outside and start changing the inside... It's like talking to a wall. i've also experienced this with my mother.

Given this post and your other post about your girlfriend thinking you're a vegetable, I really think you need to examine the kind of people you get into relationships with and your reasons for getting into them.

Mehdi wrote:People blinded by their suffering just can't listen and look deeper into things. It is so frustrating.

Again, that's the air of superiority. You hold this view and it gives you a sense of superiority because it implies that you aren't blinded by your suffering.

Mehdi wrote:Secondly, how to deal with people who are not only ignorant of the dhamma, but also severely rejecting it ? It is easy with strangers and acquaintances, but with close people and relatives, it is another story. All I can do is showing compassion. But when it comes to a partner, to be honest, after some time, I just want to call it quits and leave.

Don't bother preaching to people who don't want to listen to what you have to say. You're just wasting your breath and annoying them.

I agree with your last sentence: call it quits and leave, amicably of course.
Peace,
James

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Re: Dealing with people that are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby Mehdi » Thu May 15, 2014 10:55 pm

Mkoll wrote:You haven't found the solution yet, either. You're still subject to craving and fear. Believing that you have found a solution gives you an air of superiority that most people can sense immediately and it shuts them down. You'll not convince many people by assuming you've solved all your problems and they haven't solved theirs. And you have the answers to solve their problems.

Given this post and your other post about your girlfriend thinking you're a vegetable, I really think you need to examine the kind of people you get into relationships with and your reasons for getting into them.

Again, that's the air of superiority. You hold this view and it gives you a sense of superiority because it implies that you aren't blinded by your suffering.

Don't bother preaching to people who don't want to listen to what you have to say. You're just wasting your breath and annoying them.
I agree with your last sentence: call it quits and leave, amicably of course.


Thank you for your sensible answer. You pointed out something true. Since the beginning, my companion reproached me my air of superiority when I speak about all this, like a professor giving lecture, so she shuts down like an oyster. I surely need to re-work the form and the method. Do not get mistaken, I am aware that I did not "FIND" the solution. I just have a good intuition to it, and been practicing for a few years, and trying to get better at it, more and more. And it paid off so far, more than I expected. My pain and suffering have lowered considerably. I enjoin people to try by themselves and see. Just as the Buddha himself did, I guess. I did not solve all my problems, I'm still subject to craving for sure, and even fear. but I changed positively, and am way happier today and less subject to the suffering I was drowning in before I found Dhamma. I may still be blinded by my suffering, for sure, but I am getting lucid about it a little bit more every day, or at least, I'm trying sincerely.


As of choosing the right relationships, your observation makes me wonder. I did meet other (rare) people, friends, who were way more receptive to all this "gibberish" of mine. Should I exclusively try to get along with people who are receptive and share my beliefs, views, and state of mind ? Because, to be honest, this leaves almost no one around statistically. I live in an eastern country and am surrounded by people who are nothing nearly close to all this. I have mentally accepted single status to be a fatality so far from this point of view. When I speak with a girl friend of mine we share this feeling that people really sensitive to this tend to be more of an exception nowadays in our society. So I accepted, through spite, to get along with girls even though they are sticking to the common norm, far from Dhamma, in suffering, and more or less unreceptive to it, attachement to ego being rooted too deep in their personalities, and unwilling to leave. I perhaps should wisely switch back to my abstinent years, as long as I do not find the right person... :thinking:

You two last advice are tough. When you're close to somebody, it's hard to hold back from wasting your breath, as you keep seeing them suffer on and on.

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Re: Dealing with people that are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby Mkoll » Fri May 16, 2014 12:18 am

Mehdi wrote:I just have a good intuition to it, and been practicing for a few years, and trying to get better at it, more and more. And it paid off so far, more than I expected. My pain and suffering have lowered considerably.


I think your measured response to my rather scathing words is indicative that this is true.

Mehdi wrote:Should I exclusively try to get along with people who are receptive and share my beliefs, views, and state of mind ? Because, to be honest, this leaves almost no one around statistically.

You can get along at least passably with everyone. I think you have to or you'll always be frustrated. And interacting with people is of course part of life no matter who you are. I'm sure you'll find a way to be at (relative) peace with those you meet.

In regards to seeking out friends and companions to spend time with, that's completely under your control. Personally, I don't seek out people who generate that kind of conflict in my mind.

Mehdi wrote:You two last advice are tough. When you're close to somebody, it's hard to hold back from wasting your breath, as you keep seeing them suffer on and on.

I suggest turning your mind towards your own faults rather than those of others, as culaavuso's quote from Dhammapada 4 says.
Peace,
James

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Re: Dealing with people that are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby chownah » Fri May 16, 2014 2:37 am

Mehdi,
I think you should learn about how to develop equanimity......I think it is one of the primovalhallas.
chownah

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Re: Dealing with people that are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 16, 2014 2:45 am

There are few things more annoying than being preached at by someone who imagines they have the truly true truth. If you want to make an impact, then live a good life. Let your life speak for you.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Dealing with people that are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby Digity » Fri May 16, 2014 4:17 am

tiltbillings wrote:There are few things more annoying than being preached at by someone who imagines they have the truly true truth. If you want to make an impact, then live a good life. Let your life speak for you.

