Ajahn Sumedho | Allowing Suffering | Transmuting Rubbish Into Meta | 1995

by: Culture Exchange Blog

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or loving-kindness is a practice netting very important in modern society because this is a this modern life tends to be based on like criticisms and exactly what's wrong so when most of us are educated and culturally conditioned to to think always in terms of what's wrong with something with oneself or with America with other people

Oh Mehta is the skillful means that it's like it's an all-embracing it's non-critical like your critical faculties or you compare this is better than that and it's bigger and smaller this is smaller and this is what I like that's what I go like I mean now that kind of mental function we developed and but Mehta is is is non-discriminating I mean it's aware of differences but it's making not it's not emphasizing what's wrong or that anything's better than anything else it's an interesting way to develop conscious experience and it's not it's not just a kind of refusing to look at what's wrong with anything it's not denying differences or qualities that being different but it's the practice of not grasping not making a problem not not dwelling on what's wrong so that's why you can spread Mendte to the forces of evil or that know that you know the enemy you can have metaphor your enemy

which means in the anime still or maybe wants to kill you but you're you're not developing a version you're not you're not dwelling on that and then your kaze sending blessings or good will even to the enemy into the forces of evil and so like the word love itself is a is important to to see how you want to define that word because it's used in so many different ways and it's very powerful word in English language is kind of modeling is over worked as it tends to be it's still very powerful word and then we we need to to know what we mean by it because then it we open up we're not very clear in our thinking so we can say we love something which means that we maybe we like something no liking is is a you know what liking disliking is his one thing isn't it you don't like your enemies usually and you don't like the forces of evil so we're not we're not a Matei saying I like evil I like my enemies get to like something means you have to it has to have you know something pleasing to you something that it appeals to you it attracts you air forces of evil or your enemies or the ugly things that the meanness or the malicious forces or the nastiness in the world is is a really been impossible to like it but we can love and it is that what we mean by meta Leto so meta is is not has been patient accepting not dwelling in a version and this is something we can train ourselves to do out

in Christianity they call it Christian love isn't it where you love your enemies and so forth I mean there's a Christian love or in I mean they define it in terms of for unconditional love unconditioned unconditional love is another term for it but don't think of it love is some kind of you know grand emotion of approving and liking because we can love that which we don't approve of an average we don't like at all and how do you do that one thing by not trying to curse hit earth or send bad luck bats and the bad vibrations not trying to mean not murdering somebody who hates you wants to murder you is a form of love and not not dwelling in a version not even though you might feel a verse not cultivating a version in resentment toward that being or that person so it's a patient's impatient accepting means that accepting the way it is rather than it doesn't mean approving but accepting the forces of evil the way they are we're not saying I'll only accept you if you change your ways and and do and conduct yourself where I live then we're putting conditions on I love you only when you make yourself likeable to me is that it if not unconditional

that's also a way of dealing with your own negativity that the negative emotions you have that you don't like and of course not liking these emotions means that we tend to we do we we don't we tend to blame ourselves or we we make it into a problem so with Metta is not dwelling in a version of hating accepting and being patient with what we're feeling which may be not very nice at all that's a good practice to learn how to bear with accept and be patient and not create a version around the unpleasant things that you're feeling inside your own book in your mind or in your body or the things around you

so mecha is a thing because we can see in men to practice all beings seen unseen the possibility of all type all qualities so it this is what does that do to your mind when you're it's it's the totality isn't it it's total it's everything and see where discrimination tends to and criticism chance to you pick and choose and you're with is good that's bad and you're dividing up everything in a way that you know I like this I don't like that this is this is I approve of this I don't this is right that wrong so that's a funny that's a divisive function of the mind I'm not criticizing that either we need to have that but it but when that our only way of relating then of course we suffer all the time because we have to share and live in a universe where you know a lot of it we don't like and it's unlikable a lot of life is is is not likable if not just you it's the way of here

or just pointing out the difference between is a discrimination comparing weighing one thing against another and this meant that which is all inclusive with total acceptance unconditional love for everything everyone so this this is when you train the mind with Metta then that that does that that changes your attitude you your you find a way they are very lived unpleasant the unwanted the painful the ugly the evil the mean the nasty disgusting all the rest of them you can otherwise we just caught in in being angry or for 18 it or or just avoiding or you know and get develop neurotic habits and in all kinds of ways of just trying to to say avoid looking at something bad or for feeling very threatened or peeling a burst because the life presents us with things that are ugly and unfair and mean and nasty and we create these things in our minds to and we can we can create pretty ugly emotions and thoughts

