2023-01-31-Gil-Hindrances or Assistances (2 of 5) Aversion or Averting
6:56AM Feb 4, 2023
So then continuing today with the strategies for dealing with challenges. And we have healthy strategies and unhealthy strategies. And all too often the unhealthy strategies, which are often our best efforts to cope with great difficulty, sometimes makes situation worse or worse, we spiral out, we get caught up in the reactivity to the challenges we have. And, and sometimes that reactivity or the caught up this or what's gets triggered in US can be so strong, that it's can be overwhelming and challenging. So it's helpful if we develop a habit of looking at how we are in challenges. With a question, what's my strategy here? What am I trying to do? How am I reacting or responding to this challenge that I have. And so the five hindrances are often unhealthy strategies. And we're trying our best to cope with it. But we're often choosing a way which may be can seem beneficial, but actually is not. And this is particularly true with the second of the hindrances, which is often translated into English as aversion. And so in Buddhist English, we have to understand that when the word aversion is used, it doesn't mean just simply the state of averting ourselves from something. But it's also the state of having certain kind of hostility or ill will, towards something. And sometimes the the instinct to fight the instinct to attack, the challenge we have, it can seem very productive or very important or appropriate or justified in the moment. And, but, and maybe it even accomplishes what we want. But it does sell at a tremendous cost. And the example that I've used often I apologize for repeating myself is, again, back to my son when he was young. There were some times when my no to him was, I used what I called my strong voice. And, and I'm afraid that I was, you know, pretty angry by that time that I used it. But I felt like this has to stop. And so I had a strong voice. And then he would stop. And times when I said no to him, and it was appropriate, there were times it was helpful for him to hear that. And he would be happy afterwards, he knew the limits of what he could do. And he understood the world were better. But when I used to a strong voice, I would accomplish what I wanted to do, and said, Oh, that worked, you know, and, and that was good. But then some time later, I heard him using the same voice for his younger brother. And I thought, Oh my What have I done here? What kind of conditioning? What example have I given of what's appropriate how to be with people. And so the long term consequences of have the strong voice kind of strong, no aversion sometimes accomplishes what we want at the moment is not so healthy, it creates unhealthy relationships, perhaps. So so but you know, it is attempt to take care of ourselves at times. It's other sometimes a version or No, is doesn't really take care of ourselves what to take what is what is taken care of, is our desires, taken care of our set our conceit, and, and we don't want that threatened in any way, we won't be able to do whatever we want. So there's a whole world of strategy that comes into play with the second hindrance with aversion. And we have to understand this as a strategy. We're trying to accomplish something in the world through it. And then the question is, is there? Is there a more healthy way of accomplishing this? Some of the same things were healthy thing that we would want. So the, the, the healthy side of aversion is averting there is a healthy appropriate, turning away from things stepping away from things. I'm not going to say that I'm not going to go into that. I'm not going to participate in this. And, but it isn't with hostility, it isn't with anger. It isn't with shutting down. But it's saying this is not working. And until somehow this can work better, I'm gonna step back, I'm going to turn away. And so there's all kinds of healthy turning away, that we can do in our in our life and our strategy. So turning away so we can recover or turning away so we can settle ourselves or discover ourselves understand what how we've been impacted. So that later, we might be able to if it's appropriate to come back and have a conversation or deal with some issue, but to go headlong, you know, rushing into trying to take care of a problem, that doesn't have to be taken care of, in the moment, maybe there can be even a few minutes wait. So we can catch our breath, get some clear sense of what's happening. So we can find other strategies besides hostility, besides blaming someone, and sometimes that hostility is directed to oneself. And, and that just as important when the hostility is directed to the blame is directed to oneself? The guilt, the shame the, you know, here, I did it, I made a big mistake. Again, I that kind of aversion or hostility or, or criticism of ourselves, also is a strategy that trying to make things better, but it doesn't. And so is there another way? Is there a way of recognizing, wow, that didn't work. Or maybe I did, say something I shouldn't have said, and I'm going to turn away from that, I'm not going to do that again. But I'm not going to attack myself, I'm not going to live under the weight of guilt or shame, I'm going to do something better. I'm going to say no to it. And in the future, I'm going to dedicate myself to doing better in the future, I'm going to find a better way. And so in Buddhism, we learn from the past, just enough to be inspired, even be encouraged. There is a better way, I'm going to find it, I'm going to do that. I'm going to say no to behavior, which is not healthy, and try to find healthy ways of doing that. There are definitely times we want to learn to avert times when we want to say no. There's a way of saying no to someone that is not attacking them or exactly saying, you know, you're wrong, that can't be done. But we say no, I can't participate in that. No, this doesn't work for me. No, I think that, if that's the way this conversation is going, I think that I need to step away for a little bit. And I need to regroup because this is this kind of conversation causes me to not come from my best place or to be clear. I don't want to I feel my anger coming up now. And I find that I don't want to be able, I don't want to talk from my hostility in my anger. Can we take a break? I'd like to go around the block and chill. And then you come back and you still are very definitive and say no, this doesn't work. This is not right for me, or can we find we have to find a different way? So we're definitive, we're clear. But we don't come from a place of hostility. The strategy we have is how can we find a way to be connected? How can we find a way to cooperate in this endeavor? How can we find a way that that I take care of myself in a definitive and clear way I stand up for myself, but no one's attacked? That no one there's no hostility? And, and so, there's, I've noticed I've seen some times in Buddhism where we have the strong value of not acting with a version not having a version that people misunderstand it. Do you think they're never allowed to say no, they're never allowed to turn away, step away from something, because Oh, that's a version or something. So that's not true. So the strategy there's a strategy of averting and that strategy can go in one direction. It contains hostility, Ill Will in the other direction, it contains wisdom. It contains non ill will non hostility and and in the know On a hostile way of saying no or averting. So it's possible to have that be very definitive.
And being definitive and establishing clear limits, so what you're going to participate in, or what you're going to do, can be done with love can be done with kindness. It might not be reciprocated, people might misunderstand. At one hand, that's their problem. Psychologically for themselves, that's what they have to come to terms with. But many people are not going to do that. So then you have to decide if you explain to them more the impact of their actions, how they are, or maybe you see more clearly what they're capable of, and what their tendencies are. And it gives you more information about how much you should step away. Single, if this doesn't work at all, I don't think we can find a way here, now that I understand this person is kind of stuck in that particular thing. So So one of the most important things I would like to suggest is that around this is that when we're challenged, take the little bit of time to consider what do you what in relationship to the challenge? Are you trying to do? What do you what are you trying to do? What are you trying to accomplish? And how will you is the way you're trying to do that? Does it work? Is it healthy? Because many times and challenges people are operating from gut reactions. Sometimes with you know, quick decisions or and things are not considered or not thought out. And, and so a dharma life is one where we don't act impulsively. Sometimes we might act spontaneously, but we never act impulsively. We were acting acting from our reactivity, we take time to ask the question, What am I trying to do here? What am I trying to accomplish? And is the way that I'm doing it? Is it for the welfare and well being of everyone concerned? And that I think is the real key of a dharma process is well how is this Hockley? Find a way, that's the best for everyone involved in the conflict, even the people who are causing so much trouble. It does not mean we have to put up with it, that does not mean that we have to, we can't avert and step away or be clear. But the notion that it's not me versus you. But rather what's best for all of us. You don't have to say that you're doing that. But that leads to long term well being. Hostility only leads to very short term well being at the best. So asking yourself, What are you trying to do and is the way you're doing it? Is it really healthy for you and for others, and for this world? So thank you, and we'll continue going through these strategies for challenges tomorrow.