being a sucker vs being nice

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

being a sucker vs being nice

Postby purple planet » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:59 am

where is the line - when are you being too nice

for instance at a work place and someone wants you to work at his shift - one time is nice maybe even two or three but more then that isnt it too much ? is it still a good deed that gets merit or is it just you not wanting to refuse ?

good action makes merit but if you agree just cause you dont have the power to argue or refuse - there is no merit in that right?
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
User avatar
purple planet
 
Posts: 653
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:07 am
Location: Israel

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:26 pm

Try to strike a balance, but if you are going to err, err on the side of being a sucker, rather than being not nice, would be my advice.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 866
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby Virgo » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:03 pm

Hi PP,

purple planet wrote:good action makes merit but if you agree just cause you dont have the power to argue or refuse - there is no merit in that right?

Correct, it's just like if you give something because you think you will be a "bad person" if you don't give, and you later regret giving, unwholesome (akusala) mental kamma is created as you regret the action (even for an extremely brief moment).

When you start to dislike the person you are doing these "favors" for, because you decide they must be taking advantage of you, dosa will arise, so it is just a breeding ground for lots of akusala mental kamma to be made for you. Further, you are enabling their akusala tendencies of take advantage of others, helping them increase those tendencies. You are not doing them, nor yourself, any real favors.

As soon as you think there is an "I" that should make good kamma, you start accumulating all sorts of subtle, and not so subtle, akusala relative to the "good goal" of this "I". That is not detachment. When you do such actions motivated by that, there is no sati at those times, and no panna or understanding-- no detachment, instead you are attached, sometimes very strongly. We can have patience (even unwholesome patience), we can give dana and practice generosity, but unless they are motivated by wisdom, instead of ignorance, they are not parami leading to enlightenment (parami must be done with wisdom, not with akusala, such as dosa - which arises with moha). That just heaps up akusala and "creates samsara".

Don't fall into the trap of believing there is this "person" who has to attain on the path. It is very easy to (and I have in the past). At those moments there is no sati of our akusala motivations for "good". Sometimes it's conceit ("I want to be a good Buddhist, or a good person, etc. etc.), sometimes it is aversion ("If I don't do this I'll make bad kamma and suffer a bad result", or "If I don't do this people won't like me", etc. etc.)

Instead, the Buddha implored us to have sati...

Do we have sati if we don't know when we are creating akusala through our akusala motivations? Is there really any development of the path at those times?

Virgo
Virgo
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:38 pm

Or you can just be a good person, and let karma sort it all out!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 866
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby purple planet » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:39 pm

wow that is one quality response virgo

and thanks lyndon also
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
User avatar
purple planet
 
Posts: 653
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:07 am
Location: Israel

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:50 pm

purple planet wrote:where is the line - when are you being too nice

for instance at a work place and someone wants you to work at his shift - one time is nice maybe even two or three but more then that isnt it too much ? is it still a good deed that gets merit or is it just you not wanting to refuse ?

good action makes merit but if you agree just cause you dont have the power to argue or refuse - there is no merit in that right?


I don't believe in "merit" ( cosmic brownie points which you can rack up, out of the context of your true intent like depositing money in a checking account, which are used by the universe to keep score and which you will one day redeem ).

I do believe in basic kamma, in that you reap what you sow.

If you have disrespect for yourself enough to let people push you into doing things when it isn't good for you and when you don't feel motivated by true friendliness, then you will get get concomitant results.

You don't have to choose between being a nice guy and being a sucker.

You can be a completely nice guy, who feels friendliness, metta, while you count your change at the cash register and say "no" to a request where you are being taken for granted.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby Virgo » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:54 pm

purple planet wrote:wow that is one quality response virgo

and thanks lyndon also



Thank you. :anjali:

I appreciate that.

Kevin
Virgo
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby Ajisai » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:38 pm

I'm new to Buddhism so I might say something stupid, but if your friend is taking advantage of you, maybe it is not helping him in the long time. You're covering his shift so it feels like you're being nice to him, but if he is just taking advantage of you and does it because he knows you are "too nice", are you not letting him something unwholesome and getting bad kamma?

