2023-11-22-Gil-Attitudes (3 of 5) From Aversion to Curiousity
12:55AM Nov 28, 2023
So hello everyone, and welcome to our third talk on attitudes. And specifically, more specifically, the, to, to move from unskillful attitudes to skillful ones. And the unskillful. One that is very common in this world is ill will or aversion takes many forms. The right now I'm thinking about resentment as a form of it. And the living with resentment with kind of hurt, anger, hostile hurt. But to be critical. Complaining is a form of aversion or hostility, to be complaining about people about things too much to alter it all too easily carries with it, some kind of ill will. And, and it isn't that they're, to deny that there are things that are hurtful that happened in the world are things that we need to take into account that they're not helpful or skillful to what people are doing. But to see, but to have a version or ill will be an attitude. And the, a pervasive way in which we see the world, we go into a new space, and a new room with no, you know, people we maybe we don't know, we've known them before. But it's we're stepping into a new situation. And we carry with us a mood or an attitude of resentment or aversion or ill will or critical illness, you know, where we had the idea that something is wrong, even as we step into the room, and we have to figure out what that is. And we have to figure out what to fix or what to avoid, and who are the people who are the bad people, the wrong people, who are the people who are not, is kind of built in kind of mood of aversion that can be there. And then most people don't think that they have that. But there was a time in my life, you know, many years ago, almost 50 years ago, where my friends would say, Gil, you, your Cynthia always be angry. And I didn't think I was angry at all. But somehow there was a mood underlying mood of that was probably something like resentment or that things were difficult or challenging, and I was upset about it. And it took me a while to kind of see that that was the case and some of it, but I was able to see only by doing starting to meditate regularly. And then slowly, I started to see that under underneath my ordinary kind of way of being in the world thinking about the world. In fact, there was a kind of anger or aversion that was operating there. And slowly that began to relax. And hopefully now there's very little of it left. And the so to part of the function of meditation practice is in fact to discover these kinds of things. And if we're too enamored with becoming calm, and having pleasure in meditation, we might not notice if we're too caught up in trying to avoid tension and stress we meditate, we might not stop to take a good look respectful look at the tension we have the stress the strains we have, in order to identify what is really going on here for us. And so we can see the underlying mood that might be operating attitude. And then once we see something, it's like then there's opportunity then there's a almost like space has create create been created. That now something can begin to unfold or relax or evolve or change in a healthy way. But without knowing things can often be kind of locked in but knowing begins the process of changing. So knowing is quite important. And not knowing is important. So to recognize something and then not know what's supposed to happen, not know a judgment and not know an opinion that we overlay on top of it. And kind of to make room for something that we can predict to allow it to happen. Many times in my life I've been surprised that things have all Have differently than why I thought they were supposed to evolve. Sometimes I thought they turned were going in the wrong direction. Sometimes I thought they were going in a good direction. And then they would go opposite of what I thought. But what I've discovered is that if I show up to be present for the situation, it tends to move things in a good direction, certainly tends to move me in a good direction. There's this simple presence. And that simple presence can be characterized by not knowing the respect of being present without bringing our preconceived ideas, our memories, our expectations of what is we're going to see or be with. So we'd like to offer an alternative to aversion to ill will, if we have this simmering background, kind of ill will or version or complaining are critical illness that's going on. And no, we have resentment towards one was even anger towards someone that we know. And it's very clear, it's not like an attitude. It's just like, when we see that person, that's what comes up. Is the adult alternative is Be curious. When you feel aversion, when you feel hostility, critical illness, shift over to a curious state, a curious attitude, what's happening here, what's going on here. I think this is a time to understand better. This is a time to have a kind of beginner's mind, I don't really know. But let me study, let me pay attention what's happening to this person, what's happening to the situation. So that we're kind of stepping forward interested, as opposed to stepping forward, critical. And so even if you're angry with someone, maybe there's good reason for it. If it's safe enough for you to do it, is to step forward and say, We need to find out what's happening with you what's going on? Or how are you or just be show your interest in curiosity. And this is a way of coming forward with some modicum of a not knowing mind, genuinely curious what's going on here. But also, when we step forward with the curiosity, with interest, we're actually creating space for the other person to change. But if we could step forward with them with our critical illness with our preconceived ideas, people feel that and they feel boxed in they feel like they have to defend themselves or react or take a stand or something. But if we come forward and kind of with the equivalent in her attitude with open arms, to tell me more like to know more, how are you what's going on? It can disarm people, which is a powerful, powerful metaphor, that we use that sometimes that we can catch people off guard, they, most people are relaxed if we show genuine interest in them. And maybe we begin discovering something deeper about the situation the person than we would if we stayed in our critical stance, or stayed in our anger only. And I'm not saying it's easy to put aside anger, there might still be there. But see if you could not let it be the attitude by which you operate. Instead, have an attitude of curiosity. Step forward, what's happening here? What's going on here. And that can be a gift. In a sense, many people don't get enough experience with people who are interested in really knowing what's happening with them what's going on. Some people don't want you to probe but but to, you know, to come with a beginner within not knowing mind. Oh, hi, what's happening with you? How are you today? And how have you been and, and, and making the space? And then perhaps some of the things that are some of the reasons why we're critical of someone may be that person begins to relax. And some of those reasons won't be that present in the moment. Maybe the past issues are still there. But in the moment maybe that there they begin that operating in the way that's difficult for you. And certainly I think it's much better for us as practitioners to come forward with curiosity and interest than it is to come forward with aversion and resentment and anger. And, and maybe the person who becomes disarmed is ourselves and, and maybe in some kind of way, it's healthier for us. It's safer for us. It's it's a There has greater benefits for us to be that way than it is for others.
Maybe that's what you can also discover how you are. What happens to you curious when you come forward, curious about others. So if you have occasion to be about random, other people these next few days, and especially for Thanksgiving, where there might be a number of people, family members who are challenging, perhaps friends who are challenging see what it's like to come forward with interest and curiosity. So thank you very much. And I'll be here tomorrow morning, which the United States is Thanksgiving morning. And then I'll go home and and help with the preparations there. So thank you very much for being here. And if there are some people here in the peninsula who would like to come to IMC tomorrow that glory is hosting a, a potluck Thanksgiving meal here, I think maybe around noon, on the web's IMC website and there what's new, so if you're a local you're welcome to come. Thank you.