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Gentle Buddhist

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited July 2014 in Philosophy

There is a type of Buddhist:

  • Very sensitive, often creative and overly spiritual
  • Would not say boo to a goose
  • Pained to incapacity by the cruelty of the world
  • Attracted to passive, new-age-wonder-fluffy-bunny-dharma
  • Fragile to the point of being infantile
  • Doormat
  • Anxious, fearful, reclusive
  • Terrified of being judged

My sister has many of these traits, she is mentally ill.
Some of you may still be lurking here . . .
How do you cope? Have you found ways to cope?

Be gentle guys . . .

JeffreymmoyagrInvincible_summeroverthecuckoosnestHollyRose1

Comments

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited July 2014

    Boddhisattvas give 'milk' to those still in the cocoon. This is in Smile at Fear, by Trungpa Rinpoche.

    So sensitive, so creative and so spiritual
    Would not say boo to a goose
    Pained to incapacity by the cruelty of the world

    Fragile to the point of being infantile

    Jump into the bodhicitta blender. This takes a toll and one needs to teach others how to treat you.

    Doormat

    Welcoming mat any better? Yes.

    SarahT
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited July 2014

    I'm lost here, @lobster. Do any of the traits described above represent different types of Buddhists? Do all Buddhists respond to that profile? You want to know if we're one type or all of the above described?

    One thing I know: I have a bit (though are not "overly" nor "very" anything) of the first sundry, though in a positive way, since the way it is written makes it sounds rather corny.
    Sensitive, yes, but not slushy sentimental.
    Creative, yes, and also resourceful, especially to deal with life situations as they present themselves and making the best of the hand I'm dealt with.
    Spiritual, yes, but not ascetic nor Bible basher.

    You find what I call the "smirk and be meek" type in all religions.
    People who think that you have to be soft-voiced and present yourself to the world under the nicest guise possible. I think it was Joseph Goldstein who said "Don't wallpaper your anger with compassion." The thought springs to mind when I meet these people. The ones that act like doormat but could stab you in the back (or in the front, actually) anytime.
    To some people, it is cultural, as in Asia, where people are taught to act politely and mildly and bow and smile and all that. To others, it's the way to cover up or repress an aggresive nature.
    But I insist, in my experience people like this appear in every religion.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited July 2014

    @dharmamom, yeah I identify with the first line of the first paragraph on Lobster's post.

    Would not say boo to a goose

    I did not understand this.

    Pained to incapacity by the cruelty of the world

    Could be true even of a successful concert pianist. They might also be lost in a cold cruel world. Being incapacitated is just a prison of a lot of societies trips telling you there is something wrong with you. Remember pu' the uncarved block

  • mmommo Veteran

    I got quite a bit of those attributes. I am more prone to sadness than anger. I am not a fighter. My simple reaction to things and people I can't handle is staying away from them. That maks life a bit easier
    Sometime I do wish I am a bit more skillful to tackle the issues which are out of my confort zone.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Fe de errata: My quotation above about is by Larry Rosenberg.
    His exact words were: "Don't wallpaper anger, resentment, disappointment with metta."
    Loving-kindness, not compassion.

    yagrlobster
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Gentle Man Veteran
    edited July 2014

    @lobster said:
    There is a type of Buddhist:

    • Would not say boo to a goose

    Well, by your phrase you mean be extremely gentle or shy, right?

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Would not say boo to a goose

    Sorry guys. This is a UK vernacular phrase. It means someone shy to the point of not wishing to disturb anyone, including geese . . . Passive to the point of almost invisibility . . .

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Gentle Man Veteran

    Understood, thanks for clarifying that.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited July 2014

    Passive Buddhists? Softy Buddhists? Shy Buddhists?

    (http://theindiespiritualist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/1-noah-levine.jpg

  • The discussion raises some important points.
    The Buddha was born into the Ksatriya or ' Warrior ' caste.
    He himself was taught to use the bow, and to fence, and he was taught the tactics of war.
    He of course renounced that part of his heritage and embraced a life of ahimsa..harmlessness.
    But in later life after he Attained he said that his followers had to be spiritual Ksatriyas..spiritual warriors. Waging war on fear anger and greed.

    Mettanando.

    Earthninjasilver
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    "Warriors, warriors we call ourselves. We fight for splendid virtue, for high endeavour, for sublime wisdom, therefore we call ourselves warriors."
    (Anguttara Nikâya - translation by Alexandra David-Neel)

    Alexandra David-Neel comments on this sentence: "If we consider its essential principles, Buddhism is a school of Stoic energy, of unwearying perseverance and singular audacity, the object of which is the training of 'warriors' to attack suffering."

    I'm perplexed that some people decide that becoming a Buddhist implies turning into a boring wimp...

    Davidlobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @dharmamom said:
    I'm perplexed that some people decide that becoming a Buddhist implies turning into a boring wimp...