so in terms of meta we always start with ourselves may I abide and well-being though it's it's that this starting with there we learning to accept the way you are and the conditions a good or bad then you're you're experiencing and emotionally or intellectually or physically instinctually and so it's it's sending goodwill to yourself but this and this isn't just a sentimental thing many it work it's working in a way that it is a quite subtle in in learning to just be not be self-critical not to just develop you know dwell on what's wrong but even have patience and acceptance even towards those tendencies your own critical tendencies it works on every in every subtle way

you like weaknesses or or cowardliness were things that we hate ourselves for like they were cowardly than we hate ourselves for that for it we're jealous and we hate our we tend to hate ourselves for being jealous for feeling jealousy or I mean if we're if we're trying to be good people and and moral and fair and just and then we find ourselves you know feeling really mean and mean hearted or jealous or we act in inferior ways we do bad things and saying bad things and we then we can hate ourselves for that so meta is is also rather than then then wailing and getting obsessed with its self hatred self in ism it trigger meta even for cowardice and jealousy and and weakness then stupidity and all these things we hate

doesn't mean we like to improve but it mean we're not making a problem about weekend weekend where we're willing to accept those conditions for what they are and so that meant I find a very helpful attitude in my own practice over the years because there was a tendency to to really really get hard on myself really really hate myself or for things that I felt I shouldn't shouldn't be and so there's always a struggling trying to to get rid of things and trying to and then the more you struggle and try to control manipulate your mind and then you fall back in the same old patterns and then you hate yourself again and and you just don't seem to get anywhere with it so if so if if just hating yourself with some way to solve the problem then that would be the thing to do but it doesn't it doesn't solve the problem then help just makes you more miserable

learning to accept others for what they are that's another book except one some accept others for what they are with their warts their pimples their bad breath all the rest that's a difficult one is

because we we sometimes we we want to change people make them you know this is listen many of us a desire to if somebody has bad habits and it is irritating and frustrating us and that we we might you know want to help them by making it by trying to get them to change to act in a way that we doesn't upset us but that's how it work yeah I mean this is meta doesn't mean approving somebody called bad habits then and a really bad habit not just you know just because they irritate us because there they are bad habits it having meta it means that we we're willing to accept that our love for them is unconditional yes we aren't going to love them only if they change their bad habits this this helps us to then get some perspective on how we reopen times you know we how narrow-minded we can be and how demanding we are of others you know like I accept you only if you conduct yourself in a way that I approve of and you have to be worthy of my love you have to prove yourself my love is so great and so good that only very best to get it I'm such an important person but let my love is really and gotta really work hard to deserve it is that it's very conceited isn't it there sometimes that's why how we are business and towards people other people

also this helps you to expand your your mind into like a totality because meta is it is the totality then it's universal it has no limits no boundaries on it we're narrow-minded you know I only love you when you when you're moral when you practice hard when you smile at me when you act in the right way when you're polite when you conduct yourself in a way that I approve of and then then of course it's that's all the conditions I'm placed on you and then then I can only love you when you're doing all that but as soon as you once one misstep and then that's it one mistake one cross word one dirty look and you matters

so this of course takes patience to be able to bear with this because we have to learn how to take things how to take this the bad stuff from other people and not hate them for it how to how to accept the rubbish the refuse the excrement that people throw at it

without hating them for hating the retina excrement that's a big order in there but yet we can do it with mindfulness and with patient and with the meta hmmm and so in like Argent Chinese to say you have to look make yourself into a into a rubbish tip into a into garbage can we're trying to learn American words again until garbage can and then they don't say that in English make yourself into garbage disposal and he said it quite seriously you know and then first I don't know I don't want to be it's you know I don't want people to dump their garbage into me and if you've got problems and it's you you don't don't dump it on to me what was how I used to feel but then I can see that that mental state was you know don't don't dump your rubbish on me it's still you know a selfish reaction you know don't hurt me don't I don't want to know I don't want to have anything to do with your suffering or your problems but as the neighbor used to say go tell the chaplain but in contemplating this is the in also I can see that there was a in myself a real fear of and just not knowing how and also there's a sense of I got to defend myself against the world I've got to protect myself I've got a you know kind of keep my guard up and keep all these enemy than these potential potential enemies or that at a distance just to protect myself so that you know one becomes very frightened and fearful of life and other people because people can hurt you people can dump the rubbish on you people can hurt your feelings people can offend you they can insult you they can wound you they can shatter you and can kill you so I mean where we are very vulnerable we were in a state where we we can you know know physically and emotionally very vulnerable thing but taking that vulnerability rather than as something to to protect and to kind of keep a build a fortress around yourself the spiritual path is by open it by allowing yourself to be totally vulnerable that's one reason why spiritual development is frightening because it is like it's an act of faith then it's in it taking down all the defences and fortress walls and all that that you've built up over the years but then the miracle of it is when you're completely vulnerable then you're also invulnerable it means that that your your your you can we can process the suffering of the world like we can digest it then and and we can we can take it we can transmute it