If you feel you're taken advantage of and it annoys you, do not accept. It is not good for you and it is not good for the other person (I think). Plus I believe people will respect you more if you say no when it is justified to say no.

Is there not a saying which says that a Buddhist has to take care of others but also has to take care of oneself?
User avatar
Ajisai
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:25 am

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby SarathW » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:41 pm

When Devadatta made unfair demands, Buddha refuse to accept them.
So if anyone make unfair demands from you simply say “no”
Buddha never asked you to be a door mat.
:jedi:
:)
SarathW
 
Posts: 2211
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby Virgo » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:43 pm

Virgo wrote:
As soon as you think there is an "I" that should make good kamma, you start accumulating all sorts of subtle, and not so subtle, akusala relative to the "good goal" of this "I". That is not detachment. When you do such actions motivated by that, there is no sati at those times, and no panna or understanding-- no detachment, instead you are attached, sometimes very strongly. We can have patience (even unwholesome patience), we can give dana and practice generosity, but unless they are motivated by wisdom, instead of ignorance, they are not parami leading to enlightenment (parami must be done with wisdom, not with akusala, such as dosa - which arises with moha). That just heaps up akusala and "creates samsara".

I read something today that made me think of this discussion and I wanted to share it:

We read in Survey of Paramattha Dhammas by Ajahn Sujin Boriharnwanaket page 62:

    "The “Atthasåliní” states (I, Book I, Part I, Ch I, Triplets in the Måtikå, 44) that akusala dhamma as well as kusala dhamma which are not of the eightfold Path(8) are leading to accumulation, to continuation of the cycle of birth and death. We read about akusala and kusala which are not of the Path:

    “...leading to accumulation” (åcayagåmin)are “those states which go about severally, arranging (births and deaths in) a round of destiny like a bricklayer who arranges bricks, layer by layer, in a wall.”

    Whenever we are not aware of the characteristics of realities when they appear and we do not understand them as they are, no matter whether akusala dhamma or kusala dhamma presents itself, we accumulate and build up life after life, just as the bricklayer who piles up the bricks one by one until it is a wall. However, when sati is aware of the characteristics of realities which appear as they really are, that is the Path, that is dispersion (apåcayagåmin 9), because one does not build up dhammas which lead to accumulation, just as a man who tears up the bricks which the bricklayer has piled up. Are we at this moment like the man who knocks down the bricks, or are we like the man who piles up the bricks?"

    (8) One may perform wholesome deeds without the development of the eightfold Path, without right
    understanding of nåma and rúpa. Then there will be no eradication of defilements, no end to the cycle of
    birth and death.

    (9) This is the opposite of åcayagåmin, accumulation.

http://www.abhidhamma.org/survey6.pdf

Look at how subtle this path is.

Kevin
Virgo
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby manas » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:47 am

SarathW wrote:When Devadatta made unfair demands, Buddha refuse to accept them.
So if anyone make unfair demands from you simply say “no”
Buddha never asked you to be a door mat.
:jedi:
:)


:goodpost:

We are aiming at sainthood here, not martyrdom.
User avatar
manas
 
Posts: 2129
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby appicchato » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:37 pm

In a nutshell...discernment...
User avatar
appicchato
 
Posts: 1597
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby HumbleThinker » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:43 pm

purple planet wrote:where is the line - when are you being too nice

for instance at a work place and someone wants you to work at his shift - one time is nice maybe even two or three but more then that isnt it too much ? is it still a good deed that gets merit or is it just you not wanting to refuse ?

good action makes merit but if you agree just cause you dont have the power to argue or refuse - there is no merit in that right?


The Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta has some great advice here:

"Whenever you want to do a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I want to do — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful bodily action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any bodily action of that sort is fit for you to do.


He repeats this for verbal and mental actions as well.
"I know that I know nothing" -Socrates

IOW, take what I say with a grain of salt, for I likely know as little or less than you do.
HumbleThinker
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:02 pm

Re: being a sucker vs being nice

Postby Virgo » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:10 am

appicchato wrote:In a nutshell...discernment...

Yes, exactly. Except that ignorance is so strong, that we need much more than nutshells of discernment.

Kevin
Virgo
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm


Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests