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I'm sure, I've no doubt that he wasn't really thinking about what I mentioned but rather of course addressing monks. I just meant I haven't figured out if it is possible to do so. To be engaged in life seems to create conflict no matter what, because when you choose to take a stand, you take a side, and the people on the other side see conflict no matter what your intention or how you go about things. Can you be free of conflict if others consider you to not be? Perhaps you can.
I read so many books that coming back once a week I have to re-familiarize myself with the material each time. Not that that is a bad thing. It reminds me a lot of the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, in that you could probably read it a thousand times and always get something out of it. I think I could focus on just those 2 things and have a lifetime to learn from them!
to add to that, it seems hard to interact with our world today without causing conflict. Perhaps not intentionally (which maybe is the key as it often is with Buddhism) but even HHDL manages to cause conflict. If you try to fight for any sense of good, you are participating in conflict, so it's hard for me to see how you can be an engaged Buddhist, so to speak, without conflict.
I've read the whole book. Still find it excellent. We do always seem to have issues in the forum with book clubs, lol. Sometimes I'm here daily, sometimes not. Sometimes I have something to add, sometimes not. For me, for such short chapters, I've found a week in between is a bit lengthy so discussion loses my attention. 4 months to go through a book that is 180 pages is a stretch. I've probably read a dozen other books in that time period. But I have been reading along the discussions. Just little to add after the fact. That, and Mondays are always busy at work which I didn't have to deal with when we started so I am not online as much!
I enjoyed this chapter. It reminded me very much of all the circular discussions we have here, and pretty much anywhere else. Truth sure is a messy thing for something so simple, It always comes down to the last bit for me, too.
"But those who've abandoned all judgments
Create no conflict in the world."
A tough one, for sure. Sometimes I think I've done alright, and then I keep working through things in my journal and realize how very much I still hang on to. The more I work on minimizing conflict around me, the more of it I have internally.
The Buddhism and Modern Psych course is super interesting. The interaction with the people taking it is, as usual, the most valuable part (IMO). I've done the course twice, and actually moderated it as well a couple of rounds. Fascinating discussions there, for sure.
Make sure as you note that seeds are planted, in yourself or others, that you help cultivate them as well. Just like a garden, you might prepare it well, but you don't stop at throwing some seeds in the prepared soil. You must baby the seed as it becomes a seedling, a sprout, and eventually a full plant. Watering, fertilizing and especially weeding and pest control. You cover it with warmth when the outside world gets too cold. You might have had the perfect garden and ripe seed, but if you let pests, weeds and frost attack it, the sprout will still be strangled.
To me, "pity" has negative connotations because it implies wallowing, of giving ourselves permission to go beyond being ok with where we are at, and accepting it and observing it and allowing it to pass. Pity normally means we've noticed we feel bad, and then we exacerbate it in order to make ourselves feel worse. AKA beating ourselves up. I find not value in that whatsoever. I much prefer self-compassion, which to me means gently allowing my feelings to be. I don't find either that the video is talking about self-pity really, which is actually defined as excessive unhappiness. IE that which we feed and build on purposely with our egoistic storytelling to validate not only feeling sorry for ourselves, but making ourselves feel even worse so we feel even more validated about how horrible everything really is for us. That is why you find most resources suggesting self-pity isn't a good thing. By definition, it is not.