but we we can't do but if we're always in the theta of defensiveness then protecting ourselves in fear and anxiety then then we make ourselves suffer all the time even when they're even with our friends even when everything's all right and that we're we are we still we still stuck with a lot of fear and anxiety and anxiety about the possibilities so this way meta also is is learning to trust and to experiment and willing to to feel the suffering of the world that's why feeling your own suffering one keeps name reiterating this over and over again don't be afraid to suffer accept what you're feeling embrace it I use this gesture embrace

or like the the angry man that says I don't submit or I won't ever talk with you like that then you feel it you feel it in and immediately the old the conditioned reactions is I don't want to talk with you I want to get out of here let me out of here but then a determination and deliberate will willing or determined determining to accept this man anger actually resolve the problem it helped him to help me we both benefited from it he benefited and I benefited so he dumped his anger onto me and I swallowed it and I became a stronger person longer and more trusting because I realized how to do it how to how to accept how to take on something that before I would have rejected

you like in there Mahatma Gandhi was his method was also into this accepting the the beatings or the floggings or the in justices say at that time in India during that you tried to expel the British or they're being looked down on as a black person or for being despised or all these things are is the rubbish the garbage that gets dumped on people but it's also say to be something that we can use and we transmute it from being just rubbish into into Metta more loving-kindness and of course then we we we become we're much more than we become fearless individuals and we know we can take it whatever happens to us we can take it or the Christian example kusa picture isn't in Jesus crucified on the cross this is pretty horrible thing to do to anybody and then they're making fun jeering and insulting him put a crown of thorns on his head in King of the Jews ha ha ha look at you mean nasty insulting might be naked on a cross and make fun of worse things that could happen [Laughter] horrible and then and then the forgiveness is me he forgives them and in any he doesn't uh and he accepts what they're saying and surrender is to the to the cross that's another that's a very powerful example in the Christian icon

then there's a in there in the Buddhist sutras Buddha says to his disciples if the demons get you and they start torching in the most horrible way you can imagine and you have one negative thought where those demons you are not a disciple of the Buddha so imagine is I mean you know demons got you there red-hot pokers going down your throat pulling out your fingernails gouging out your eyeballs horrible things going to every orifice of your body pain humiliation and you and you're not supposed to have one negative thought well these are extreme examples [Laughter]

but you know I don't think that any of us will be crucified within hopefully none of it we won't be tortured either but in daily life what do we do with the little things even when they start sticking red-hot pokers down your throat just somebody pushing you or somebody insulting you what do you do with that things I mean if this is where we bring attention to the to this though you know in daily life working on the on the things of that the daily irritation daily life irritation the frustrations the little bitty unfairness ISM exasperated experiences and lack of courtesy or disrespect or or insensitivity that people show towards us it doesn't mean we're putting on a nice face stiff upper-lip kind of thing but we're willing to feel the hurt of life our own pain and the pain of somebody else

last year we had we're building this temple in England and so we we had to get permission to build this temple and when we when we acquired amravati ten years ago they the council was you know implied that there'd be no problem in in building a temple so when we applied we expected to get permission and then there were some people in the area that that objected and so they had this campaign against us to refuse this building of the temple so we had to go through kind of public relations exercises and time to inform people and still is its kind of resistance by certain kind of entrenched torii type right wing you know the type anyway they we had to go to an appeal and which and and so I was to be one of the chief witnesses on this appeal and this is so this was something that I've never wanted to ever do you know I dread this kind of thing having going like League legal me no witness or you think in a legal case and here I was asked to be the chief witness in this appeal and so we we had about six seven months to prepare our case and so unnoticed every time the word appeal came up just the word appeal which before didn't upset me in any way totally I feel with pain in my back I feel on each side right down here in the abdomen a physical pain just you say the word appeal in and so then somebody say you know it's the appeals in November and it's August the Olympics I don't tomato would you do you have time today we've got to prepare for this appealing so I contemplate this this pain just the physical pain you know I thought what that's something quite easy because it's very physical and and I didn't want to have to think about this appeal I didn't like having to to be a part of it or involved with it much less being the chief witness that hadn't be done and so I used it this deliberately taking the you know the pain I was feeling and they're in there and every trying to totally accept the situation both their side our side everything about it and to use a metal with it and so actually by the time the appeal came in I didn't that pain wasn't there actually didn't bother me at all to be a chief witness but it was through through a willingness to use a situation was the physical pain emotional dread and they and also the metaphor the people who are the opposing side which was also very difficult because some of them one felt quite indignant or felt there a we've been we've been you know deeply offended and misunderstood and people terribly unfair but even that we we accept you know we the patient accepting of it learning to to feel it we need to feel that sense of that's unfair and an accept neck feeling rather than being caught up in to hate him and in developing a hatred towards the people that are being unfair