Amen! Took my a while to figure this out myself, but I've come around.
Samsara sucks. #samvega

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Re: Dealing with people that are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby Mkoll » Fri May 16, 2014 4:21 am

Digity wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:There are few things more annoying than being preached at by someone who imagines they have the truly true truth. If you want to make an impact, then live a good life. Let your life speak for you.

Amen! Took my a while to figure this out myself, but I've come around.

Likewise. I imagine this is the case for a lot of us. We're so happy to have found the Dhamma that we become a bit too overenthusiastic about sharing it with others.
Peace,
James

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Re: Dealing with people who are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby Mehdi » Fri May 16, 2014 8:16 am

I hear your point brothers. And I understand. However, from a concrete and practical perspective, you know how difficult it is to have to bear negativeness coming from a person in a regular fashion. I spent my childhood and youth with an overly irritable mother, and this is what brought me to question the roots of anger and negative emotions at a very young age. I am really annoyed when I have to deal with bad-tempered people. It is not easy to stay in "equanimity" when you are constantly yelled at. It is hard not to react at all and keep calm. This was always my goal. But I still have considerable progress to do.
I would not preach if I my peace was not annoyed by some close people. First off, you see them suffering and you want to enjoin them to try the remedy for themselves. Secondly, if they don't change, they will still disrupt your balance (especially if it's a companion). So the only solution left is to stay away from them.
Speaking of relationships, I guess this leaves you with no other choice but trying to find somebody who is Dhamma-receptive.

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Re: Dealing with people who are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby Mkoll » Fri May 16, 2014 2:18 pm

Mehdi wrote:It is not easy to stay in "equanimity" when you are constantly yelled at. It is hard not to react at all and keep calm. This was always my goal. But I still have considerable progress to do.

If you're constantly being yelled at...dude, get out! I'm not even saying that from a Buddhist perspective but a practical one.

Speaking of relationships, I guess this leaves you with no other choice but trying to find somebody who is Dhamma-receptive.

Or you could find someone who is Dhamma-neutral but is also a nice person who doesn't yell at you and just not bring the Dhamma up. Or you could not search for more sexual relationships.
Peace,
James

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Re: Dealing with people who are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby Mehdi » Fri May 16, 2014 3:02 pm

Mkoll wrote:Or you could not search for more sexual relationships.

I am seriously considering that. If there was a magic pill to get rid of sensual passion I would take it right away. But sadly, there is no such thing.
I did put waaaaaay too much vain energy into this, and I'm seriously tired of that sh*t. But it's like I can't help it. I was abstinent a whole year last year (when I was penniless) and meditated a lot, but to be honest it did not go very well I always felt I was lacking something, like a constant urge.
Still got no clue to this so far.

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Re: Dealing with people who are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby Mkoll » Fri May 16, 2014 3:51 pm

Mehdi wrote:I was abstinent a whole year last year (when I was penniless) and meditated a lot, but to be honest it did not go very well I always felt I was lacking something, like a constant urge.

You aren't alone. That constant urge is sensual desire in one form or another and everybody has it except for the very wise.

You still have that urge, do you not? You're just getting it satisfied more often so it's not on your mind as much.

Mehdi wrote:Still got no clue to this so far.

You have to take action, shake things up, change the way you're doing things. It's painful and you don't want to do it. But if you want to change, you have got to make it happen.

Sorry for the corny pep talk. But it's true in all spheres of life.
Last edited by Mkoll on Fri May 16, 2014 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dealing with people who are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Fri May 16, 2014 4:03 pm

I very often hate cliché sayings because they are so very cliché.
Sadly, the reason they are cliché is because they are so true...
Things like, "walk the talk" or Actions speak louder than words" and " A fool is known by a multitude of words"....

The best way to convey the wisdom, truth and reliability of the Dhamma, is to live each day according to what the Buddha and the suttas teach, to the best of your ability.
Remember, the only tried-and-tested 'truth' in Buddhism, are the 4 Noble Truths.

Noble precisely because of their indisputable veracity. All else is for your discernment, cogitation, appraisal, evaluation, scrutiny and examination.
And acceptance or otherwise, of it, is your choice.

Thus, you must accept, it is for others also.

I had a partner who was not Buddhist, yet listened openly to my responses when they asked a question of me, or sought explanation of something. They never claimed Buddhism was something they admired or followed but they were always respectful.
And I never sought to take the initiative and instruct, without first being invited to do so.

As for your girlfriend - well, you know really, what you must do there, so I won't repeat myself....
: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: Dealing with people that are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby Aloka » Sat May 17, 2014 7:36 am

tiltbillings wrote:There are few things more annoying than being preached at by someone who imagines they have the truly true truth. If you want to make an impact, then live a good life. Let your life speak for you.


