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Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/21/18 3:49 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/21/18 4:06 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Lewis James 2/21/18 4:25 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/21/18 5:20 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness shargrol 2/21/18 5:45 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/21/18 6:00 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness terry 2/23/18 7:08 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/23/18 11:20 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/23/18 11:23 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Lewis James 2/21/18 6:06 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/21/18 6:26 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/21/18 6:58 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/21/18 8:23 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness JP 2/21/18 11:15 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/21/18 9:37 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/22/18 12:49 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Mettavore 2/22/18 4:33 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Nick O 2/22/18 7:52 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Bruno Loff 2/22/18 1:25 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Mettavore 2/22/18 5:51 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/22/18 3:33 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Bruno Loff 2/22/18 5:10 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/22/18 3:18 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Nick O 2/22/18 9:20 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Bruno Loff 2/23/18 5:55 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Nick O 2/28/18 8:28 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Daniel M. Ingram 3/3/18 6:40 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness D. 2/22/18 11:09 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Bruno Loff 2/23/18 5:18 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness D. 2/24/18 12:18 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness David R 2/23/18 8:22 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Bruno Loff 2/23/18 12:14 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Matt 2/21/18 11:25 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Nick O 2/21/18 2:46 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness David R 2/21/18 2:57 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Mettavore 2/22/18 12:52 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness seth tapper 2/21/18 1:13 PM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/21/18 5:16 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness D. 2/21/18 11:09 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness alguidar 2/23/18 6:01 AM
RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness Yilun Ong 2/23/18 7:04 AM
Right Speech & Defensiveness
Answer
2/21/18 3:49 AM
I am facing a serious dilemma of the topic. It seems that I do not see things the way others do. My thoughts in the conversations below are in [ bracket ] . I'd like to know where my problem lies as there is something about me that is hated - I hope it is behavior and not race/choice of life as a monk and correct them. My guess is that it is offensive to use dharma to respond to attacks, is that it?

Thank you for reading the very lengthy conversation threads below:

Kundalini thread: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/7277673
 
Stuie: Over two years ago I had a full and complete Kundalini shakti awakening.

Every single atom of my very being is undergoing a realignment

I see nothing in any of these posts to indicate that a meaningful conversation on the subject is even capable of being had
 
S: What's this.....k...... Crap?  That implies experience and or knowledge 

Respect please,  for that you know nothing of 
Yilun: I asked myself if I should reply and why. Is it to satisfy my own cognition or defend an ego that didn't participate but by investing in replying, am I conditioning its birth?

I've no disrespect for K or anything, knowing more wouldn't help my practice. I am contented with surrendering control and being "not sure". The know-how to deal with it is the same as before.

Only a pity and deep compassion to those who stumble onto such territory and face scaling it with treacherous disinformation everywhere. Consider sharing what one knows, it just might help to reduce somebody's suffering. Or perhaps that's what this journey is about -"embracing uncertainty? 
S: Come on man.... You have been here 5 minutes and you profess expertise in most everything.... Then again that could just be a reflection of my lack of intellect.....you and your mate... big bird
Y: I'm sorry it's construed as expertise. Will you kindly let us know what you know as I know painfully little and have been trying to ask, even starting a post to no answers from people like you who know a lot but keep quiet. Consider this a cry for help?
S: No.....work,  study,  research, evolve...... 
This is a truly fantastic resource,  with a core of of expertise that blows me away. 
Listen.... learn. ....
We each have our own path, find your own... don't dabble in others

the pot, calling the kettle... mmm
Y: I don't know where you are coming from your royal highness, I hope the anger didn't bother you too much. Knowing something, insulting and saying nothing is too enlightened for a lowly one like me to fathom. 
S: Chuckle, chuckle....... 
Your sudden modesty is unbecoming
Y: Whatever floats your boat, Love... :*
Y: Totally agree. I was trying to share information based on the initial terror and frustrations I had 4 months ago to (later) folks whom I know will certainly chance upon K. I searched long and hard for this set of information but it isn't available anywhere, thus my great urge to share even though I expect ridicule as it is known to be dismissed here. There is too much dogma and nonsense as you have mentioned in sites and books mentioned, people who chance upon it will link it to their religion or beliefs somehow. But there is good and valuable information in them. I hope someone will finally write a Kundalini book without all the unnecessary stuff. Someone who is new to this needs good information to allay the fear and be guided to the process of surrendering - it is not a walk in the park. And you have wrote the gist, very well in your post. Thank you very much, Daniel...

Please, it is time to recognize Kundalini as real (NOT A&P) and allow people to stand up and be diagnosed without being ostrasized.
 
Stuie's log: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3795572
 
S: I think that discretion is the better part of valour......... I just need to focus own my own Shit here where all the hard work is done in practice logs...... this was and is the path to my own personal understanding. 

Deeply personal stresses, confronting medical truths and working with to many people in a twelve step program sense has caused me to drop my bundle. 
My entering into the world of the devine kundalini 25 months ago has seemed to only strengthen my resolve to confront bullshit and bullshiters..... and there are plenty of the mother fuckers  here!
And there in lies my conundrum.  If I consider myself privileged enough to be experiencing an ongoing awakening, how come I get so incensed at at the growing number of oracles, here in this forum,  handing out ALMOST right advise..... Because I found out the hard way that "almost" right advice can place seriously practicing yogis in a cul-de-sac, for months, nay years....... and they all seem to be out and offending my sensibilities.  

Who's problem is that mmm, full on 100 percent mine..... just because they are shitting all over my spiritual refuge...... it's still up to me to avoid the stench.

Time now, to stop!  drop! pick up me bundle, arise and rejoin the light....... stay away from the recent posts forum...... Don't read the shit shovelers crap..... you know their names Stuie.... and as much as you can't resist seeing what crap they are pontificating about on this day........ fucking don't, you bloody prat!

I want so much to fuck off, away from this place ......but I can't..... i have seven or eight years invested here.......all the pain, angst and confusion contained in the words of my
beloved practice logs........ 

Back to Ian And,  and his fantastic contributions on concentration 

Back now to serious development of deep, hard, fully withdrawn jhana

Back to some 10, 12 hour sitting days designed to push through the initial resistance I am having with Danial's fire kasina book and the overcomeing of bad habit

I hope I haven't offended any of the vast majority of this wonderful refuge whom I am deeply, deeply indebted to..... 

