18 February, 2010

Going Un-Buddhist...NOT

I try to make friends at my gym or at least be pleasant and outgoing. I try not to wear an IPOD all the time, which divorces you from human contact. Why listen to the whiney song, “All you need is love,” looking forlorn? Today, I saw I young man with a tattoo that said, IF YOU COULD SEE WHAT I SEE WHEN I SEE YOU, THEN YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND MY DISGUST. What an exquisite use of ink, a real work of art and have fun removing it when you wake up. You get the bad with the good....the whole range.

A few years ago, I tried to make friends with this lady who I see a couple times in yoga. I talked to her once, and thought we got past the Stranger, I don’t need to know you phase.

Well, she had broken her leg while dancing, and was right back at the gym. You got to give her credit. I chatted a few times, jumping starting the conversation about her healing and ya-ya’s. And every time I would see her, she would never say hi, in general, unless really pressed.

Things heal, and time passes and she back at it, and broke it again…same leg. So, she knows I meditate in the room before yoga and she asks me to help her get a spot and an exercise ball to use, by calling me on my cell phone. I oblige a few times, but still think it is a little much for someone who is so sour. I humor her, but then I am gone for three months, and she is on her own. I come back and she has no cast, and still no change in her character. Surprise, Surprise!

Wouldn’t you know it she breaks it again, same leg. I am meditating one day, and her crutches come lumbering up, and she taps my mat with her crutches to open my eyes and she wants me to help again. I do it without any attitude, set her up with stuff and before I can get back to meditating she asks me if I can save her spot and help her again by calling me each day. All contact with her is void of any smiles or pleasantry. Then I decided to do something so Un-Buddhist. I replied, I am not sure when I am back again, saying I’m sorry and walked back to my mat. I put my foot down thinking that for someone who has no appreciation for what I have done in the past ….or any common courtesy for my attempts to be friendly. So, I will just get out of the way. Not really feeling good about it, and knowing that in all the Buddhist Teachings I have heard you are NOT supposed to expect anything when you do something good because it leads to grasping. I did not explain to her why this transpired and thought about it, but dropped it. I think I will just leave it to some other nice person to do the job, I can no longer stomach.


Richard Harrold said...

In the Sigalovada Sutta DN 31, the Buddha teaches us to differentiate between true-hearted friends, and foes disguised as friends. Among the traits of the foe disguised as a friend, "He gives little and asks much," and "He associates for his own advantage." The Buddha instructs Sigalovada to stay away from such people as they will bring his ruin.

So it seems to me that you behaved in a very Buddha-like manner; you gave this woman the benefit of the doubt. But when she revealed herself as a foe disguised as a friend, you rightly distanced yourself.


Was Once said...

Thanks, Richard
Must be a "RIGHT DISTANCE" talk I missed....still learning!

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