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Khyenrab

Wanna Be Friends

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Guest Ani.Chödrön

I believe that respect exists on many layers, and its depth depends on one's sincerity.

 

We can organize our world in a net of various roles, starting with the role we put ourselves in, calling it identity, and arrange the co-stars around it, according to liking and disliking, pleasure and pain, fear and hope etc. Less one is aware of these roles, stronger they are, to my limited experiences. I see the examples that you have mentioned in this framework (the undifferentiated selfrespect of an advertisement and the undifferentiated respect towards an authority or a person we like). Such structures function, more or less, and respect does exist, but it is superficial: what is “white†at one point, can be seen as “black†later on, and vice versa, so this type of respect is not very stable and reliable.

 

I believe that this way of thinking can be significantly changed, on the basis of sincere analysis, often triggered by outer circumstances. A historical example: The Victorian society used to suppress some of its weaknesses and project them into the “primitive societyâ€. Due to the more honest view to it's own philosophical, economical, etc. platform, and due to the more honest research of the other cultures, it became clear that the societies function in a more similar manner than it was presupposed before.

 

The deconstruction of fixed roles of oneself and the others and the recognition of the underlying similarities seems to enable the equanimity view from the Khetsun's post and respect based on the acceptance of a person as a whole (oneself included), that you are talking about. So, more one is sincere to oneself, more similarities are found beneath the surface, stronger is the feeling of interconnectivity, and more stable is the respect. This respect is not subject to liking or disliking, pleasure or pain. I would call it respect for the abundance and the beauty of the potentials of each being, in each moment.

 

All the very best,

chödrön

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Dear all,

 

I agree with what Ani Chodron wrote, yet I would like to expose one thing that is important to me. If we practice equanimity it must be a very difficult training. I myself did not go through this at all. What is important is that a person practicing equanimity does not find itself above the others who are not practicing equanimity. Actually I can say, maybe I practice it, but am not aware of it. Maybe I do some practices that are helping with this, but I never talk about this subject. I most probably need to add this to my vocabulary, yet what is a vocabulary. Maybe I will just practice more to subdue my mind. So that it becomes more flexible for the others, that my identification is less fixed, that I am more observant and mindful, that instead of following the impulses I do my best to react in the most beneficial way for the others.

 

A person practicing equanimity can be or might not be flexible within. So I believe this is also an important subject. We should observe how many times we get stuck when in relation with others. We should honestly see how equanim we are. Example: I can be practicing not being angry, yet whenever adversity arises I get angry. So yes, I am working on anger, yet not putting myself above all the others due to practicing on anger. Humbleness I believe is a very important quality of one practitioner. I believe it allows one to honesty observe where one is, honestly admit the inner difficulties, puts one in the same position as the others, allows to help in a more efficient way, allows one to see also a vast area of delusions one needs to work on.

 

Theory is great. Lets apply it to ourselves first in as many moments we are aware of. Lets see where we are. Lets be honest. Let us enter in honest relations with the others. Lets have the mistakes :-// , lets be happy sometimes :-// , stuck the other day :-// , brilliant the next morning :-// . Lets be acceptive of our mind flow, we can not cut the flow to fit perfection, our flow is already perfect - it passes from moment to moment and is anyhow not us. Lets relax :)

 

In addition lets allow others to interact with our mind flow. If we show to others a fixed perfect picture of us it unfortunately does not allow interaction. It might also not allow others to learn from us in the best way. Picture is unfortunately static. We might be having many different not completely great states of mind and through time this might get better. I believe that Buddhas and Bodhisatvas are honestly sharing the mind that they have, so why are we choosing to star perfection? I believe perfection is not the best bet.

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Hello,

do you think friendship can something forced?

no, but it can be given.

I guess friendship can develop, if proper conditions are present (it seems to be a gradual process that takes time - like baking bread ;) ). Mutual consent being a necessary, but perhaps not the sole or even the most important ingredient. If one wants to 'give' or 'take' friendship and the differences (or the expectations) are too vast, the whole 'project' can end up as 'a zero sum game' - i.e. with the accumulation of negativities on both sides - as e.g. convincingly shown here, albeit by an example of a relationship gone eerily wrong ://

.

 

Friendship seems overrated in a way: when someone dies, he won't see his or her friends maybe for eons, so better to focus on something with a permanent value - like spiritual progress during the lifetime. On the other hand friendship might be underrated: it is not 'just attachment', it can be based on trust, reliance, mutual respect, mutual help, cooperation for the benefit of others. And it is always good to have someone to call in the middle of the night, when the car breaks down ;) .

 

Something else: we often mention helping others. It seems that without realizations every help we offer is ego tainted and even more: every request for help from someone in need is also ego-tainted. So, helping others can sometimes end up as a collaboration on a mutual ego-trip.

 

Best regards,

Draftsman

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Guest Ani.Chödrön
Something else: we often mention helping others. It seems that without realizations every help we offer is ego tainted and even more: every request for help from someone in need is also ego-tainted. So, helping others can sometimes end up as a collaboration on a mutual ego-trip.
Yes. Until we have realized Emptiness, everything we do, including helping the others, including the practices, including Guru devotion, is tinted by ego. Yet, as far as i understood, there is no other way out of samsara as submiting oneself to the Guru, performing the practices AND helping the others according to one's abilities, thus generating the virtues motivation of the Awakening Mind and generating merits. Depending on motivation and other circumstances, the outcome should be more positive than negative. ;)

 

All the very best,

chodron

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Guest tata

When I say "can" it does not mean "has to" ;) What one will do in a given situation should be based on both wisdom and compassion and as Ani says: our motivation will define the results of our action.

 

Warmest regards and A Happy New Year! Wish you inner peace and joy! Wish you a good Dharma practice!

Khetsun

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Dear all,

thank you for all the thoughts you shared within this thread. It looks like sometimes it is easier to interact like this, from the distance-it-seems-to-be, when in our own homes, to share our own worlds; i guess it is easier like this to create this space, to not jump, to not re-act, but just share. But still this too is a part of our relations - we all know each other! :-) - for what we give, offer to each other as best as we can: "relations based on trust, reliance, mutual respect, mutual help, cooperation for the benefit of others" (quoting draftsman) - friendship. Not always aware of it, in fact very rarely on the surface with this wish, i do wish to all of us a lot of this space within ourselves, to the very point :-) that it is not even any more about the space within ourselves!

all the very best

pamo

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What do we expect in a “friend relationship”? What is our motivation, our needs, our projection?

 

So many times, people are not aware of their projections and expectations, which makes most relationship complex, if not complicated.

 

First - if you understand well karma and have the right motivation - there is no reason “not” to be friend with someone, no reason to establish any form of unpleasant relation. But, second, if there is a “need” to be friend, it can be like a craving, craving for our own needs rather than trying to benefit the other(s).

 

In the second lies the source of most problems in relationship. We do not see the others as they are, but as we expect them to be, as what they can bring us, and this on an unconscious level so it's not easy to work on. As long as we crave for care and love, we are unsatisfied and experience suffering; and eventually bring suffering to the others too.

 

It requires effort in meditation to expose to ourselves our own inner mechanisms, to see them, accept them, and work on changing them. Until then, lets remain “as a piece of wood” whenever we can notice that our emotions and/or egoism are overwhelming us and making us to act, may it be trying to impose our vision, wishes, desires for relationship.

 

We better learn to find peace and stability in meditation and prayers rather than to run after others in need for attention, consideration, and à¢-Ëœfriendship'...

 

All the best

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