And to those of you that I have fucked around with..... you god damned well deserved it

May all being be happy.    Stuie law 
Y: Dear Stuie,

I read your post a few hour earlier, didn't bother and went to sit. Emerging from it, sipping tea, your last comments came to mind as I was looking at a Buddha statue and the thought of, "He might need help." along with the urge to respond to this hit me.

Not many sane people would bother to do this but then how many sane people would choose to be a monk. I'll skip beating around the bush, trying to be polite. So I will get straight to the point.
Quote { If I consider myself privileged enough to be experiencing an ongoing awakening, how come I get so incensed at at the growing number of oracles, here in this forum,  handing out ALMOST right advise..... Because I found out the hard way that "almost" right advice can place seriously practicing yogis in a cul-de-sac, for months, nay years....... and they all seem to be out and offending my sensibilities.}   
Privileged enough: This is a "Wrong View": If you investigate this feeling of why you deem certain people worthy and others not; how it translates to non-duality when the fierceness of I vs You is so strong, how it reinforces the defense mechanisms required to let go, for enlightenment to be not a shock to the entire system. I hope you find your way to finding peace and letting non-dual reality sit in comfortably. (If you are insistent on dishing out worthiness, then consider the possibility that KA happens to people who needs it, not those who are superior)

Also consider the judgement/colored perceptions of like/neutral/dislike and all the rest that falls under such illusions and see through their falsehood.

Almost right advice: Read again and consider where those people who offended you, came from? Are they giving or taking? Are they acting out of compassion or for recognition? Your statement strongly says you know the truth but keep it to yourself, whilst being angry at others for being almost right - why is that so? (BTW, no one goes through the exact same stuff, so no one can be completely right - http://www.elcollie.com/st/chap6.html

Chakras closing: I suggest reading the free book by Jana Dixon, she compiled (2008) from previous K books including those that you seem to claim superiority in thought.

Something that might ring true if you compare it with your K experience: She says that K is like a 2nd chance reboot that wipes the slate clean, and the individual has the conscious choice to put back better/same/worse stuff in.
{“The aim of this book is to suggest a preliminary protocol to support the fire of kundalini, allowing for permanent gains in transformation. To do this we must prevent ego blowback and prevent neurodegeneration, thereby reducing the biological depression that often happens after an awakening.”}
If you think anything above is of use, I am very happy for you. If you are angered by it investigate who the recipient is, cause & effect. I would as Daniel says, treat it as food. Avoiding seeing such that angers you is hiding from it.

I offer you my sincerest apologies and humbly wish you all the best in your spiritual endeavors...
Y: Wishing you all the best and success with overcoming your medical issues, Mr. Stewart Law.

May you be happy, at peace and free from sufffering. 
S: For the following 2 years i had no practice.......and subsequently unbeknownst to me my attitude started in very subtle ways to change, and by the time i had returnded to this forum i had become a very grumpy old man.....extraordinary quick to point out all your failures, but not even aware, or willing to be aware of my own.....to those here that i might have offended.......please forgive an arrogant old man!
Y: If you lumped me into those "you have offended", worry not. Your angry posts were helpful to me - I searched and got more in touch with my humanity and am on friendlier terms with it. It's silly to think perfection is possible and a reminder of our state, no matter how enlightened...

Been wishing you metta whenever I see your name on "Recent Posts", hope you will continue to receive them in good order! 
S: And the current state of play is.......what have i got........this pest of a fucking monk, pissing in my pool.........hopefully, he, like his predecessor, BIG BIRD, will flock off!
Y: The pest of a fucking monk will liberate himself, off like a bird to the horizon. But the tracks of all these illusions are only in your pool... 

May you be happy in your stream! 
S: Where i am fucking gob smacked is, i, have thought of myself as long past this weakness, this gross behavior and yet here i am, fists balled and ready to smack anything and or one.....i hate this.  i hate this as it would seem to indicate that all preceeding this point, is just so much fucking rubbish, the rantings of a wannabe wanker.......
Fuck me, i could, not mention, these, sometime little, sometimes large slips, failures, but i promised many, many years ago to keep it real, what ever the personal cost.    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!
 
Social Alienation: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/7472803

Y: {Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie." "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship,}
There is A LOT of that (in the above) that is happening right here, right now, in this site. See through the illusion of having an "in your face" dharma companion and rest in the knowledge that you are in Sangha companionship "online" - what is real and not? <- You have been in my thoughts for real when you weren't posting the past weeks. Do your 'friends' do that? We don't know. Treasure what you have, D.
Bruno: I'm pretty sure that anyone who classifies as something even remotely close to "friend to person A", will keep person A in his thoughts even when person A isn't right there next to him. [I am attacked because I said this??]

But while necessary, this is far from enough. A friend will not only want person A be happy, but be willing, on top of that, to sacrifice his own well being to help preserve the well being of person A. It's easy and cheap to want everyone to be happy. In fact, it is pleasurable to do so (as metta practitioners know well), so wishing others well is extremely easy if it isn't accompanied by actual effort and sacrifice, or at least, by the willingness to take on that sacrifice if necessary. I could ask you, for example, if you would host D in your house if he was to find himself homeless, or if you would give him money to help pay for the tuition of his children, or loose a weekend of free time in order to help him move to a new house... and my guess is that probably not (but hell, maybe I'm wrong), so suggesting you are his friend is probably premature.[not very friendly no? what do you call this or how to respond correctly?]
I generally have respect for people here, and even admiration and gratitute for some, and I have well-wishes for most people, and all these things are necessary ingredients for a friendship, but not sufficient.
 
Y: I wanted to add: "There are many things that I would do for people here, even though we've never met." 
But didn't think it necessary to address the OP's question.

I am altruistic enough to die (in thinking, not sure if I can in reality) for anyone for simple, good reasons - as simple as that there is an option to do so. Hosting anyone - without thinking. (I am 'hosting'/guiding 6 practitioners this month from DhO - I do not need to sacrifice my time/effort/own practice for zero personal upside.) Valuables - all given away, so I cannot help.

However, you are probably right in that most do not feel or practice metta this way (why do we need a face/actual contact to like/love someone?)- I send metta out with 'whatever they can take from me', checked and felt deeply not just empty wishes.

