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Being sensitive ... or not.

I would suggest that most of the people on NewBuddhist are sensitive. A growing emotional vulnerability can be painful. We take to heart what people say. This is where mind training kicks in. Mind, body and emotions are closely interdependent. We can use that interdependence skilfully. Example:

  • A person is ignorant, hurtful, hateful or Trump troll like. As we know such people or situations arise from time to time. Do we let them in, to get under our skin? No we engage positive compassion, metta bhavna, tonglen or feeding our conflicted emotions to demons (the imaginary hell realms are sentients too).

We may need temporary physical measures, for me it is currently a walk or a bit of martial arts. Others may use prostrations, yoga or wild dancing (mostly available for laity).

Here is a special edition 'Rump on Trump' meditation cushion, which I am told is also good as a troll substitute punch bag ... Hilary is on the backside for those so inclined. :p

What skilful tools do you recommend to deal with raw emotions?

NB: no cushions were violated in producing this post. Apologies for any offence to politicos Trolls.



  • Wasn't Karasti recently looking for cushion recommendations?

    I have not heard of Trump using "Sit on my face" as a pickup line (nor Hillary for that matter) but perhaps he could sell these cushions with that tagline. That would probably exclude the sensitive and emotionally vulnerable from his target market, though by now he's probably excluded them already.

    Right, back to skillful tools . . . seriously for me raw emotions seem only amenable to time, contemplation, reflection. I don't have any objects, routines, rituals, at least any that I'm conscious of. Solitude, distance, shifting the frame of perspective, allowing the slow pace of pondering, absorbing, and adjusting to proceed unhastened.

  • That is very much a Buddhist 'mind' approach @Steve_B <3 very useful, very apt. Sadly when we are emotional wrecks [lobster raises claw, then lowers, then yo-yo's] we need 'quick' fixes. In other words temporary plasters until more comprehensive advice like @Steve_B's kicks in.

    Bring out the bad boys and gals aka distractions ... Some are more skilful eg. chores, laughing at the less fortunate eg. our beloved leaders :3 ... let me start again on the skilful list: mindful chores, mindful non-chores, sending out metta to our little green/orange monsters.

    We all know the very bad unskilful boys and gals: stimulants and sedatives from TV to chocolate or worse. We can if skilful or impervious make use of such impediments BUT must be careful we are not kidding ourselves ...

    There is dukkha in the world. Be careful guys. Prepare. Iz plan.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    @Steve_B Indeed :lol: I think using this cushion would cause me some issues in meditation, mostly spending my time hoping that by sitting on Trump's face he would suffocate. Bad Buddhist :scream:

    I'm actually on a FB break right now because I couldn't stand watching all my friends argue with their friends and family over politics. It is so prolific on my feed that I can't even see anything but politics. So I deactivated my account and will (maybe) return after the election is at least several days over. I couldn't figure out why I'd start every day off well, with meditation, journaling, yoga, maybe some reading or a walk, and then by evening my mood would get progressively worse until by dinner I was ready to off all their heads! (whoever happened to have the displeasure of dealing with me). Through writing I tracked my mood and my actions and found it mostly had to do with watching people fight all day, every day. The same arguments made to the same people over and over again. I tried unfollowing people, but they were just replaced by more of the same. If I had unfollowed them all, I'd only be left with the people who only use FB every 6 months. So I left.

    Anyhow, that sensitivity factor was part of that. People would tell me to just scroll by but there was just so much hurt from everyone that I thought maybe I could help. Of course, there was no helping as no one wanted help, all it did was ruin my day. At least I can simply disconnect. It's harder in person, which makes me glad I live in a very small town. I can usually read people pretty well just observing them and sometimes I feel like Mel Gibson in "What Women Want" with how much I pick up about people and it's just too overwhelming. Too many hurting people that I can't do anything about other than smile.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I find peace and mindful observation to be useful, they provide an acceptance yet a distance from the sensations that means you can "observe from your undisturbed center". It's a mental distance that is needed more than a time or physical dimension.

    The US elections is not such a trigger for me, it's a long way away, but it's interesting to read how there seem to be many people who don't trust or like either of the two main candidates, how lesser candidates are excluded from the political debate and so denied legitimacy, and how a populist buffoon like Trump has managed to get down to the last two. It amazes me. I was amazed when the US elected George W Bush, but this amazes me even more.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Because people are mad. They are mad at congress, mad at the president, mad at lots of things having to do with government. So the last thing those people want, is another person who represents more of the same. Which is what HIllary Clinton is. A career politician who will basically ensure things stay the same. So while many of them don't even like Trump, they hate her more because of what she stands for. Most people aren't sure how Hillary got the nomination, and it's a result of a combination of people who didn't participate in the primary elections (before the nominee is chosen) and direct influence from the DNC to ensure Bernie didn't win. I think Trump is a danger to our people and the entire planet. I think he's completely nuts and so is half our country for thinking he will be the savior to our political/government nightmare.

    What they don't realize is that our government reflects our society. It's all a big mess, and it's a mess because of what goes on in our minds and our daily lives. People's lives are a mess, overall. thus so is our society. And our government. And if they think simply electing someone "different" will change anything, they are wrong. Just like all change, it starts with each individual. But 90% of Americans think government is to blame for all their problems.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    Pay attention.
    Take responsibility.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    The six sense gates/doors are constantly being bombarded by 'influential' data from all directions 24/7/365 (no rest for the wicked :) ) ...