so then Mehta is like patients willing to endure willing to bear with the pain of this realm with meditation also a lot comes up in your mind as men it's a lot of memories and a lot of those unconscious emotions will start becoming conscious and so like metaphor that also means acceptance and patience willing to for them to be what they are without reacting agree I want to get rid of them I don't want these emotions

in monastic life there I can see like in a community for example in monastic community you have to live together quiet you know day after day month after month year after years of times and and you accept whoever is willing to live under the discipline it not matter whether you personally like them you'll find them easy to get on with or that your your kind of people if they're willing to live under the discipline then you let them in accept them so you have to live with people some people if I'm very frustrating for me because I the way they react to things is very different or they're just have very irritating habits or work where they just bring up all kinds of emotions and anything I would find a lay person I would never if I could choose I would never choose these people as my friends I mean I would have just you know ignored them if I hadn't been in the monastic life you just kind of stuck with them or so you know then I could see as a lay person that was much more kind of picky and fussy in and and I just kind of you know kind of selective when these not those and then it was uh because you cannot do that as a layperson you can you have your own home you can go and close the door you can you can shut people out but when you're in a monastery you you know we all belong in the monastery so also like ajahn Chah that's Nate I remember when when I became when we established the what what barn on our chart in that first year I was the as the abbot of that monastery the first two years and and I had an obvious learning because I've never been an abbot know many of any more scary or even a proper teacher and suddenly I was teaching Abid everything was it was on my shoulders and I felt really burdened and ill-at-ease because when you've never done these things you just you know you're kind of fumbling around it often times you you don't do things very well at first so so then there was one month that was giving me a really difficult time whatever I said he'd go against it and he he'd get really angry with me one time I remember he was how he was reading you're reading a V noia text and I was reading I mean I text him he had this and it is supposed to be you know a monk if it's hot there and there was no air conditioning to they take the pad and thing kinda kind of you know fine you so this month was angry [Laughter] and then he gave me these blood-curdling looks I go back to my cootie at nine my little hut in the forest tonight I have nightmares he she I could see him coming with a machete cut my head off so I went up to see how drunk cha one day and I was telling him about it and and so he said well you know this is your sharpening stone chop you stone for his machete maybe this is your sharpening stone maybe you have to have people like this they put wisdom you know be grateful for them rather than then just try to get rid of them because I used to think if this mind every this monk then we'll be all right but that doesn't work it's not matter of just getting rid of people that you can't get on with when it's learning how to open wider they're not a how to band them or how to accept how to how to work with life rather than trying to control before I'd always tried to control everything so they you know another kind of way of getting getting by getting through life through kind of manipulations and controlling situations and avoiding situations that I found difficult but this this was like being right in the middle of it where you there was no way I could you know I to control control the situation would wouldn't work so I had to develop skillful mean and to expand had to use wisdom rather than just cleverness in dealing with the problems of communities

