There are a couple people I interact with that no matter what I say, they are sarcastic and negative. The expressed behavior attack, rip, minimize, devalue, minimize, invalidate, negate, divide and criticize. Though I'd rather not admit it, dealing with them is what I'd describe as a bummer. The bummer factor with me is in that I'm not one of those people thrives on conflict and gets their "batteries," charged from it.
The challenge is, how do we team-up with people who have zero interest in working or cooperating outside their own agenda? How do we dance with people who are frequently hostile or negative? In short, a "possible" answer goes back to what I was talking about yesterday... Living by Vow. So what are the specific vows I'm talking about?
Though some may think vows are a little lofty, vague and abstract, they often find a very clear and concrete point of expression. This is important to learn and experience. If our practice has no real-time practical application, it's useless and should be dropped.
In dealing with people who "seem" to have a knack for conflict, I make the strong effort to notice what is so-called "Right," about that person, rather than see what's wrong in their attitude or behavior. Remember, "What we think about expands." If I think and feel like you are a jerk that what expands for me. If I think and feel that you are a Buddha, carrying awakened mind, that's what expands for me too.
Surely if people can learn to work with and tame lions, tigers, elephants, bears... fear, anger, frustration, resentment, disappointment, depression, then so to with the relationships that we have with other people as well. This effort is easier said than done, but at the same time constantly teaches us a lot about others and ourselves.
What are the vows and policies of mind that we make the effort to live by? How's our relationship with our vow(s) going?
Kosho Uchiyama Roshi once wrote "Only when you live by vow does everything you meet- wherever, whenever, whatever happens- reinforce your life as buddha-dharma. As long as you have that vow to live out your life wherever you are, sooner or later spring will come. And when it does, you will have the strength to grow. This is the life force. You have to thoroughly understand that this is completely different from selfish ambition."
Please give what I'm saying, some feeling and thought. Write back and express your own experiences. In the sharing of our life, we help each other and fulfill our purpose of being.
May Your Life Go Well,
Jaye Seiho Morris, Curator