so welcome to this third talk about the Buddhist teachings on disputes, quarrels. And we know that disputes and quarrels can be verbally violent, they can be assertive. There can be a lot of power and strength that is evoked in disputes. And sometimes mad some people's sense of personal power gets awaken and channeled through anger, sometimes through conceit. And part of the some people who don't have much sense of connection to their personal power, will really value being angry, because how it makes them feel powerful and strong. But when, when our personal power is channeled into disputes and quarrels, it makes the whole disputes and quarrels much more complicated. And it's not so easy to, for us to find ourselves in that there's a losing of ourselves in it. And it can come along with all kinds of unfortunate things that go on. One of the things that is that the Buddha talks about is what gives strength to any expression of greed, hatred, and delusion is people's love of power. Some sense that, identifying with power, I am powerful, I want power. And that kind of power, social power is a power that's it that has to do with power in the relationship, we want control over others, we want to not just be right and the arguments we have. But we want to have a sense of that we're powerful, we can get our way in a situation. Sometimes, because there's a way only we only believe there's a win lose option is either that person wins or I win. And, and so we want to win, we want to be safe, we want to not be losing doesn't feel good. And to feel powerful as a way of kind of winning in a sense or being right or having a sense of control, or a sense of pleasure, even in a sense of power or power over people. And, and because power is so often used for people to get their way or politicians to get their way or rulers to get their way. And sometimes it's expressed in all kinds of horrible ways. Power is often seen as being evil or wrong or, and people then become afraid to express their power. Sometimes, because if they express it, someone else will come along and knock it down. And someone will express even more power and say that you're wrong or conceited or something. But the Buddha put a lot of discussion about power, personal power, but it was never power over anybody else. It was all in relationship to power over oneself. Though occasionally talked about having the power to enter into relationships in such a way that to create healthy relationships. And I'll talk about that. So some of the forms of power that Buddha talked about developing is the power of a country of having a conscience. So the power of being having conscience and care and, and do not cause harm. He talked about the power of confidence, the color of power of confidence over knowing what is healthy and unhealthy, beneficial and not beneficial. He talked about the power of effort, the effort of doing what's wholesome and avoiding what's unwholesome. The power of mindfulness and part of the purpose of mindfulness to really be present is not to be calm, but to be able to find our way to recognize what is healthy and unhealthy what is wholesome and unwholesome, the power of Samadhi the power of being grounded here in the present moment, and the power of wisdom. And one of the ways that Buddha's defines wisdom is in fact the wisdom of being able to recognize what is beneficial and what is not good. inofficial what is wholesome and what is not wholesome? And so over and over again, we see the Buddha is wanting people to have power over themselves over the choices their mind makes their heart makes their, their body makes in their activity, to be able to choose well. And one of the ways of choosing well, is to choose this kind of a strength of mindfulness of being present, without asserting assertion, and without giving up without running away or collapsing without a centering to things we don't agree to. But to be able to hold our own calmly in a relaxed way, stay there and be present. Rather than turning away from conflict, I think the Buddhist approach is to stand up tall metaphorically to hold, keep our seat and, and be able to look at reality directly and calmly, without flinching. And without collapsing without getting confused or agitated or, and this is not an easy thing to do. But by emphasizing that, this is a kind of pot that there is a kind of internal power that's meant to be awoken and, and support us in this Buddhist practice. When this practice is only associated with BBQ being calm, being peaceful, sometimes we were shortchanging ourselves of what's possible here. Yes, being calm, being peaceful is part of the practice. But it's a partner with having strength, a partner with a certain kind of inner personal power, that so that in a peaceful state, we're not fragile, we're not vulnerable, and we're not so, so sensitive that, that we feel like everything is too much. So a couple of things that Buddha emphasizes that he and once place, he talks about four powers. And and now the first is the power of wisdom, which he clearly defines as the power to know what's beneficial and what's not beneficial to know what's wholesome and not wholesome. The power of energy, again, like I said before, to be able to act on that wisdom, to act on what's beneficial to avoid what's not beneficial. And then the power of blame lessness this, I love this one, the power of not living in the world, where you people have reason to blame you. Sometimes he calls that the joy of blame lessness but he also the power of being that way, a certain kind of strength that comes to be able to walk through the world, not to not being feeling into no one has anything, anything to blame, a real, they might blame us but there's no cause for it. And then and then the power of sustaining favorable relationships, the power of sustaining favorable community, bringing people together. And this also he described describes in four different ways. For kind of sub powers in a sense, the power of giving, as opposed to the power of taking, taking power, for example, from other people, controlling them. The power of giving, giving people the benefit of the doubt, being generous to them, the power of giving them the their opinion, okay, we can agree to disagree and you're welcome to your opinion, the power of kind speech or loving speech. So often the in disputes and quarrels, the speech is not kind and sometimes it's actually downright mean. And so the power of knowing how to speak in kind ways and and then the power of beneficial conduct, so not just knowing what's beneficial and but really knowing how to act and giving is one of those kind speech is another one. And then but what you know, to really stay conduct oneself in beneficial ways, not succumbing to harmful ways of being. And then the the fourth one is the power of equality, the power of a certain kind of impartiality where we treat everyone equal. And this is the one that our society He needs tremendously. There are so many different ways that we have bias prejudice, towards people of all kinds of differences from ourselves, and, and the power of treating everyone equally. That that kind of a power of respect.
So I offer this teachings today in the context of disputes and quarrels, to in disputes and, quote, difficulties and challenges you have with people to call upon a personal power, but don't engage in disputes and arguments, asserting power over over other people. But have it over yourself, so that you know how to stay present. And even just the power of presence of keeping your seat, keeping your place without succumbing without giving up without agreeing just because the other person is more powerful, seemingly to you, or is arguing more strongly than you or you're afraid of them, but to be able to breathe and stay rooted here. And it's a sense of inner power, that might be in the long term in all our complexity of our life, maybe more important, than trying to hold on to being calm and peaceful. But the more that we can have the power of attention of being present to being rooted, I think the more are calm and peace can accompany us and support us. So So I hope that all of us can grow into becoming powerful people. Put powerful, over ourselves with ourselves, so that we can do good in the world. Powerful enough that we can avoid the habitual tendencies to be mean, to be argumentative, to complain too. Just be upset about all kinds of things with other people in ways that undermined and maybe create, to make the world a worse place for other people. To have the power to hold our tongue, when what we're going to say is going to make things worse. So this practice of ours is meant to support the development of powerful strong people. And who can do good in the world and good for themselves, not to assert ourselves over anyone. So thank you, and may this support you in disputes and quarrels that you're being pulled into, or whatever you're tempted to get involved in. And maybe it'll teach you how to be present for discussions when there's disagreements, without it being a dispute or quarrel. Thank you.