 
S: Very interested in how you are "hosting/guiding 6 Dharma overground practitioners this month.
Are you inferring that you teach? [READ: You are not qualified to teach.]

The implication that six of my fellow travelers are coming directly under your sway staggers me. [READ: Building up with sarcasm.]

I guess it shouldn't, your school requires second path prior to being able to teach meditation, doesn't it. [Did no one see this as borrowing of authority (MCTB + School) to prime an attack?!]

Teaching, or implying that you are in a position to teach, here or anywhere else, is a big and bold statement.  I would not have thought that a mendicant (one who makes their living by begging) would be in the business of satiating his ego by impling that he has both, students in person, being taught medtation on site, and now 6 students here!  Wow, i am impressed.  Wanna talk about about your hosting/guiding/teaching a bit more Yilum,  mmm.[And again… Including outright stating a beggar should not be in the business of satiating his ego? Everybody sees this as innocent and he appears to be the victim?]
Y: I cannot infer, but imply. It will be out of the ordinary if I used 2 words to imply and replace a single word of apt meaning. Thus it is clear that you are the one inferring out of self-angst that by investigating is also clearly the way out of your misery.

This inferring is also the cause of you staggering, holding strongly onto illusions and concepts, in Buddhist words - ignorance (look up Dependent Origination), thus failing to see the truth of things.

You are right that a mendicant's true meaning is one who begs. But if you've understood the way of Theravadin monks, the word is improper as we do not beg - everything is offered to cultivate the first parami unconditionally  in the people.

I'm more than happy to talk to you, as i can see many ways that you clearly can bring your practice forward, but first you have to decide whether you want to converse like an adult or simply choose to behave like before - insult when you're incensed for personal, selfish reasons [For some reason he is pissed off that I claimed a Kundalini Awakening that to date I see it as a very negative thing] and ask others to piss/fuck off [although this breaks forum rules – this is seen as being fine] when you aren't feeling the power of your anger? If you have suddenly changed your mind and want to re-open communications after you slammed the door, I think any culture would deem a simple apology the first step from you, the right way to proceed.

You're forgiven anyhow because it's all imaginings in your pool/stream. 

If you really want to find me, I'm not in your pool.

Look up to the skies and see. 
S: You'v said a lot about nothing, and nothing about teaching.   Mmm
Y: Out of deep compassion for your situation (conditioning), I suggest looking into delusions and ill-will (fetters). 
Illusion of teach/teaching (existing in your words and posts only) and what it takes to be a teacher. You can go back to MCTB and there are fine words there about what qualifies one.
Frog's view out of a well: 2nd path required to teach (from a single source: MCTB, using it to assume world-wide coverage and application)
Look into jealousy (if you listened to Kundalini, it demanded honesty)
Look into who is satiating his ego by writing (ego-blowing) information about his progress through the jhanas (they do not lead to enlightenment). I am answering Bruno's question in contrast. (However it is known that people wrongly judge others by their own personality - very useful to catch people, as they say it takes a thief to catch a thief). [Isn’t this also what Bruno used to catch me?]
Look into being in serious misery of being a taker and giving litte to nothing back. Very happily disrupting the peace of other topics, contributing nothing, but think nothing of it at all. A moral issue.
It is such a long list, but this is enough to get you going for a very long time (If you believe in rebirth, it could be aeons).

Ockham's razor: You listed so many things happening against your logic/belief/understanding. The simplest answer is that all the other factors are in place and that you are simply the only factor wrong. You also seem to find happiness from (others' misfortune), so stay tuned, nothing can stop this 'farce' from blowing up, can it? You can *chuckle chuckle* when that happens. 

I've never needed to teach meditation, only guide - google the difference. But you seem like you want to sign up to be a student and be taught. But sorry, I do not wish to be a teacher. There's absolute truth here, but that is all I can help you with...

All the best with your stream. (Consider the serious possibilities that you are not in it and strive harder - Hint: Ill Will) 

You strangely prefer to judge by who is the speaker than look at the facts, so check with Pawel, Noah or those you believe if MCTB 1st/2nd Path means entering the stream. Ah and yes, MCTB 2nd?[This is all he was interested in, so that he is superior or had bullets to shoot me] Had it 2 months back, but to me it isn't an attainment. It is clearly stated "belief in self" is the 1st fetter - that means non-duality. Which if it isn't clear, we are both not sotapanna's yet.
S: Thank you Yilun, that says it all for me.
Y: I hope it helped really, but frankly you reek of sarcasm. It should not matter because what we think of each other can only be a made-up illusion, just a thought process conditioned by our pasts. I hope you see the truth in that. All the best, Stuie...
Bruno: You say you would "die for someone, simply because the option is available", but frankly I suspect you just say that because the idea of doing that is pleasant for you (it's a "happy thought", so to speak). In fact the option of helping others without any concern for yourself is quite within your reach, all you have to do is survive with the least means possible and give all the leftover money to the poor (here is a website where you can do just that). In fact, if you are not already doing that, how could you even contemplate the possibility you would be able to die for someone --- not just someone, anyone --- else. It's all talk, if you ask me.

And another point. I think that a significant fraction of meditation practitioners like to "help" others as a part of a weird ego-trip, and this "helping" results in a pleasurable mental payoff. All it takes for them to back off is when the ego-trip payoff becomes smaller than the work they have to put into getting it, e.g. when the helpee does not agree with the narrative. I know that acting in this way is very tempting for me personally, and that I have to be very vigilant so as not to engage others in that way, especially when I am talking about meditation to someone who I believe is less experienced. Even when trying hard not to enable this pattern of behavior, sometimes a thought or a behavior slips through my vigilance and I recognize that I am doing it yet again, in a subtle way. This pattern is part of my shadow side, so to speak.

