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How Do Grudges Gain A Life Of Their Own?

When people begin from the premise of a grudge, how do they maintain momentum? How does one keep a grudge going? Sometimes, they end up requiring lies, innuendo, prejudice and bigotry to remain fresh. Like minded people often seem to rally behind hatred. Sometimes, people who would normally never stoop to this behavior, feel justified because they feel the need to get even. This could even be authorities.

For those who have experienced this, how do you bring it to an end?

Comments

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    There are so many potential grudges in life. Your loved one leaves you for someone else. Your work colleague schemes to get the promotion you wanted. Your relative nags you. Someone steals money from you. On and on.

    I think what helped me long ago was realizing that in reality, few grudges really last anyway. There are people I held big grudges against years ago whose names I have trouble recalling today.

    So why not get over it sooner, rather than later?
    riverflow
  • zenffzenff Veteran
    edited September 2013
    When you’re thinking of hate as part of a group process, I found this paper.
    “Hate Groups for Dummies”.
    http://www2.webster.edu/~woolflm/HateDummies.pdf

    I think it is an interesting subject. I liked the part on “Good Recruits” on page 4.
  • A grudge is just ego building material. It is the manifestation of a them and us adversarial concept. It exists no more as an independent life than it's illusory host...the ego.
    Our meditation practice is the reversal of our habitual support for the ego/identity and is the process that denies a grudge a place to exist.
    poptart
  • Grudges are damned ugly. I used to be a person who'd hold a grudge forever. I kept thinking "this person has caused a serious offense, they need to make up for it!" I still have problems with a grudge every now and then, but then I just think that "forget it or fight it, it's all the same" and that brightens my mood and I just move on, I don't let it drag me down.

    Now, how I kept a grudge's momentum going was I placed all the blame on the other person. "THEY wronged me! THEY have not apologized! THEY act like nothing happened!" so as long as that person was around, I'd keep the grudge going.
    AllbuddhaBoundstill_learning
  • :banghead:

    A grudge is banging your own head against a wall and hoping someone else feels the pain. What to do? Metta practice.
    The words, the wrong doing, the grudge wall is gone. Your head is hitting nothing but an obstacle of your clinging to some gone hurt.
    Wave your walls goodbye. Now you are just nodding agreeably . . . which might right the wrong. :wave:
    AllbuddhaBound
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited September 2013
    how said:

    A grudge is just ego building material. It is the manifestation of a them and us adversarial concept. It exists no more as an independent life than it's illusory host...the ego.
    Our meditation practice is the reversal of our habitual support for the ego/identity and is the process that denies a grudge a place to exist.

    Maybe for an advanced practitioner - or at least for someone who has made some significant progress - but don't you think trying to meditate while holding a grudge could have opposite effect? In fact isn't meditation while being resentful over something difficult?

    lobster
  • I agree it's all about ego. The ego is a total control freak and when someone breaks its "code" of behaviour it reacts with all the righteous indignation of an Old Testament god, dispensing pitiless retribution for all eternity. I like to think of this ego character as looking like the Tasmanian Devil cartoon, red faced with impotent rage, screaming How Dare You! at everyone and everything. The way to undermine his power is to refuse to identify with him any more. He is not you and you are not him.

    Yet grudges are hard to let go. Even when you think you have let them go some small upset brings them raging back. When I examine my grudges I find I often can't even remember the exact cause, but I still want to feel like a victim. So there it is, ego trying to define itself over some long forgotten slight. Pathetic really.

    image
    lobster
  • We is de grudge? :buck:
    I gets it . . . :clap:
    Maybe for an advanced practitioner - or at least for someone who has made some significant progress - but don't you think trying to meditate while holding a grudge could have opposite effect? In fact isn't meditation while being resentful over something difficult?
    It is always 'difficult' . . . perhaps more subtle . . . no it is easier to let go of the gross Tasmanian devils. You know how they flail everywhere when you hug them? Hug on tight.

    As I said to the Buddha only this morning, 'where were you when I needed you . . . and cut out the enigmatic smile . . .'

    God, I could kill him sometimes . . . smarty pants!
    :D
    poptartTosh
  • zenffzenff Veteran
    edited September 2013
    For my personal grudge I know that it can still pop up at times.

    One factor is that I felt really hurt by some events at the time.
    The reason anger pops up about it is that, one way of looking at the events says, it was my own fault, one way or the other. And I can see that side of it; I didn’t handle things skillfully.
    The anger pops up when somehow I feel the other side of the matter, saying that something about it was his/her/their fault, is denied. I really think that he/she/they were not too skillful either.

    Not too long ago I felt that anger popping up again. I didn’t smash the furniture, but I felt the anger. It happened when someone (who is into Advaita) explained that every “bad” thing that happens to us is coming from a deep place within where we want it to happen to us. That’s why we run into the same kind of problems all the time. They are our projections. On a deep level we call out for the things to happen that on the surface we don’t want to happen.
    And here too, I can see that side of it. I can think of examples where it may actually work that way in life. But it is one side of it (and that’s where the anger shows up). I’m not alone. There’s a world outside of me in which I live. There were other players in this game, and they contributed to the outcome of it. The absolute projection-theory would mean that the New York Giants lose all their games this season because deep inside they want to lose them. The other teams have nothing to do with it. They would gladly lose the game if only the Giants solved their inner emotional issues. That – I hope you agree – is a strange way of looking at American-football.