    I think @genkaku nailed it.... other words "Stay Mindful"

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @karasti, I have to say Bernie Sanders is the best thing to have come out of this election. I think he was the one really sensible voice campaigning for intelligent, well-considered and positive change. I'm sad he got scuppered by the DNC, but let's hope he stays influential for some time to come.

  • @karasti said:
    Because people are mad.

    <3 Mad and mad at [insert causes of choice]

    Being sane takes a great deal of practice. Being a decent person takes practice and choices. Thanks guys. We are in my humble opinion all deplorables but try to be good. Even the Buddha tried to be less culturally constrained by for example the view of women at his time and situation.

    The important thing is:

    @genkaku said:
    Pay attention.
    Take responsibility.

    In other words don't get caught up in the attachment to hype. Can we be independent of our feeling, opinions, sensitivities and certainties? I believe so, it is the plan ...

    Pay attention.
    Take responsibility

  • To the above:
    And don't forget to duck!

  • @Kerome said:
    @karasti, I have to say Bernie Sanders is the best thing to have come out of this election. I think he was the one really sensible voice campaigning for intelligent, well-considered and positive change. I'm sad he got scuppered by the DNC, but let's hope he stays influential for some time to come.

    Sadly, I think his 15 minutes of fame are mostly over. I've been a Bernie fan for quite a long time. He used to put in regular appearances on Bill Maher's show, and I've been hugely impressed over the years with his insight, honesty, and courage. But consider this upcoming sequence of events: Trump,master reality showman, plays to the cheap seats, and loudly dominates the attention. I don't know how he'll go out, but it'll be ugly. But ultimately he'll fade, and the attention will turn to Hillary and the transition and inauguration. Life will go on. Unless Bernie lands a prominent role in the administration, we've probably heard the last of him. How many Democrats who ran for but did not win the nomination remained relevant? Isn't Hillary the only one? Who were Al Gore's competitors in the primary? Bill Clinton's? John Kerry's?

  • As some of us are aware this is not really about politics but our reaction to situations for example Brexit, Donald/Hilary/Bernie, global warming/conspiracies, Buddhist must have diets and fads etc.

    One of the benefits of developing a little calm, composure and maturity is we no longer insist on a single solution for everyone ... as long as it is our preference ... B)

    God Save the Queen ... other unpopular slogans available ... eg. Dalai Lama for World King

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    I usually make a difference between people who simply push our buttons because of our personal incapacity to have some control over our emotions, and people who are downright toxic and their sole mission in life seems to be emitting negative vibes to those around them.
    And situations we can do something about, and situations where our actions have little impact.

    When it comes to situations I can do little about, I simply distance myself.
    When it comes to people, I have in mind Yogi Bhajan's words:

    "If you are willing to look at another person's behaviour toward you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over period of time, cease to react at all."

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    When will the Farting Trumpet v. Hilary Wee-mail pantomime be over? Please make it stop! :p

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Steve_B said:

    @Kerome said:
    @karasti, I have to say Bernie Sanders is the best thing to have come out of this election.

    Sadly, I think his 15 minutes of fame are mostly over. I've been a Bernie fan for quite a long time.

    It's interesting, there is a documentary on TV here about how Bernie is turning his support into a permanent political movement. It looks like a very good move, especially as they are taking a long-term view. So I'm not so sure that Bernie is going away, with the support of some visionary younger politicians he could turn into a real elder statesman.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    @Steve_B Indeed it'll be interesting to see what happens. Regardless of what happens with Bernie (and my only hope for Hillary is that she's smart enough to put people like Bernie into her administration) but I hope the people who rallied behind Bernie stay involved on local and state levels. It's true you rarely see another non-nominated candidate stay relevant, but Bernie also exceeded expectations in a lot of ways.

    I just hope at this point we have a result on Tuesday and don't spend weeks or months waiting for it to play out in courts or congress.

  • As for managing feelings in such times, there are slogans (I think lojong) which may help:

    • Always meditate on whatever causes resentment
    • Dukkha is getting what you don't want and all that hinders my desire (not getting what I do want).

    Something I found helpful to reflect on is remembering when a work colleague said that her brother in law was found to be a paedophile. And then I remembered a guy I met once who said that his father was in jail for paedophilia. These are ordinary people. Just like you and me.

    If you can't generate compassion for Donald Trump then bring to mind his family as a first step. They're in it whether they want it or not. They will have advantages but also disadvantages. Can't be nice living in a goldfish bowl, however pretty it is.

  • Well said @Tiddlywinds

    It is all very well finding compasssion for all sentients ... and then the trump hits the fan. What then?

    As a Tantrist it is quite permissible to put the Donald on my shrine, or alcohol, or demon protectors or other masters of addiction, hell or Rump Golden Towers. In other words Mara is our fear master, trump made manifest.

    Strange as it may seem, Trump and our reaction to such abhorrence is a real source of wisdom, contemplation and understanding ...

    Cod save America. Deep bow to El Gringo 'you're fired' Presendente. B)

  • @DhammaDragon said:

    "If you are willing to look at another person's behaviour toward you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over period of time, cease to react at all."

    Wonderful quote. Exactly so.
    Imagine that our expression is an outer reflection of our inner condition.
    How does that make you feel? How does that make you feel about [insert cod, god, Buddha, demon, Yogi, bling or blah of choice]

    Want to find yourself? Look around. Iz you!

    Tee hee!

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