There are a few signs I can think of that make me believe I am seeing this pattern. For example:


  • Appearing overly-eager to help, even when help was not specifically requested.
  • Prone to making long monologues that can't be proven wrong, especially monologues about non phenomenologically-definable concepts such as "true self".
  • A self-inflicted position of faux-superiority: they don't agree with me it must be because they "didn't get it", aren't "as enlightened as I am", or whatever.
  • An odd mix between high reactivity to criticism (criticism leads to ranting, defensiveness, long replies, etc) and immunity to it (i.e. criticism never leads to actual change, that isn't even an option unless criticism is seen as comming "from someone above").
And that's just off the top of my head. [Oh my there is a lot more, ain't there]

That said I think this is not the case for everyone who is keen on helping others, so who knows, maybe you don't suffer from this. Though admitedly, the way you write triggers my alarm bells, and ranting against Stuie Charles Law didn't help your case.
Y: All the rest said about me, there is possibly truth in them but you seem to get the wrong person (I do not know what is true self, nor recall any disagreement/criticism - I find that these are lacking in this forum, I welcome them and think them important for growth, yes mine and so far you are the first (Stuie was just swearing at me).) and will look deeply. I do not think of it as an ego trip - If I see something that I think I could help, the thought preventing me from doing so is the thought of being seen as what you mentioned instead - such a pain that on an online site we have to make such considerations to prevent us to help. I see posts go by nowadays with no senior meditators helping, what really is the right thing to do for juniors like me? Stay meek and silent, let the poor souls float by?

P.S. You are prejudiced against monks and such a livelihood - You called it an immoral form of living. Notice it is all subjective finger pointing. I will seriously take what you said as food for thought (what is implied) and perhaps restrain on helping (it should only be offered when asked?) - funny though...
Bruno: Okay Yilun. You know, I am very prone to being critical, but I also do it to myself. If my criticism feels like it isn't touching anything, then feel free to disregard it, I am often wrong.

My stance on the matter of helping is such that I often refrain from helping even when I think I might have something to say. When I do decide I will say something, I try to avoid the assumption that I know what's right for that person. I usually frame my "help" as descriptions of my own experience: "this thing happened to me and in that situation I did the following". Framing it like that already includes some of the required modesty: you know what happened to you and what was right for you, and you can describe it to others, and then let others come to find out whether that works for them or whether they need something else.

For example Mathew Poskus asked a bunch of stuff recently, and I gave a bunch of "help", basically presenting the way how insight practice progresses for me. It turned out that the kind of direction he needed was not quite along the lines of what I had suggested. Once someone else suggested he take on a certain perspective, it imediately helped him, and I later regreted being so absolute about my suggestions. [Why is there a need for regret if it did no harm to the OP, the only possible harm it did was to your ego because the advice wasn’t taken?!]

So generally I make an effort to say "this might work" or "this worked for me" instead of "I recommend you do this". That avoids the arrogant presumption that you know more about what's going on with the other person, and what is right for them, than they do. [That is an assumption of presumption! – is it right speech to add all the flowers and nectar? If it is, shouldn't we save everybody's time/effort by using a key for it like ~!@#]

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
Answer
2/21/18 4:06 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Are we taking ourselves too seriously? In a physical hobbyist forum, wrong advice can kill (rock climbing, racing, you name it). Meditation cannot kill anyone, can it? Why are we all so tight down the back at the bottom?

How to Be a Buddhist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEyns906E9I emoticon This non-attachment seems to be my problem. 

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
Answer
2/21/18 4:25 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
This seems like a personal 'beef' pretty obviously to me and one that's probably best resolved between you and the other person talking 1 on 1. I wouldn't then generalise that one falling out to the whole forum being somehow uptight. My assumption is that the perception of the other person is that your account here is quite young but when you post you come across as an expert. That seems to have 'triggered' the other party. Which in turn seems to have 'triggered' you, I should add.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
Answer
2/21/18 5:20 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
I started a post asking about Kundalini as I was suffering from it. How did it get construed as expert? And from him: "I consider myself privileged enough to be experiencing an ongoing awakening" - Kundalini; then deemed me and Bigbird unworthy. So there is some crossover there no?

Why did he not respond with his expert advice as he deems whatever being said by Bigbird and I to be 'almost correct'?

To be absolutely frank, I have so much that I want to ask him about it. He seems the only other person going through POI & KA.

Then Social Alienation: 
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/7472803

I think I am being ganged up on. From this very innocuous post:
There is A LOT of that (in the above) that is happening right here, right now, in this site. See through the illusion of having an "in your face" dharma companion and rest in the knowledge that you are in Sangha companionship "online" - what is real and not? <- You have been in my thoughts for real when you weren't posting the past weeks. Do your 'friends' do that? We don't know. Treasure what you have, D.
to warrant this respond from Bruno (which I sense hostility - I must be over-sensitive but insensitive to my 'presumptions' of superiority)
I could ask you, for example, if you would host D in your house if he was to find himself homeless, or if you would give him money to help pay for the tuition of his children, or loose a weekend of free time in order to help him move to a new house... and my guess is that probably not (but hell, maybe I'm wrong), so suggesting you are his friend is probably premature.
The truth is that there is something very wrong with me or there is some prejudice, not involving just one to one. This is just the opening gist - I don't see how adding this reply contributes to the topic (it is an assumption angled at me); the juicier stuff are below.

Please advice, I am very open (can we pretty please have some honesty here?) and felt tonnes better just by letting this post out from my being/thought-stream... Phew.

And there's education or something to learn about right speech and/or defensiveness if someone can enlighten me/us... 



RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
Answer
2/21/18 5:16 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
This seems like a personal 'beef' pretty obviously to me and one that's probably best resolved between you and the other person talking 1 on 1.
Yilun Ong
Recepients:Stuie Charles LawSent On:01/18/2018 08:41Subject:Gteetings Message:

Hi Stuart,  I apologize if I have offended you. Could you share more of what you know?

Much Metta...

I've tried but it doesn't seem to work?

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
Answer
2/21/18 5:45 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Best wishes for all those involved.

Yeah, of course there is shadow side stuff going on when we get in dharma dramas, otherwise we just say "okay, we'll that advice isn't helping" or "we're talking, but talking past each other, oh well, no need to continue...".

When we honestly have questions about our own psychology/shadow sides, ask questions about that and don't bring anyone else into it. Own it as a stand-alone topic. "I feel like..."  "When I do this..." etc.  Sometimes it's good just to start a paralell thread on a topic so you can get advice on your own situation. Not everyone's Kunalini, for example, goes the same way or benefits from the same approach.