and that Metta practice then this word loving kindness kindness is what being kind you can be kind to the nastiest people or learning to be kind even to annoying things like mosquitoes and flies slugs things like that accepting in Thailand with a good place to develop loving kindness because you had to live with a lot of irritating creatures like insects and reptiles I remember kissing because of big Buddhist monk we can't kill animals of any sort insects or reptiles anything we can't kill anything so and then in Thailand is like an anthill and got ants everywhere in termites so you've always got to learn how to cook and mosquitoes lots of mosquitoes but will that there's 10 years I spent in Thailand is a month this is before I understood what termites how they operate but but they have these termite migrations a whole kind of hibernative termites will suddenly decide to migrate somewhere else and so and oftentimes if you're cootie is in the way then they they go they cross the cootie is aids l remember one night that's very tired and I came back to my cootie and the whole place was covered in termites and I thought oh the termites are here they're going to eat my cootie [Music] and so so I started trying to sweep them out I mean they were everywhere they're in the rafters and everything and then their termites have soft little bodies so they if you sweep them they you can smash them so that didn't work just trying to kind of clear them out and so the only thing to do was there's another so Tyler I'll go sleep somewhere else I went to sleep somewhere else at night thinking and next Dale what am I going to do they they're in my cootie now and these visions that they would you know the termites eat wood and they would eat the whole cootie I would have any coochie but the next morning I walked went over there and they would not one in sight they were just passing by [Laughter] [Music] probably just think hi summate oh you know hating them and trying to figure out how to get rid of them not even appreciating a friendly but it seems is kind of experiences that we learn that the knots they the little takes in the parasites and well and the mosquitoes no rest you know we can the metaphor these is it helps us to just be more patient and more beautiful in our heart because I found myself a much nicer person when I learned when I started thinking how to coexist with with the creatures on this planet rather than how to control this planet so that it doesn't irritate me and there's something really awful about that in there trying to make this planet into a place it doesn't doesn't frustrate irritate me or upset me in any way if is is a really selfish nasty attitude but then but how to coexist with everything on this planet say is is the elta stupid because then we develop patience patient endurance that's something we can't get enough up to be paid in and meta unconditional love and these are these are spiritual virtues virtues that that enhance and and direct us toward spiritual realization

so are there any questions

well it's them I mean I can't speak my life as I never those things haven't happened to me that a patience isn't uh isn't there isn't isn't kind of passive fatalism but it's a it's a positive willing to bear with the suffering of who's beating you and in your own suffering so in that way it it's not just a kind of tail between the legs cowardly feeling or just a kind of fatalistic resignation to misery but it's a very positive thing it speaks loudly but it's not blaming and it's not resentful or say when somebody's been abused by parents and it tends to get you know a lot of fear and a lot of reserve I mean but I mean these those are extreme situations and and it would take a real Saint to you know to put up with but but but it's also with considering

also it can be you know you can I mean it doesn't mean that you can you cannot you you can say you can't say stop it or defend yourself but the defense then the question isn't done out of you know hatred but out of love you know so that I mean when unnoticed there I mean like like the world say though the ignorant will operate on all kind of on say on on a condition process taking place and I had this insight one time where when I was a junior monk there is a the monk he was just about a year so senior to me in terms of being a monk anti monk and he was you know it had a very kind of bad complexion and he he was a not very good looking and and he seemed to have no confidence and and he wasn't a very you know you can see it wasn't a very inspiring specimen and and so he tended and I felt sorry for it so I I befriended him and you talked with him and not many people would talk to him and things like that so because he sat next to me I I would you know I'd take a special interest in it and then one time I we were standing outside the dining hall and and he came up to me and and he was kind of standing nearby and trying to get my attention and I felt this incredible desire to kick him

and it was wrong shocked me that I would feel because intellectually I wouldn't I wouldn't want to do that but then I began to notice that the way was standing and his body language was like he was cowering in a way I don't think he he knew what he wasn't intentional but he had a kind of cowering pose and it brought up some kind of basic instinct some kind of animal or brutal instinct so this is you know you can see just sometimes we trigger all things just through through you know you've probably beaten I mean I'm surprised if he had been beaten there's a you know abuses a child with but he also tended to you know just the way because of the conditioning process then his his attitude was also one of attended to bring that kind of reaction to him then this is what conditioning is I mean it's just so if you watch dog like like in Thailand they the dogs like we had a member in one monastery there's this dog that lived in the monastery and in the morning early morning we amongst we go out on arms round into the villages this dog just like to come but you see when it when ignore they have their own rules about things and so when they're territorial so so with the village dogs and they see my dog they'd all stop ganging up on him but my dog was very clever you know what he do in the to start running on him he put his tail between his legs in Cour and then they leave him alone and then he cowered through the village like this cities outside the country and on to the next one he knew how to operate in adult world that was just just dogs work you know they how they approach each other so I mean and so human beings are often that is any different you know we have the same kind of instinct the animals and and we oftentimes operate you know on that level too but this is where se is but we we have a choice we don't say we we we can change that he thought this is why with with meditation actually trying to rise above those kind of animal instincts not not to aversion or to put them down but to recognize that we have we can operate on a higher level on a finer level so like meta is it's Universal it's divine it's it's you know it's lifting us up to a higher level then just say survival the fittest or just that the gangs that they're very that ones learn to play in order to survive or get on in you know in an ignorant society yeah I think that just culturally living a very often taken on the role of garbage them and that the notion and that's never been the great expanding and I and other women consider what this teaching means is create tricky territory to think about how to rise above or how to feel meta and loving kindness toward somebody identity and and have a long history of that not being positive I guess my point is I think that you're talking about something very different and more powerful but I find that territory very very risky and then is easy to go into one word

