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Here is an interesting read on connecting intention and karma.. - Gil Fronsdal (audio download too!)
Don't make the names and robes too sacred...
Disclaimer: Although, also V-Zen..,..I'm only speaking for the monastery I attend...so...the "rules" may vary. ....AFA I know, robes can be bought anywhere.....where them where you want.
Whos gonna call the Dharma police on you?
FWIW...I was pretty disappointed how the whole thing went for me. Which worked in my favor...hahaha..I'll post/re-tell my story...It's in a previous thread, along with other POVs
They were pretty much mass produced as in...everyone in the group and everyone that showed up on retreat got one ....except for me. Personal to that individual ?? ... Eh... Not so much. IMO, pretty generic... " One who is compassionate"... " He who sits with stillness"..." You got a calm mind"...etc..
The ones who did get names...don't attend anymore and I'm still left. No name and all. .. ..
I found it too intimate...in an intrusive kind of way. I'm not going to call it weird....just uncomfortable, for me. After, I wondered if there was any science related to it... found this article:
ETA : this is a newer article .... 2017.
Going forward...its definitely about setting boundaries. I just need the right mentality to be able to do it. Like @karasti described above...the "understanding" can lead to cycles that go round and round. The understanding somehow my mind links to the compassion concept and so on. I think the trick is going to be working on not using the understanding as a free pass or just going along with things bec I feel "that's just how she is" or " I know why she;s this way".....I need to change the way I'm thinking/viewing the understanding and what it means...as relation to me and me and her...not just to her.
I've just come to the realization that I need to unravel the way I'm approaching and dealing with her.
I'm guilty. Specifically....with my Mother. I'm aware that the resentment is setting in, and it showed in my behavior this past week, when she was here visiting me for 10 days. I was miserable and stressed out...and couldn't wait for her to leave. Then...I felt guilty about being happy she was gone. I was nice to her the whole time...catered to things I knew wasn't good for her...all to avoid conflict or what I thought would be useless talking to someone who doesn't want to listen or change...and then chalked it all up to being 'compassionate'. I realized and was aware I was doing it....but couldn't stop it right then. I know I need to shift my thinking and intention and mindfulness on the front end. With that....I'm working/practicing on getting it together and stopping the suffering and frustration that I'm causing myself. Anyway...in case anyone else is suffering with this...these are some of the materials I'm digesting and chewing on...please feel free to share additional readings or practices you may use that help you (and might subsequently) help me.
I started with this:
How not to practice “idiot compassion"
....Ask yourself, “Am I avoiding conflict and calling it compassion? Am I afraid to be honest because I might end up being disliked? Am I letting people off the hook too easily? Am I setting myself up for resentment?” And if any of these is the case, muster your courage, and speak up, even if you make mistakes. The spiritual path is, as I like to say, the fine art of making mistakes.
Compassion is wishing that beings be free from suffering. Idiot compassion is avoiding conflict, letting people walk all over you, not giving people a hard time when actually they need to be given a hard time. It’s “being nice,” or “being good.”
It’s not compassion at all. It ends up causing us pain, and it ends up causing others pain.
The more someone self-consciously thinks of themselves as compassionate, the more likely it is that they’re a compassionate idiot.
Idiot compassion lacks both courage and intelligence.
True compassion does not shy away from causing pain when necessary. Causing pain is not the same as causing harm, by the way. The Buddha talked about this in relation to speech, in an interesting dialogue with a prince named Abhaya.
Another good nugget:
-- Buddhists Don’t Have to Be Nice: Avoiding Idiot Compassion ,