If you link in other's behavior/actions, you are still trying to win a two-person argument, rather than trying to understand the only thing you can control, which is your own reactivity. So just for fun, when you are sitting and reviewing this drama in your head, can you see how you are being re-born into the various realms:

the hot or cold anger of the hell realm?  (e.g. hot frustration or icy coldness toward the situation?) 
the greed or addiction of the hungry ghost realm? (e.g. compulsively writing more and holding onto the problem and not letting it go?)
the survival instincts of the animal realm? (e.g. worrying about being ganged up on, having a safe place?)
the desire of the human realm? (e.g. wanting to help, wanting to connect, wanting communication?)
the ambition of the titan/asura realm? (e.g. wanting to be right in an argument, wanting to know the situation better than others, wanting to use the situation as a means of becoming better at teaching or helping?)
pride of the gods realm? (e.g. wanting to be recognized for your practice and what you can offer to others or wanting to maintain your status or achievements?)

The six realms are such a trap and they really show up in a very pure form in dharma dramas and relationship dramas. Lots of fuel for practice.

The trick is that these situations are very much the "trying to fix it makes it worse" kind of scenario. What we all have to do is basically "die" in the realm. Admiting that we actually are a hell demon, hungry ghost, animal, human, titan, god (whatever is relevent in the moment) and then just accepting the truth of that rebirth and turning it into a moment of investigation rather than action. Taking a look at the sensations, urges, emotions, and thought patterns that come up when you feel this way.

When you turn a realm into an investigation, then part of your mind will freak out and say "no, I can't look at this I must X..." and that X is usually some reaction that keeps you in the realm... or sends you into another realm. It feels like dying when you step out of reactivity and it begins to fade, but you won't die. Your momentary life in the realm will end. 

The real trick is that when you are born in a realm, you will always see both your internal mind state AND the external context as an embodiment of that realm. "I'm worried about survival because my survival is being threatened."  You see how there is no way out? But the second you say "oh, I'm worried about survival, I must be in the animal realm" then you can see "I'm going to look into my own experience and see all the ways that I use simple survival strategies and habits to maintain my sense of safety. I'm going to use this opportunity to understand the animal realm." 

That's the way you change drama to dharma. (And notice it doesn't matter what the other person is doing or has done. emoticon )

May this be helpful in some way. May I shut up when my advice isn't helpful. emoticon 

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/21/18 6:00 AM as a reply to shargrol.
That's very helpful, Shargrol. You are a very skilled motivator and communicator - I have much to learn from you and can see what you are pointing at. I am guilty of it.

However, I am tired of receiving cheap shots, never mind if my intentions to help were genuine or not (you can take it as fake and superimpose your ego-masturbation on mine as well). So, whomever is unhappy about me or have issues with me being Asian or a monk, have the guts to stand out and take a direct shot at the front here, now. I promise to leave after we are done clearing these unnecessary karma. I have serious problems with understanding/agreeing with this from Clarifying The Natural State:
Until you have reached perfection in your meditation training, keep to secluded places and regard as Mara's obstacles the superficial acts of “benefiting other” by teaching and propagating the Dharma to them.”
But it seems that I am pointed to that direction and shall comply respectfully. 

So Bruno, Stuie & whomever else, let's get this over with like gentlemen? This can't be exclusively an Asian/monk domain to stand up with honesty?

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/21/18 6:06 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
I started a post asking about Kundalini as I was suffering from it. How did it get construed as expert?

Honestly I find your posts helpful Yilun, I think you contribute a lot of value to this place. It's cool to get the perspective of someone who's doing this stuff 'full time'. I'm basing the assumption about where the drama started about that on this quote at the start of your post:
S: Come on man.... You have been here 5 minutes and you profess expertise in most everything.... Then again that could just be a reflection of my lack of intellect.....you and your mate... big bird 
It seems like this is where the beef started escalating, after the Kundalini discussions. So that seems to be Stuie's perception of the situation at the time, maybe it's changed.

I'm just really averse to internet drama and find the 'drop it and move on' strategy works best, but I appreciate some situations are stickier than others.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/21/18 6:26 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
Lewis:
Yilun Ong:
I started a post asking about Kundalini as I was suffering from it. How did it get construed as expert?

Honestly I find your posts helpful Yilun, I think you contribute a lot of value to this place. It's cool to get the perspective of someone who's doing this stuff 'full time'. I'm basing the assumption about where the drama started about that on this quote at the start of your post:

Thanks Lewis, I had the misconception that I am contributing too... There is a lot of warmth here if one cares to look. I'd continue to lurk around, sensing the exchange suffices to bring that metta warmth to my heart.

S: Come on man.... You have been here 5 minutes and you profess expertise in most everything.... Then again that could just be a reflection of my lack of intellect.....you and your mate... big bird 
I hope people are decent enough to be honest and not push it all back onto a perceived fault of mine. Again, I have no idea how starting a post, a genuine cry for help can be construed as professing expertise. I apologized twice and history says the 3rd onwards is plain stupidity.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/21/18 6:58 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Taking Shargrol's advice of changing drama to dharma.  Forget about it guys. I let it go...

I state that I am afflicted by all of the under-mentioned and will work on them in seclusion:
the hot or cold anger of the hell realm?  (e.g. hot frustration or icy coldness toward the situation?) 
the greed or addiction of the hungry ghost realm? (e.g. compulsively writing more and holding onto the problem and not letting it go?)
the survival instincts of the animal realm? (e.g. worrying about being ganged up on, having a safe place?)
the desire of the human realm? (e.g. wanting to help, wanting to connect, wanting communication?)
the ambition of the titan/asura realm? (e.g. wanting to be right in an argument, wanting to know the situation better than others, wanting to use the situation as a means of becoming better at teaching or helping?)
pride of the gods realm? (e.g. wanting to be recognized for your practice and what you can offer to others or wanting to maintain your status or achievements?)
Dr. Daniel, I can't thank you profusely enough for all the education that I have received from your book/site. Wishing you and all, a monk's sincere blessing emoticon :
Yathā vārivahā pūrā paripūrenti sāgaraṃ, Just as rivers full of water fill up the ocean, evameva ito dinnaṃ petānaṃ uppakappati, even so does that here given benefit the deceased, icchitaṃ patthitaṃ tumhaṃ khippameva samijjhatu, whatever you wished or wanted, may it quickly be, sabbe pūrentu saṅkappā cando paṇṇaraso yathā, maṇi jotiraso yathā. May all your wishes be fulfilled as the moon on the fifteenth day, or as a wish-fulfilling gem. Sabbītiyo vivajjantu sabbarogo vinassatu May all distress be dispelled, may all diseases be destroyed, mā te bhavatvantarāyo sukhī dīghāyuko bhava. may no dangers be for you, may you be happy, living long. Abhivādanasīlissa niccaṃ vuddhāpacāyino He of respectful nature, whomever the elders honor, cattāro dhammā vaḍḍhanti āyu vaṇṇo sukhaṃ balaṃ. Four qualities for him increase, long life, beauty, happiness, and strength.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/21/18 8:23 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Thanks to Shargrol for the strangely apt teachings - it seems that there is great depth in it. After contemplation, I can see the illusion of 'helping' and how the 6 realms is linked to:

"Until you have reached perfection in your meditation training, keep to secluded places and regard as Mara's obstacles the superficial acts of “benefiting other” by teaching and propagating the Dharma to them.”

