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Opening To People You Find Offensive—Even Yourself.  

 

Whenever I meet a person of bad nature

            Who is overwhelmed by negative energy and intense suffering,

            I will hold such a rare one dear,

            As if I had found a precious treasure.

 

  1. Think of someone whom you consider to have a bad nature, negative energy or intense suffering—perhaps meanness, or sexual perversion, or a murderer, a thief, an alcoholic, drug addict, or a suicide bomber.

 

  1. Recall that compassion—the wish for others to be free of suffering and its causes—is generated by observing others’ pain. There is no other way to develop compassion besides turning into others’ plight. Others are a precious treasure in that they are the basis upon which we develop the noble quality of compassion.

 

  1. Imagine being that person. What does it feel like to think and feel like them? In the same way that you spontaneously want yourself to be free from suffering, let compassion arise for that person.

 

  1. People with intense suffering could be those who are injured, deformed, or very ill. For example, we don’t like going into hospitals. Seeing people who are sick reminds us of our own mortality. When we encounter people who are disfigured, who are very ugly, or who have severe emotional problems, we shirk away. People with negative energy, intense suffering, or a bad nature can be relatives, strangers, or enemies. The last thing we want to do is to hold them dear as if they were precious treasures. But, this is the thing we really need to do. With thought transformation, we cease blocking them out as if they didn’t have feelings. Instead we see their humanity. We recognize that they want to be happy and avoid suffering just like we do. We are exactly the same. We open our hearts and recognize that this person is a product of causes and conditions.

 

Also, we can remember that all things are constantly changing and transforming and see that there’s no solidly existing repulsive person there. What we’re seeing is just a temporary bubble appearing due to causes and conditions. That’s it. How can we hate someone who is experiencing such pain and confusion? How can we be disturbed by someone who doesn’t really exist in the way he/she appears to us? We can remember they are temporarily overwhelmed by negative attitudes—just like we have been before.

 

 

 

Offering Respect and Accepting Others

 

            When others, out of jealousy or other attitudes/reasons,

            Mistreat me with abuse, slander and so on,

            I will practice being calm

            And offering respect and acceptance.

 

Offering respect and acceptance doesn’t mean blaming yourself for things that aren’t your responsibility, losing your self-dignity or making yourself a doormat. It means letting go of having to be right, of having to have the last word.

 

  1. Think of a situation when someone insulted, slandered, disappointed, or verbally abused you. Think of the state that person’s mind, or what their life must have been like in order to made them act that way. Were they happy? Perhaps they were overwhelmed? Let yourself forgive them and feel compassion for everyone in the situation.

 

  1. What would happen if you accepted that you were wronged and let go of the resentment, without retaliating or having the last word? When we offer acceptance, we don’t have to have the last word. We don’t have to prove our case. We don’t have to make sure that everybody understands that we are right and the other person is wrong. It means letting go of our ego’s need to prove itself and be the conqueror.

 

  1. Imagine accepting their harsh words with a calm mind, without fighting back. Would you lose anything? Could it help the situation? What would happen if instead of sowing bitterness you sowed forgiveness?

              Copyright © 2001-2018 Bob Wilson BS, DTR  All Right Reserved. Articles are for personal use only. Please request permission for other uses. Thanks!