    IF we are overly aggressive, I am, becoming a boring wimp is a step in the right way towards the middle. IF we are an anxious wimp, then we need to toughen up. Buddhism is not a confirmation of present dukkha, it is a skilful means, a balancing middle way to overcoming dukkha, all of it including physical pain immunity if we are Buddha level skilful . . . which I am not but I have been close enough to physical pain removal to accept its total transcendence . . . just no big deal . . .

    We haz plan. Thanks guys.
    :wave: .

    JeffreyBuddhadragon
  • VictoriousVictorious Grim Veteran

    @lobster said:
    There is a type of Buddhist:

    • Very sensitive, often creative and overly spiritual
    • Would not say boo to a goose
    • Pained to incapacity by the cruelty of the world
    • Attracted to passive, new-age-wonder-fluffy-bunny-dharma
    • Fragile to the point of being infantile
    • Doormat
    • Anxious, fearful, reclusive
    • Terrified of being judged

    My sister has many of these traits, she is mentally ill.
    Some of you may still be lurking here . . .
    How do you cope? Have you found ways to cope?

    Be gentle guys . . .

    But the solution seems simple. Can you not teach her to get to where you are at?
    That will be a good start to solve most of these things?

    Maybe some things that does not need solving?

    • Very sensitive, often creative
    • Would not say boo to a goose
    • reclusive

    Maybe the middle one would need releasing once in a while...

    I made choices that have lightened my load considerably. But I would have been unable to make them if I did not have the insight into Anatta,Anicca and Dukkah that I have.

    1. Never regret anything, no second guessing. Make change for better instead.
    2. Trust in my ability. Try never to fear the future because you are afraid you can not solve the problems that might arise.

    One thing though. Does she want to be helped?

    /Victor

    Jeffreysilver
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited July 2014

    The lojong says to drive all blames into one (yourself?). It also says of two witnesses take the primary which is again evidently the self. They are provisional slogans that need unpacking in your life. In other words don't take them as contradition of Anatta.

    Another one is 'always maintain a cheerful disposition'. So these slogans aren't easy!

    @Victor, I would imagine from my own struggles she wants help but any help she thinks "I have already thought of that and it didn't work" or "that wouldn't work" etc

    lobsterVictoriousBuddhadragon
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    edited July 2014

    I'm No Wimp

    And I'm all to blame!

    It's all my fault

    And your fault is the same!

    Let's not get embroiled in anger

    Let's deal with this babe in a manger,

    When it's eternally you causing pain

    Realise who is to blame?

    Poetry,

    go at me,

    Last post sounds...

    Just a finale!

  • Sounds like a person who is perhaps attracted to buddhism, but has yet to do the "heavy lifting" of a deeper practice that involves facing one's own demons. Everybody has to start somewhere :)
    P.S. I'd never say boo to Hamsaka.

    lobsterHamsaka
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:

    Victor, I would imagine from my own struggles she wants help but any help she thinks "I have already thought of that and it didn't work" or "that wouldn't work" etc

    Exactly so. Today we had a family dinner and she is very bad. She should be in hospital, medication or doing yoga at the very least to bring her down from la la land. However . . . she is in some ways a lot better . . .

    However this is not about the mentally ill. It is about people who are border line, or unable to admit their dukkha or difficulties stem for a slanted/askew or inappropriate mode of 'being a buddhist'. In other words they are not really even on the path but avoiding it . . . in this particular example by being overly sentimental, unrealistic, dreamy etc . . .

    My sister is not a Buddhist and is not on the path and neither do I expect or try to get her on it . . . That is not my business and frankly neither is it anyone else's . . . she was just mentioned in passing . . .

    :wave: .

    mmoVictorious
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited July 2014

    Not sure if this is a dysfunctional coping mechanism or spiritual but I've long thought about the quote from Macbeth

    To be, or not to be: that is the question:

    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them?

    It seems to me that the often assumed response is, "Of course you should oppose your troubles". But I'd rather suffer the slings and arrows and having done so while being a Buddhist and gaining an appreciation for emptiness have made myself a target hard to hit. I certainly do shirk from confrontation but there aren't many arrows anymore that find a sensitive spot and cause me a whole lot of suffering.

    You asked in the OP how we cope and there it is for me, a third option, don't be a target.

    lobstermmoyagr
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    (Excuse me, @person: your quotation is from Hamlet, not Macbeth...)

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    You may well find the feeling is reciprocal.....

    EarthninjayagrStraight_ManVictorious
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    I guess using humor to deflect some of the sting is another way I cope.

    SarahTDharmaMcBum
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    works for me..... ;) .

  • SarahTSarahT Time ... space ... joy South Coast, UK Veteran

    @lobster said:

    • Pained to incapacity by the cruelty of the world

    Connection too slow to watch your youtube video @lobster but certainly been there done that on the above - too, too many times. And I am also labelled as being mentally ill, although different "experts" put different labels on the precise illness I am meant to suffer from.