Sincere apologies to Stuie, Bruno & everyone else for my follies. But I think this lesson can be applied to many if one uses it for themselves - it is profound and I think it will serve me well to keep me on track.  Any help I can render to anyone, I can only hope of perfecting the above first. So I guess there are blessings in disguise?

I will not accept yogis other than those already promised, as it is clear I am not qualified to guide. I'll correct this information before going silent.

Best wishes to everyone! emoticon

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/21/18 11:09 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Just wanted to say that your posts are always very helpful and warm, I don't really sense 'superiority' in them at all.

And DhO is much better with your presence than without it.

I really don't see the point of caring what 2 people think about your intentions. I'm sure you know your intentions better than anyone else, and if they are pure and genuine then that's simply their problem.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/21/18 11:15 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
I just wanted to second what Shargrol has said and add a couple of other things that have helped me with getting at the core of some of these kinds of reactions. His article on Therapeutic Models for Meditators is great, as is Harnessing the Energy of the Defilements from MCTB and Wake Up to Your Life by Ken McLeod.

One thing is to just think back and try to identify other times and circumstances in your life when you've felt the same way before.  If there's a time that feels similar, who were the other people involved?  Is there something that feels familiar between the other people then and the other people now? What kind of sensation is that "something"? Where is it located?

Try to compassionately accept this type of reaction as the very best you could do at the moment, both then and now.  You were trying to express some basic, reasonable need for safety, validation, and love.  It's just that through no fault of your own, you were missing critical information -- you thought you were going to be a permanent self permanently stuck in that situation, you didn't have a more spacious sense of loving awareness to fall back on, you didn't have your current level of clarity into the exact sensations that make up your sense of having a problem here, you didn't yet know how to set boundaries or how to view a situation sympathetically from both sides, maybe you were just a child unfairly immersed in an unfortunate situation but now you're out of that situation completely, or maybe you were just misinformed about some small detail that was actually significant.

If you can, try to compassionately view the situation from the point of view of the other people involved, including what you know of the ways that they're prone to suffering and the past circumstances that may have led to that. 

Another thing that can work really well is to see the impermanence for all the sensations around being stuck in this situation. You're stuck, you react, the situation keeps you stuck, and you keep on cycling through until you catch something, your attention shifts suddenly, or your attention starts interleaving with another object.  Then BAM -- you watch the situation and your reactions and your sense of yourself being stuck in that situation just disappear completely. Afterwards that particular reaction isn't as solid anymore and you have more flexibility in action.

It can also help to look at what sense sphere the sensations of the situation/reaction are arising in. What kind of space are they in? 


For what it's worth, I don't think you need to stop hosting people -- there's nothing wrong with "I'm a monk in this temple, I'd be glad to help with logistics for visiting here.  Feel free to do your own practice if that's what you'd like, or I've got a standard practice that you can try if you'd like."  I'm quite unlikely to take you up on it anytime soon, but for me it's been a comfort to know that if my life completely implodes that I have the option of being welcomed to a monastic life by someone who is familiar with pragmatic dharma.

Also for what it's worth, I don't think you need to stop participating here completely or anything.  We've all been on the path long enough to have had plenty of our own experiences where we were reactive/unskillful.  Unless the feelings are completely overwhelming, sometimes you can work through these triggered reactions by staying in a situation where they're triggered until you see the reaction more completely.  You might also want to consider branching out from just the Dharma Overground to also looking at other similar discussion forums since they have different characteristics and vibes. A number of us from here are also active on https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/ , and I think a lot of people are on Awake Network although I'm not sure how active it is.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/21/18 11:25 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
Thanks to Shargrol for the strangely apt teachings - it seems that there is great depth in it. After contemplation, I can see the illusion of 'helping' and how the 6 realms is linked to:

"Until you have reached perfection in your meditation training, keep to secluded places and regard as Mara's obstacles the superficial acts of “benefiting other” by teaching and propagating the Dharma to them.”

Sincere apologies to Stuie, Bruno & everyone else for my follies. But I think this lesson can be applied to many if one uses it for themselves - it is profound and I think it will serve me well to keep me on track.  Any help I can render to anyone, I can only hope of perfecting the above first. So I guess there are blessings in disguise?

I will not accept yogis other than those already promised, as it is clear I am not qualified to guide. I'll correct this information before going silent.

Best wishes to everyone! emoticon
This is a fricking awesome outcome of a fricking awesome thread.  This place and all it's denizens rock!

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/21/18 2:46 PM as a reply to Matt.
First of all I want to say Yilun, thank you for all your wisdom and guidance. You were the first to respond to me when I joined here and your continued support on my log has had immeasurable impact on my practice. I never get a feeling of superiority in your posts, only gentle and honest enthusiasm. I have been eyeing Wat Doi In Cee online and perhaps one day I will be there to see you. 

This is the best internet discussion group I have come across bar none and I am thrilled by how little conflict and mindless trolling there is compared to much of the rest of the internet. However, I often feel intimidated (and inspired) by the level of philisophical prowess displayed and sometimes feel self-conscious of my own humble newbie contributions. I am often more interested in making a human connection than being intellectually accurate. This being a multi-cultural group, there is great possibility for false assumptions of people when ideas are communicated in certain ways. In some cultures it is more accepted to be blunt and in others it is more appropriate to approach on eggshells. Internet discussion will always present challenges. As we all are aware, it is much easier to be critical of someone when your aren't looking into the eyes of a fellow human. This easily leads to intellectual cock fighting and baseless assertions (not necessarily referring to conflict in question). Just look at the disasterous effect this has had on politics. I think it would be helpful for everyone to be mindful before they hit publish and ask themselves "Would I put it this way if I was talking to the person in the same room?". If the answer is no, then "How can I reframe my message?"

