27 December, 2010

Offloading on Monastics

A woman stood up in the Sangha, unveiling a nightmare of family problems afraid of where it leaves her mind state in an upcoming retreat. Like a car wreck, you can’t help but listen and look but also feeling compassion for her because you know how she is feeling. She can’t possibly go into enough detail to get any kind of resolution. The teacher spoke of watching your mind, her aversion and the hurt while in mediation which seemed like a good reply, because it not about others but yourself and how you handle difficulties. Everyone has some difficult hurdles in life, and it all ends with our death.

I have told teachers and monastic’s details of my life, in casual conversation to help them understand why I say my sister’s name about whom to chant for during prayers. I spoke of her paranoia and schizophrenia that took her away from the family. She loves her delusions. I don’t really expect any monastic or teachers to solve my problems. I do see many a person, having never come for prayers or a Dhamma talk, offload on them, treat them like free therapy. They have given up a lot in the pursuit of wisdom, no drinking, no eating whatever and whenever you want and wearing the same robe. They suffer and probably still do…they are human beings stuck in Samsara. A fair bit of compassion should be held, by us lay folks. Maybe even respect, like make an appointment so they are prepared. When it asked for and the timing feels right, by all means discuss things that getting in the way of your spiritual progress. To give them a logical way to approach your problems, in the framework of the Sangha, their experience and your own growth. I am by no means saying to suck it up, but everything in life has its time and place. Sometimes, you will see a monastic saying nothing as you cry, from their wisdom seat they know nothing they say can be said to make you feel better…don’t be surprised.

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