but then that's the I mean it's not it's not a kind of it's not like being like being like what I think women have done it is kind of become fatalistic kind of resigned to a to a bad deal and it would fill with resentment about it yeah where this is this is accepting boldly because you're aware of your own emotional reaction you know if you're not just trying to go or go to you know it's not trying to be a martyr or or or just say just try to to ignore it or or not feel but it's a it's a meta in like it's universal unconditional love which applies to both your own feelings like resentment like like those telling you the other day about resentment having to work with resentment and and it wasn't trying to get rid of it I mean or just being stiff upper lip and you know it don't be so silly tomato just you know get on with your life and bear with it kind of thing it was we need to to treat to really admit the resentment and to listen to it and to accept it which is different than just saying well you know life is tough just get on with it and keep going stiff upper lip green and bare and which is that kind of is you know a fatalistic you know put on a smile even though ensign you're you really hurt wait she doesn't work you know leads to all kinds of physical and emotional suffering but the thing to try to use it in a very simple way and not locked it when I feel some way when you're talking about a universe would sound so grand about working with it with this little thing so you can kind of you know you can mourn you get confidence with it we can like you can once you understand how to really do it they mean that is really wonderful and not that you always can do it all the time but here more you see how you see you can do that

because also anyone needs to you know they're accepting the rubbish from others but there's also you know what we have we also need to let others know what they're doing and how it affects so there needs to be a mutual honesty some people will listen others won't when like in in community life for example we try to to have it you know so we can tell each other we try to listen to each other upon that helpful trying to listen not just think I'm hearing because because I you know I'm hearing with the word but listening lived because sometimes people don't really mean what they're saying particularly so you're trying to to you know some people don't know how to express things very well so they're saying something they don't quite mean Matt so then you know I found out that I could get I could you know if I just took them to literally I'd I wouldn't understand what they were saying I got to get it the wrong way hit the wrong message so then this this listening like listening inwardly to yourself it's just it's just a listening non non judging which is willing to open your your heart and listen without beating up to solve the problem or make anything about it just listen just hear hear it or towards what's going on in your own mind and then also to somebody else because I notice with you know I tend to get reactive if somebody says something they react or or you know while they say it or the words they use one can just react to it or and and then you then of course there's no you know it's just when you see people doing that I've walked people doing that and it's like they're not really listening to each other they're just like talking like they're going to the pathetic so I've done that myself and so when you you see that it you know then listening is a is it kind of opening and not putting so much importance on the mean of the words sometimes we make and you know like if somebody says I hate you is that you know terrible want even say that to me the other hate is an ugly word but but then when you listen you know you're trying to to feel what they're saying more than just react to to the word hate

so it because that's not really what they mean I mean I wouldn't take it too literally but they'd like it it's something you can your your accepting that and you know but you're not you're not taking it in in a literal way so then maybe you're open to what they're really trying to say what they really want to say or communicate of what they're feeling like intuition is is that ability I mean if it's just on the level of words stand of course we just you know we just have to you know and people use words in different ways so we don't always know what we're talking about even though we're speaking English we we have I went to a conference once called mystics and scientists conference and they had their it I was one of the mistake three scientists and as interested in two mystics one was a Jewish Kabbalists and then myself and then he's three ciders one was Charles Park he's quite well known they're an interesting trying to talk about is the word consciousness because I mean we didn't define our terms before this conference before the seminar and so consciousness is a word and we think we understand but I mean it can mean so many different things to different people and so suddenly I realized none of us knew you know we all had our own definitions so often thought we couldn't quite get what each other was saying because even with the words on the level of word we hadn't we hadn't defined our terms but intuition then is is getting behind the word to to be sensitive the feeling that the mood that the other things because that's where intuitive awareness is this embracing quality it's a sensitive openness where they when you're just working on on reacting to what somebody says on logically then if it doesn't require intuition just means you know ability to to argue a point logically but when you're talking when you're when you're they working on the emotional level for the spiritual plane then psychic plane and let's say that's where the intuition is necessary because if you're just operating if you're trying to be logical on that level so you know it's not logical not supposed to be not

right you can you know you want you can say with a heart from the met to tell them to stop or or you can let them do it I mean it's up to you but if you think that it helps them to do that and you want to help them or maybe they just don't know what they're doing they just need to be told not to do it but it's you know it's more an intuitive response rather than just a reactor or a reaction to a version resentment

