I keep thinking a more skillful practitioner would be able to turn the situation around, and that it is 'good practice' for me. For a time I thought she was making positive changes but recently, as pressures have increased, she is back to her old ways.
There are two different questions here. One is about whether you are behaving ethically in continuing to work with this person. Providing you don't react badly to her, or copy what she does, then it seems you are behaving ethically.
Particularly critical to our spiritual progress is our selection of friends and companions, who can have the most decisive impact upon our personal destiny. It is because he perceived how susceptible our minds can be to the influence of our companions that the Buddha repeatedly stressed the value of good friendship (kalyanamittata) in the spiritual life... If we aspire for the highest — for the peaks of transcendent wisdom and liberation — then we must enter into association with those who represent the highest.
The other question is about whether you want to work with objectionable people. That is not so clearly ethical, just a matter of personal preference and what you are prepared to put up with.
One does not get worked up over impossibilities
Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:One of the most difficult but necessary skills we need to develop as meditators is learning how to be judicious without being judgmental. And as a preliminary step to developing that skill, it's good to reflect on the difference between the two.
Being judgmental is basically an effort to get rid of something we don't understand and probably don't want to understand. We see something we don't like and we try to dismiss it, to stamp it out without taking the time to understand it. We're impatient. Whatever we're being judgmental about, we just want to get rid of it quickly.
Being judicious, however, requires patience together with understanding. A judicious choice is one you've made after understanding all the options, all the sides of a question. That way your choice is based on knowledge, not on greed, aversion, or delusion.
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