    For the anger to go away – I think -it just needs to be heard. It starts shouting because it doesn’t get the attention it needs. That’s why I think meditating with the anger is a good thing. In meditation you can safely open the gates of hell and let the demons out. In our meditation we can listen to them, and they will calm down. Negative emotions – I think – feed more than anything else on being denied.

    Negative emotions are not just ego and therefore un-buddhistic silliness. We are human beings (Buddhist or not) and negative emotions are part of that.


    lobster
  • thats one thing i avoid carrying in my bag....let it go...let it goooo :coffee:
  • howhow Veteran
    edited September 2013
    Another interesting part of a grudge...
    IMO...Everything that we have ever clung onto or pushed away in life remains a part of us and as we become more meditatively able to re experience any of it with equanimity, much of it unfolds again as it dissipates, no longer clung onto or pushed away.
    Another way of saying that a grudge is just the coming and going of another attachment.
  • grudge against what?

    try to find good qualities that have with it
    surely there should be at least one

    seeing the good qualities, grudge will be gone


    see that it's suffering too
    mind see, it is absurd to keep grudge against a poor suffering thing
  • As a teenager I held grudges. What helped me was noticing that I couldn't come up with a definitive way to get back at the offender. I thought, "What's the point if I do something to get back at him/her and it doesn't work? Do I keep trying?"

    I also asked myself, "What if I retaliate, but they don't notice or they just brush it off. That would make me feel so small." In contrast, I told myself,"What if I just brushed it off? Then I would be the one to make them insignificant."

    One thing that helped me the most was reading Notes from Underground by Dostoyevsky. Part of that novella had story of a man who held a grudge and obsessed about planning revenge. It was ugly, the things that went through his mind. Some of them were close to the thoughts in my mind. I knew I didn't want to be like that character. Watching from the outside, I was able to see that the best thing to do was to let it go. Let it go because the offender was not worth it.

    Grudges don't really gain a life of their own, we give it life. Nobody else is really feeding it.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    When people begin from the premise of a grudge, how do they maintain momentum? How does one keep a grudge going? Sometimes, they end up requiring lies, innuendo, prejudice and bigotry to remain fresh. Like minded people often seem to rally behind hatred. Sometimes, people who would normally never stoop to this behavior, feel justified because they feel the need to get even. This could even be authorities.

    For those who have experienced this, how do you bring it to an end?

    From how I understand it, according to the scriptures, they maintain momentum and gain momentum by giving "inappropriate attention" and they are ended by stopping of giving inappropriate attention and turning to "appropriate attention" instead. And of course this requires some skill in being able to direct your attention to what is appropriate and away from what is inappropriate.
    Ayoniso-manasikara Sutta: Inappropriate Attention

    I have heard that on one occasion a certain monk was dwelling among the Kosalans in a forest thicket. Now at that time, he spent the day's abiding thinking evil, unskillful thoughts: i.e., thoughts of sensuality, thoughts of ill will, thoughts of doing harm.

    Then the devata inhabiting the forest thicket, feeling sympathy for the monk, desiring his benefit, desiring to bring him to his senses, approached him and addressed him with this verse:

    From inappropriate attention you're being chewed by your thoughts.
    Relinquishing what's inappropriate, contemplate appropriately.

    Keeping your mind on the Teacher, the Dhamma, the Sangha, your virtues, you will arrive at joy, rapture, pleasure without doubt.

    Then, saturated with joy, you will put an end to suffering & stress.

    The monk, chastened by the devata, came to his senses.
    And this:
    Sabbasava Sutta: All the Fermentations


    I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks: "Monks!"

    "Yes, lord," the monks replied.

    The Blessed One said, "Monks, the ending of the fermentations is for one who knows & sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know & does not see. For one who knows what & sees what? Appropriate attention & inappropriate attention. When a monk attends inappropriately, unarisen fermentations arise, and arisen fermentations increase. When a monk attends appropriately, unarisen fermentations do not arise, and arisen fermentations are abandoned.
    And this:
    Ahara Sutta: Food
    (For the Factors for Awakening)

    Feeding the Hindrances

    "Monks, I will teach you the feeding & starving of the five hindrances & of the seven factors for Awakening. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak...
    Feeding the Hindrances

    "And what is the food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen? There is the theme of resistance. To foster inappropriate attention to it: This is the food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen.

    Starving the Hindrances

    And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen? There is awareness-release. (Through good will, compassion, appreciation, or equanimity) To foster appropriate attention to that: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen.
    Thanissaro Bhikkhu commentary on the above. "Ill will is fed by inappropriate attention to the theme of irritation and starved by appropriate attention to the mental release through good will, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. In other words, you turn your attention from the irritating features that spark ill will and focus instead on how much more freedom the mind experiences when it can cultivate these sublime attitudes as its inner home."

    But of course, if a person is not mindful of what their mind is doing or not doing and not mindful of what is skillful or unskillful, then directing your attention appropriately is near impossible. AKA the thing takes a life of it's own.


    Jeffreystill_learningAllbuddhaBound
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