Very grateful to be part of an online community that can make honest attempts to resolve disputes instead of just saying something terribly vulgar and disappearing into the matrix.  emoticon

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/21/18 1:13 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
I have found spouting stuff online helps to affirm it for myself and strengthen my own unity of mind.   I have also found, that no matter my intentions, the results of my actions - online and in the real world - are always random.

 So, I say spout on if you feel it helps you.  If you feel like you are getting attached to a personality that interacts online, then let it go for a few months.  The beauty of these forums is that the stakes are so low compared to face to face communication that folks can speak authentically with out worry about judgement.  If some one judges you, thats just a thought that bubbled up in their mind stream and why would anyone care? 

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/21/18 2:57 PM as a reply to Nick O.
Nick O:
First of all I want to say Yilun, thank you for all your wisdom and guidance.... I never get a feeling of superiority in your posts, only gentle and honest enthusiasm.
My impression has been exactly the same.

Thanks Yilun.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/21/18 9:37 PM as a reply to JP.
JP Lewicke:
I just wanted to second what Shargrol has said and add a couple of other things that have helped me with getting at the core of some of these kinds of reactions. His article on Therapeutic Models for Meditators is great, as is Harnessing the Energy of the Defilements from MCTB and Wake Up to Your Life by Ken McLeod.



Thanks JP for all your suggestions - I will look into the links but it seems like deeper seclusion/contemplation is at least the near-term solution. I do relate wanting to be appreciated/loved from my abused childhood, that trickled into teenage years of being a clown and on it goes. Is this 'wanting' to be seen through or how best should all this be dealt with? You are right that it probably stemmed from (childhood), there are times when I thought I have overcome it then there are times like this that it slaps me and says "Hey I am still here". Anyone who wants to come and stay are more than welcome, JP! It is first of all not my place to reject that, I'd surely help wherever I can.
the desire of the human realm? (e.g. wanting to help, wanting to connect, wanting communication?)
The above is a tough one to crack/understand/see through. Any deeper insights? Or is seclusion the best way to find that out?

I've basically used Impermanence (although at times it feels like a stuck, repeating process), Seth's 'Black Hole eating Galaxy' theory and Shargrol's 6 realms Dharma (seeing the truth in them in my shortcomings and to overcome them) to achieve a very peaceful state of mind last night and slept soundly. Also, thanks Seth - simply spouting the post is a great relief, so I'd encourage anyone to just let off steam! Keep going with your proliferations of the Great Nonsense Theory! emoticon 

Thanks Deepankar, David & Nick - Know that I truly do care deeply for you, yes nevermind what others think. I/We know that it is possible to develop true relationships this way... 

Much Love to All! <3

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/22/18 12:52 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Nick O:
First of all I want to say Yilun, thank you for all your wisdom and guidance. You were the first to respond to me when I joined here and your continued support on my log has had immeasurable impact on my practice. I never get a feeling of superiority in your posts, only gentle and honest enthusiasm.

That's been my experience as well; I suspect this is mostly a case of misunderstood first impressions and then people not being able to see past that, spiraling out of control like a self-fulfilling prophecy and then used as evidence to support the original first-impressions. It's my experience the more complexity gets in the way at resolving something simple (carrot), the more time/energy is required to see the humanity in each other (carrot), the more time/energy is required for right speech to rehumanize people, the less time/energy/people are available for right action. I have too much to add to this conversion, but it'd take too much time/energy that it would go at the expense of humanity and practice, so I'll throw my own perspective hat in the ring so-to-speak.

People are often unaware of the biases of different forms of communication; asynchronous text on forums like this allows for more thorough contemplative expression with less susceptibility to spaghettified interruptions of conversations/topics (vs talking battles); but when it comes to seeing humanity, text/emojis are usually inadequate compared to body-language and speech paralinguistics, leaving the monkey mind susceptible to unnecessarily rampant dehumanization (see Digiphrenia and The Humanizing Voice).

I used to counter that by preemptively filling in the gaps of potential misunderstanding with more text, but as many cultures shifted towards shortened forms of communication on social media, that strategy was perceived as "wall of text" which the monkey mind interpreted as monopolizing people's time/energy and therefore 'egotistical.' So rather than fall prey to perception traps of egotistical battles between hyper-condensed words perceived as identity, I mostly stopped communicating altogether and invested time elsewhere. Years went by until one day I started communicating again (don't ask me why, can't quite remember).

To make a long story short, after much experimentation I settled on a sort of happy medium between condensing some of the thoughts and externalizing the rest with links mostly to videos. People can get some of the basic communication, and if they feel the need for more there's often a layer of links embedded in the text to extend it further in often strange ways. I suspect few if anyone clicks on many of the links, and I'm okay with that until I find there are better ways to communicate; open to criticism and/or suggestion.

TLDR: We can all learn from nearly anyone and anything. Teachers don't exist; only people with experience trying to help read people's maps, we can all contribute to each other in meaningful ways, it can sometimes lead us astray but it's no one's fault because no one can possibly have perfectly detailed maps of everyone.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/22/18 12:49 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
After meditating on it, these are some stuff/resolutions:

1. I'd reduce my online interactions in 'helping' - there is truth in the illusion of help that I am not sure of that I need to continue to watch. On the broad sense, the universe is already perfect and anything I do may seem like it is my contribution but is more of Dependent Origination at work and they probably did nothing than massage my ego (watch!). To be strict that help is pure in intentions, thus letting go of need for affirmation regardless of outcome.
2. To watch the 6 realms carefully and check/investigate/penetrate that I am not reacting in those negative ways.
3. To increase community interaction with those that understand my intentions and let go of the unnecessary guards (superiority etc.). The holy life can't live itself without fluids. [I'll chime in on your posts (D./Nick/etc.), say whatever nonsense I wish, just to feel warmth and let you know that I am your human friend that cannot ever be perfect. I am sure you are discerning enough to junk rubbish when you see it!]
4. To see through duality in all its forms in interactions. Investigate first when I feel defensive/offensive/offended.
5. Be wary of believing/behaving like a personality. Let interactions be guided by good-will and friendship.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/22/18 4:33 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
I've a personal goal to help as it makes me happy (that's very important isn't it?) whomever I can.

