2021-08-31-Patience (3 of 6) Patience under Insult
3:03PM Aug 31, 2021
So today's topic on patients has to do with patients under insult. And so this is any circumstance where the tendency is to get angry, or agitated, or maybe so afraid that we become impatient and in a hurry. But especially in the tradition in Buddhist tradition, it has to do with situations where we get angry, annoyed, irritated, furious. And it could be with other people. He could also be had to do with events in the world, it could be that you are angry with your computer because it's not behaving right or, or could be the weather's irritating because it's not what you planned it for planned, planned it to be. And so here, the word Patience, patience, under insult, patients under assault is might be interpreted as a kind of tolerance, tolerance of people being unkind saying mean things, doing things which are provoking tolerance with all kinds of things. But tolerance is, is not really the orientation because intolerance is a focus outwards, to the other to the thing out there. Buddhist practice kind of the beginning point, not the end, but where it kind of more often begins, is not the other, but here with us what's going on here. And so rather than tolerating insult patients, and their insult, means that maybe even a kind of intolerance, and intolerance for us, inside diminishing us or causing suffering to ourselves, harming ourselves. And, and so you could have an intolerance, no, I don't want to harm myself. And the particular way that the tradition emphasizes that is through being angry. So rather than tolerating injustice in the world, that's a whole other topic of what our relationship is to injustice, things that are wrong things that make us angry, upset. That's an important topic. But but the core aspect of the patient's under insult, is that we don't allow ourselves to succumb to anger, and a particular kind of anger because in English, sometimes the word anger covers a wider span that what classically in Buddhism is considered to be angry. The anger in Buddhism is always connected to hostility, malice, there's always a fear. So if you can have it be angry, but there's no hostility, then it isn't what Buddhists call angry anger. So you have to kind of understand, you know, translate between languages here, when you hear Buddhist talk about anger, it's always implies that there's some hostility involved in the motivation in the, in the fury and the fire. But hostility that we have towards others, always hurts the hostile always hurts us and harms us. And it's hard to see that when the focus is on the other, excuse me for a minute. So it's hard to see that when the focus is on others, it can actually be a kind of pleasure even sometimes to be really focused and angry and directed, you know, one pointedly on live on someplace else, it can feel very alive, feel energizing, it can feel some people feel so powerful that way, and they enjoy the power. So, but when, but when we can stop focusing on the other, and what it feels like to be othering and directed, and feel the intimately what's happening for us come back and being centered here, then hostility always harms ourselves. And we don't want to harm ourselves. And Buddha's practice, as I say, kind of always begins with ourselves. It doesn't end there, but ends with caring for the world. But we have more to if we can care for ourselves properly. We have more to offer the world. We're safer for the world. We're not going to make so you're able to make a quick mistakes in what we do.
And so, so there's so sometimes where we talk about this patients under insult as a practice To serve restraint, not giving into the anger. And, and that's maybe the first kind of line of action here. So, you know, so if Buddhism likes to divide human activities into body speech in mind, with the understanding, and maybe you don't share this understanding that the courses is what we do physically with our body, and that we have more we can see it that's visible, and we can have a little bit more control over it. And so to be restrained, in harming people with our bodies. And that can be with glares that can be with, you know, gestures. And then and then the second, which is a little bit harder, maybe a lot harder, mindful speech is harder, is to be restrained from causing harm, through speech. And so if we feel angry, start becoming very, very careful with speech, and don't cross the line. To speak in ways that then is expresses hostility, wait, if you can fit appropriately await Calm down, don't necessarily leave the situation and don't address what's going on. But hold back until you feel you can do so without hostility. You'll be much wiser that way and more effective. In the especially in the long term, hostility is effective in the short term, because it frightens people and people pull away or they stop what they're doing. And so there's a kind of reward into being hostile, but the long term consequences in human relationships is not good. And that can actually be more harmful for you socially, in the long term, than in the short term. So it could be restraint in speech. And then the more subtle, but the more important area for Buddhist practice, practice, is to be really careful with your thoughts. And if your thoughts are mean, thoughts are hostile, be very careful with that, and and hold back, restrain yourself from giving into those don't succumb to them. And this act of restraint is an act of strength. It's not an act of repression. But it is an act and of protecting yourself from yourself. The impact of actions that harm others, the impact of speech that are mothers on oneself is actually quite big. And Buddhist tration kind of suggests that we don't really recognize how big it is, because that is his karmic impact. That affects deeper conditioning, the deeper subconscious workings of the mind, the memories, how things are met, remembered how things are returned in a future time in a way that's unexpected. And so, but it's a huge, so how to be restrained, how to hold back in a way that is not repression is not, but really is for our own good. And one of them is by really recognizing the difference of other ring, having the mind concerns being directed towards others. Others have to be different, others have to do things certain way. Others have have wronged me. And, of course, it's accurate, sometimes, that kind of thinking, but to be preoccupied with that. And cotton that is an alienation is a loss to ourselves. And as we're not grounded ourselves in focusing externally, that's when hostility can slip out. Because we're not in it. We're not following ourselves mindful and careful what's going on here. And so to learn in meditation, to not spend a lot of time thinking other than thoughts, recognizing it as othering and become skilled at not going down those channels. And coming back here is a training for in life, to be patient under insult, to learn to recognize what's happening here. And focusing him being careful attentive, and being so attentive, that you're there with yourself at those choice moments about what you're going to do with your body. What you're going to do with your voice, and even what you're going to do with your train of thought.
You're right there. And that's where you relax. That's where you let go. That's where you settle back. And if necessary, so you don't cause harm. That's where you practice restraint. Maybe just you clap your mouth shut. If necessary, you know, bite your tongue, so you don't say something that you later regret and restraint is the right action when the alternative is worse. And, but through practice, we can do better than restraint, we can let go, we can stay close to that place where we're free. We're not caught in these movements we have, we might still feel angry, we might feel hostile. But there's no tendency to pick it up, no tendency to go with it, to do anything, it has no power over us, even though it might bubble up. And where the power is, is in ourselves in our ability to be mindful, attentive, centered, and have choice about how we work with all the inner impulses that come along. And as we live that way, then we start having wisdom and clarity, about how to interact with others, how to have the difficult conversations, how to show up in ways that don't frighten others, but also don't lead to retaliation or, or difficult dynamics where, you know, anger is meeting anger, and it flares up even more. And and then finally, maybe I shouldn't say this as punctuation for this talk. But just so you don't take I want you to take what I said seriously, but maybe, you know not not to hold it up to idealistically and that is that sometimes,
you know, the way to irritate someone who is being hostile to you irritate someone who's being a problem for you, is not returning irritation and kind and not getting angry and it returned. staying calm, staying nonreactive staying kind of on concerned with what's coming or something staying free. And, and sometimes that little reward knowing Oh, I got to that person, the person you know, is frustrated now irritated. Maybe it's not the healthiest thing to do. But maybe it kind of can inspire you to find your way to healthy patients under insult. So thank you very much and and if you have opportunities, the next 24 hours, where you feel frustrated, irritated, angry. You might use that as an occasion to see if some of the things I've said today, how they play out in you how they're working inside of you. And and maybe you'll have more wisdom and more options of how to live in with your own frustration and anger. So thank you