That's so true. When I first got involved with Buddhism I felt compelled to babble to my (non-religious) friends about it, with less than encouraging responses. Eventually I realised that they were probably much kinder, more aware people than me anyway and that I was the one who needed to review my outlook on life.

.

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Re: Dealing with people who are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby Dom » Mon May 19, 2014 12:01 am

I feel those people you mentioned aren't blinded by their suffering; they haven't suffered enough to look for a meaningful way to cease the suffering. The way I think of it is if a house with enjoyable things were filling with smoke; if the smoke was bearable (enough sensual pleasures to offset the dissatisfaction, the mental inability to discern the cause and effect of their actions), the people would be willing to stay and bear it and not want to leave, and a lot of things can be pleasurable even if they are transitory, like sex, love, family, friends, food, drugs, praise, status, beauty, ect. (I've been to the bar many times, and have seen friends who have gotten punched in the face, thrown up, feet hurting, still wanting to stay, drink, and dance, and I can't convince them to leave). It's only when the smoke has really seeped into your lungs and keeps you from breathing that you realize none of the pleasures, no matter how refined and exquisite, aren't getting rid of the smoke, and it isn't worth staying in the house, THEN you look for an escape.

For your first question, you aren't required to pass the message. If you want to pass the message because you don't like seeing people suffer, or you enjoy talking about it or teaching, that's a craving that will bother you no matter how many people you help - it's a problem you have to deal with yourself that no amount of doing things outside yourself will change. Compassion isn't to guilt you into helping people, compassion is the realization that everyone is looking to be happy just like you, and you're willing to help them because it will benefit both you, the other person, and all those that come in contact with the two of you, i.e. it's harmless and beneficial to all beings. But you can't force someone to give something up, it's up to them to maintain themselves and to practice, and they won't do that until they are ready. The most compassionate thing you can do is be willing to be there when they reach that point of dissatisfaction with everything they do, and look and see you are the only person in this burning house of smoke not coughing and suffering, and as someone who is starving looks and asks questions of a man who looks healthy and well fed how he does it, they will look to you for guidance.

For your second question, being a lay practitioner is difficult, because you want to work for your own true and meaningful happiness, but you want to maintain the things you have now without discomfort. The issue is that the attachment to the opinions of others, the concern with praise and blame, rejection and acceptance, is going to guide your actions, and you can't go in two directions in the same time. This is why its hard to be a lay person; you want to cease craving to the five clinging aggregates while at the same time craving for them to be a certain way, through having people accept you or be willing to support you. I heard Thanissaro Bhikkhu say, "Nobody paid you to be born," and that's an important point. It's not your responsibility to make or convince these people to respect or like you; mother, father, family, significant other, friends, aquantiances, strangers, no one. Your responsibility is to take care of yourself, because you are the author of your own kamma (as they are of theirs even if they don't realize it), which means it is your duty to yourself to realize loving-kindness towards them because they look for happiness as you do, and you do this for your own benefit as an antidote to your own ill-will, no one elses. This is why you are loving, caring, compassionate, respectful, considerate and appreciative to people, because that loving kindness is the only way to stop your own craving aspects of ill-will, of craving form, feeling, perception, and mental formations to be different than they are right now, and it's harmless and beneficial to all beings including yourself which is a nice bonus and helpful in maintaining the practice.

Basically, the short of it is this: if you are bothered by other peoples suffering and you crave to help them or teach them because you don't want to see or be around suffering, that's a problem with you and no one else, and you will need to deal with that first before you can share with those wanting, willing and ready to listen and ask you about the healing powers of ceasing craving. If people don't like you, that's their problem. If you don't like the fact that people don't like you, that's your problem.

Best of luck to you in your personal practice, metta.

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Re: Dealing with people who are Dhamma-Resistant

Postby vesak2014 » Mon May 19, 2014 8:07 pm

Mehdi wrote:First Question is[/b], how to pass on the message in an efficient way ? I have to say that I feel like there are 2 kinds of people : Those who easily get it and those who don't.

When dealing with non-buddhists, try not to use any buddhist label such as Buddha, Dhamma, etc, use common words instead. This is to avoid any impression (they may think) you want to evangelize them. Pass on the message sincerely and casually.
Secondly, how to deal with people who are not only ignorant of the dhamma, but also severely rejecting it ? It is easy with strangers and acquaintances, but with close people and relatives, it is another story. All I can do is showing compassion. But when it comes to a partner, to be honest, after some time, I just want to call it quits and leave.

Even among buddhists there are those who are ignorant and rejective. You have plenty of time together with your partner, so be patient and keep trying to share what you know. With love, anything is possible. Maybe try different wording or approach. Relax and avoid being pushy.
Beings are bound to their kamma, right. Maybe the fruit of your partner's past kamma sealed her from understanding dhamma. Do more good deeds together. Hopefully after some time the fruit will be over quite soon.

:anjali:


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