I did not example he gave up Gandhi he comes to mind because there there was an oppressor and oppressed and then yet and it didn't seem to work where I guess finally the very the violence kind of just just ran out of steam right they need his book experiments my experiments with truth I was inspiring a lot when I was in the university because it is the experiment just to find out what works you know it isn't trying to be too idealistic about it or to you know high minded and operating from from from a lot of ideals that might not work at all but it is like anything I say is is for there all he knows like suggestions and and that for contemplation important here is you know that you can use or not or experiment with like my experiment with accepting somebody's anger I have found that very helpful because before I was very I couldn't accept somebody's anger or I couldn't accept criticism very well if people wanted to criticize me I I'd take it to person I feel hurt and I'd resent it so when people want him to criticize me then they then I give off these these feelings you know I don't know if it was intentional or not you know don't say anything that'll hurt me kind of feeling you know so people tended to to not say things that could aside me because they didn't want to hurt me so that's the kind of manipulative ability to my name then in with this meta practice and experimenting upon outlook I can take criticism and when when you're open towards criticism and towards what you know letting and willing to to be honest and open and receptive to others then then you're working in it is a different dynamic the thing is very liberating in itself

what people are asking about those up meta is consistent with activism I think Gandhi showed that and in your own dealing with the right way Natori I'm you all didn't accept the initial in a verdict you appealed and so I think if it were clearer to people maybe that Mehta is consistent at times with an incredible kind of activism as long as it's long as that comes from was done with met I mean Gandhi didn't hate people God didn't hate the British or the Moslems or the right-wing Hindus nonetheless he he actually not not only accepted things he actually created movements and actions when it well is our love was concerned for their welfare he he wanted the best for the British he didn't wanted to you know get rid of the British and you know through a version I mean it was it wasn't you know he wasn't just kind of an anti-colonialist terrorist in all but his his movement was to try to do what needed to bring into consciousness the moral obligations of people in that trying to bring into the minds of the British you know what what they're doing and not to not out of vindictiveness without of met our love loving timeless I mean this is why say it is it met isn't just a rubbish like a garbage then but in in terms of of of just a passive receptacle that or a doormat than anyone can just walk over but it it it's much more an act of love in which then the responses to situations become apparent you know you you have a when you're mindful then you tend to have a spontaneity and they an ability to respond appropriately to particular situations that you don't have if you just caught an emotional reactiveness so there's like emotional reactiveness is just conditioned so you say something and I say something back we just reacting to each other and and then you criticize me and I think I criticize me you you do things worse than I do I've seen you regress is me that in the monastery you admonish someone needed why does he need a Russa man [Laughter] so this is that's a reaction but a response would be more like like you're taking in it made same say they're accusing or something you haven't done well they misunderstand even they're saying these insulting things when then trust in your you know it to feel it to feel it in to feel that your own tendency to react to it then trust in in your own response to it if it's not just coming out of out of a reaction because then your there's wisdom in that moment it's subpoena mindfulness and wisdom and and so there can be you know if there is marvelous ways and then there's the response can be very effective and helpful to both parties

that's where like Gandhi was exceptional in the fact of a in the colonial times because you could make such a good case against colonial oppressors in light of terrorists and movements in India that were terrorist organizations that were wanting to just go and kill off the British you know just to terrorize them and godly wouldn't have anything to do that because he wasn't anti British didn't wonder just he knew that the answer for India wasn't just to get rid of the one is to get rid of them but to uplift the whole moral tone and they and of the nation and of everyone involved both the British and the Muslims and Hindus and there were a whole lot