    I label myself unique and (therefore) precious. I do not expect never to experience a time of immobility again but they have got shorter and more bearable as I have realised that I am powerless over others, that I am responsible only for myself.

    Yes, there are times when I simply am not well enough to do the laundry. But it passes.

    Thanks for the discussion!

    yagrBuddhadragon
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I am responsible only for myself.

    That is a huge responsibility. Most people want to blame the past, genes, circumstances, ignorance, Christians etc. Dharma says we have to recognise where the deer stops and the buck starts on its journey . . .

    Being diagnosed, being weak, angry, aggressive, a wer-lobster or indeed anything is part of a continuum.

    What is important is what can I do, what will I do? Gentle, aggressive, opinionated, expert Buddhists and people are inevitable. At times we may exhibit these traits.

    Mostly we try to be kind to ourselves. Forgiving. It's a start . . . Too gentle and we dissolve . . . :wave: .

    VictoriousVastmindBuddhadragonyagr
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    While I cannot take on responsibility for the entire world, I should accept some responsibility for some others.

    lobsterBuddhadragonsilver
  • SarahTSarahT Time ... space ... joy South Coast, UK Veteran

    @lobster said:
    That is a huge responsibility. Most people want to blame the past, genes, circumstances, ignorance, Christians etc. Dharma says we have to recognise where the deer stops and the buck starts on its journey . . .

    Guess so - but all things are relative. I did feel responsible for the whole world - from climate change and war to making sure my ex had a perfectly ironed shirt each day. So, for me it's quite a relief ;)

    Interested in @vinlyn's comment. I don't accept responsibility for others - except to the extent that I allow them to follow their own journey, to learn their own lessons. I struggle with this in the case of my daughter - now 10 - as I would love to be able to fulfil my parental responsibility to her. But I am banned from doing so by court order, have only made myself ill by trying to get this changed and then am not even well enough to answer the phone when my son rings me. Not sure that helps anyone?

    Yes, when I am well enough, I do volunteer in a charity shop to raise money for those less fortunate for myself. But I don't see this as a "responsibility" - just as something that I see as worthwhile and that I enjoy doing.

    Too gentle and we dissolve ...

    Could such "dissolution" be a necessary condition for the acquisition of wisdom? Looking at @samahita's post on Noble Awareness:

    continuously contemplating and reflecting upon:

    1: The Body merely as a decaying and ownerless formation..
    2: The Feelings just as conditioned responses fading away..
    3: The Mind only as a set of ingrained and habituated moods..
    4: Any Phenomenon simply as a mentally constructed appearance..

    perhaps it is?

    Namaste.

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited August 2014

    Used to say live and let live... Ya know ya did, ya know ya did, ya know ya did

  • Could such "dissolution" be a necessary condition for the acquisition of wisdom?

    It can be. However the inability to function normally is not necessarily indicative of attainment, virtue or progress, if non volitional.

    Do we have the ability to make choices in our behaviour? Being overly passive and labelling this as meritorious fools who? Being angry with the vacuum cleaner but smiling sweetly at ones teacher means the vacuum cleaner is ones master . . .

    The issue here is one of discernment and looking at our nature. :wave: .

    VastmindDavidBuddhadragon
  • SarahTSarahT Time ... space ... joy South Coast, UK Veteran
    edited August 2014

    Thanks @lobster. Right now feels a bit "chicken and egg" - which comes first, discernment or wisdom?

    But guess I do see my "non-volitional" dissolution as progress, in that I would not be where I am now had it not happened. I can see no other way that I would not still busily be earning more than anyone needs in the belief that my ex needed the security of lots of money, not realising that he thought I was doing it out of ambition for myself. In my case, the only thing that stopped me leading the life I was leading was getting so ill that even sitting up made me faint. Yes, I loved my job but I didn't love the hours and all my attempts to find a work/life balance in my chosen career had come to nothing.

    not necessarily indicative

    I usually say "depends on the circumstances" but prefer this way of putting it. Grateful that I have a lifetime to get there and for all those who post here to give pointers :rocker:

  • if possible try to convince her

    whatever has happened in the Past we can not change it by worrying

    whatever we think will happen in the Future will not be as we think, so no use in worrying

    there was/is/will be no one who can solve All the world problem in the Past/Present/Future

    BuddhadragonJeffrey
  • Thanks @lobster. Right now feels a bit "chicken and egg" - which comes first, discernment or wisdom?

    But guess I do see my "non-volitional" dissolution as progress, in that I would not be where I am now had it not happened.

    Understood.

    We can progress from our break down/my-little-pony/toy/new age dharma.

    An enlightened monk once kindly said to me, 'you can not stay here'. This shocked the superficial at his 'unkindness' at not providing 'refuge'. In fact his wisdom and discernment that I could not stay in my present condition was right speech.

    So in a sense true refuge is not taking residence in our temporary but apparently real condition. It is allowing the arising of our true home . . .

    SarahTBuddhadragon
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