also patient says is waiting for the right time like I noticed if I an impatient and somebody does something wrong there is something they shouldn't be doing and I'm get and I feel angry or annoyed with them and I say something out of anger and annoyance then in most the time that isn't very effective because then they just they just say ah Jenson mate Oh doesn't like me because they pick up my aversion to them so so I avoid unless it's really necessary but but avoid speaking when I'm feeling angry revealing a verse to somebody and then bide my time wait for an opening for the time in place to say something and of course in our monastic community opening you're giving your giving opportunities for things to be said now you're trying to create ways of up talking and and dealing with each other in ways where we aren't just say being dysfunctional and just wholly back and just you know or just blurting things out just when as a reaction but but you're trying to to develop a way of living in which say issues can be addressed and where we where we and where the attitude of listening helps sometimes people if we just react then we somebody says something and we just preach at them somebody says I'm put up with monastic life I want to do throw how can you say you realize you know you've been involved mannequin people giving you arms food we say all these things then we can give them a party-line treatment make them feel terrible and so then here so they knew you try to listen to them and and then people start trusting in in you and they're trusting in the in the community that they can say things like like like one of the nuns told me she she was getting pretty disillusioned with monastic life and she was always could never admit it so she was always trying to say I loved nothing line when she didn't and then she said one day she actually said told one of the senior milks he hated being and non-being in Africa and then she began to like it again but it was like you know it was like I mean that's why when somebody says I hate hated or I hate Buddhism or that it's not like a that one that that is the you know the permanent state of their mind but mine int that's why to react to that would be to their either hate Buddhism hate monastic like I hate the monastery and then terrible thing to say you should love you should be filled up while loving-kindness and all these wonderful things that people do for you and then you preciate them and then then just you know that that then it makes them feel put down where when they were listening in your then they can say that horrible thing they're thinking and it's a kind of somehow it helps to release that if we can say the horrible things we think to somebody else people find that very liberating or like confessions or for for saying the same thing that where somebody will listen without giving them a lecture or without looking or hating them or resenting them for saying it that's why in loving time is that why we can we help each other that way because something is very liberating when I hate I hate you and then you can you listen and you accept that and you don't give a lecture about how they should be filled with loving-kindness and then then they don't hate you anymore

do you find that like have a I'm not assistant a monastery that that when when you let people say what they're thinking then even if it is awful or terrible what they're thinking if they can just say one other person it tends to and the other person accepts it and doesn't is willing to just listen and not not not give them advice and not give them a sermon and that seems to relieve the tension that's building up in them they're all afraid you're going to get a sermon aren't we say I hate Buddhism they oh that you're going to go to hell for that you be in one of the letters hell's of a tree Helen for eternity hating the Buddha or and most and we all know that what we should do like we should all forgive in love and these kind of things we already know but and so on the idea of the ideal plane we I mean most most people I know in the Buddhist world a very idealistic I minded people I mean then God they all you know want to be good and wrath of it so it's not like you're you're dealing with you know law minded brutes most of it I mean like living in Britain now eighteen years I've only I never was in England before I was a month I've lived in Britain only as a British mom 18 years I've met they most the people I've met are very good people I'm not met the very many bad people now there must be bad people in England like there are everywhere but but it is that the life doesn't you know doesn't draw those kind of people to you and so that and I've never done anything very bad in England myself [Laughter]

but this is the this is I think very important in a relationship because people do talk about relationship a lot now because we're hungry for relating to each other in an honest and open way and because we're lonely you know to be shut off in a world of yourself and and that is in the form of misery so we want to relate but say what doesn't know how I remember a while he was confrontation you know where we're going to just confront each other what's wrong with you is in your like this and then you know what's wrong with you and you're like that and and then you kind of give it you confront each other with things in there that can but you don't know how to really relate you're merely kind of projecting your own views and feelings onto somebody else and then confessions in all kinds of ways of just trying to to be honest or say what you sing or say what you feel [Music] but that can be in a lie if I told you everything I feel all the time it would you know if we had to go around telling each other about all the bad thought negative feelings we have it's just so depressing so so that that isn't that doesn't work but is one thing is is a say with loving-kindness and then willingness to listen and to encourage the good qualities in somebody else and not to to kind of always point out their faults or what's wrong with them they're like confrontation tending to be like one pointing out your faults and then you point out my fault so then we we think they've being honest is looking at each other is pointing out each other's faults or admitting our own faults we think honesty is also just admitting our own faults you know I have this problem and I'm like that kind of thing but why is it that the faults the weaknesses we make such a big thing out of it ourselves and others so that's why I saying I don't go around pointing out people's faults I mean sometimes that's necessary but generally I don't do that all right and then also try to encourage them toward the good and then also being a friend that listens and then another phone that's not easy to do to always listen to somebody when they're saying things that they've made your guts churn but you can do it and it also helps to to relieve the the build-up tensions in the resentments that one accumulate means I have community life if you don't bring these up then then there tends to be these underlying ghosts that hang around there's things that you just never talked about issues you would never bring up


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Ajahn Sumedho is a prominent figure in the Thai Forest Tradition. His teachings are very direct, practical, simple, and down to earth. In his talks and sermons he stresses the quality of immediate intuitive awareness and the integration of this kind of awareness into daily life. This Youtube channel is brought to you by Culture Exchange Blog http://culture-exchange.blog

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