I apologize for pulling a quote from another thread, what's important is it's true and as far as I'm concerned the dukkha doesn't lie with you; it lies to the people convinced you're dukkha. Don't let the trolls win the prize of a community that is afraid to help; you're part of the universe too. If you must, it's better to keep the experience going and slowly modify behaviour than modify behaviour to keep the experience going; if there's a little bit of attachment involved then that can be worked through much easier compared to noting it primarily as ego or dependent origination.

There are many vantage points to view different perspectives of the same thing; letting go of need for affirmation regardless of outcome (one), remain detached to complexity and use intuition, affirmation and self-affirmation until the outcome is won (two), and three (the same as two but it reverts back to one after the outcome). We're all just making this up as we go along, don't think for a second dharma has infinitely perfect wisdom to explain everything to all beings everywhere; that said, it does generally help point people in the right direction and is not so different to a human friend that cannot ever be perfect: Wheel of Future History

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/22/18 7:52 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
After meditating on it, these are some stuff/resolutions:

1. I'd reduce my online interactions in 'helping' - there is truth in the illusion of help that I am not sure of that I need to continue to watch. On the broad sense, the universe is already perfect and anything I do may seem like it is my contribution but is more of Dependent Origination at work and they probably did nothing than massage my ego (watch!). To be strict that help is pure in intentions, thus letting go of need for affirmation regardless of outcome.

This made my day. Be you, Yilun. We appreciate your presence.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/22/18 1:25 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
From what I can see this thread started with a valuable, self-imposed desire to understand critique, with the goal of improving oneself if and when that critique is understood, but people insisted, in various subtle and not so subtle ways, that critique was to be ignored (or "let go", to use a fashionable euphemism in the meditation world).

I personally admire the attitude of one who, in the face of critique, steps forward and asks for clarification. And I have little respect for people who do do the opposite.

I consider it a matter of personal integrity, when someone says point blank they have a critique of me, to go forth and figure out what that critique is exactly, and then take responsibility for changing my actions, or not, in accordance to whether I find the critique promoting of my own values, or not.

Yilun, I have in the past emitted some negative ideas about people who choose the monk lifestyle. I would be happy to share these thoughts in greater detail. The gist of the matter is: it takes effort to sustain one's livelihood, and so I find it a matter of ethics that one at least works enough to provide for oneself. But I don't think this is incompatible with being a recluse, or living a frugal life, or in any other way living the life of a monk. I think a monk should work enough to provide for himself, so that he does not delegate that burden onto others, that is all.

I also generally think that meditation advice should not be given unless it is requested (explicitly or at least implicitly). As a matter of modesty, if nothing else.

Now you can take this critique and do with it what you will. In my opinion, a man of value, when given the privilege of being offered a critique, will reflect on whether it is a valid critique, according to his own values, and if he concludes that indeed the critique has merit, then he will change his actions accordingly.

You would think that me saying such a thing would not be shocking, or radical. Indeed it sounds obvious, I think, once you read it. But then notice all the contributions in this thread trying to make you, essentially, forget and look away from the fact that someone has criticized you. Let this be a critique of those contributions, also.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/22/18 5:51 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
It takes effort to sustain one's livelihood, and so I find it a matter of ethics that one at least works enough to provide for oneself.

Be careful; with automation slowly taking over industries and fewer jobs available for everyone, it requires more levels of creative complexity to maintain those ethics, and can inadvertently become an attachment to unsustainable forms of non-accessible livelihood. One day people and communities are likely going to face the end game of human civilization; money will be a primary attachment that distracts us away from realistic human potential and happiness (it already is). I believe some form of universal basic income will help that process collapse into love rather than fear/hate of people not being motivated or knowing how to provide enough for oneself. Unless we invent nanofabrication, when that's paired with dwindling resources every attachment will consume the planet and our humanity with it.

I see the intense value and inspiration of monks as being examples of seeing past that human race and showing a life lived without excess attachment is possible, even enjoyable. I was fortunate enough to be a tiny tiny part in possibly making ubi happen in the not too distant future (pending), but for now I'm racking my mind trying to find shortcuts through complex circuitous maps to essentially bring dharma into the 21st century so that civilization doesn't run itself off a cliff of meaning. In a way that's a form of attachment of fearing the worst, and I get that we're nowhere near that yet, but I already had sped ahead to see the cliff and turned around to find and salvage the meaning of life; it looks like Yilun did as well, and even though we're on different paths I respect everyone here. As an aside, I'm out of the loop on the rest of the communication, so I'll stay out of the way in that regard and move on because I've now officially run out of puns: everyone be yourself (7,8,9) love yourself; one day the penny will drop and we can all love life itself, I believe in you. Too much? sorry

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/22/18 3:18 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:

Yilun, I have in the past emitted some negative ideas about people who choose the monk lifestyle. I would be happy to share these thoughts in greater detail. The gist of the matter is: it takes effort to sustain one's livelihood, and so I find it a matter of ethics that one at least works enough to provide for oneself. But I don't think this is incompatible with being a recluse, or living a frugal life, or in any other way living the life of a monk. I think a monk should work enough to provide for himself, so that he does not delegate that burden onto others, that is all.

I also generally think that meditation advice should not be given unless it is requested (explicitly or at least implicitly). As a matter of modesty, if nothing else.

Consider for a moment that no one is burdened in giving to Theravadin monks. Given out of free goodwill, often out of excess and certainly not through a request/begging (not allowed) by the monk, whenever anybody wishes to, from even non-Buddhists who refuse the blessings. The warm giving culture that foreigners experience in Thailand is largely due to the cultivation of the 1st Parami by this tradition. There's leftover food that one's pet dog/cat cannot eat that a monk can and a monk requires less money to upkeep than many pedigree dogs. Individually, most people give way less than a dollar's worth of food. And a Thai monk can survive on 1 dollar/day worth of food easily. I find this system beautiful in many ways. There is value even if it is simply seen as a waste disposal system. Check out the value/weight of food wastage in developed countries and a small percentage conversion can feed the world's hungry a few rounds. I think we can discuss this further if you'd like to in another thread, should I start it?

Also consider the possibilities that I know that I would come across negatively when I typed advice nonetheless when it is not asked for. I place the importance of information being available to whomever of greater importance than how I am being perceived. Although I admit that I thought I was above being judged - How wrong was I! emoticon

The way I view a forum is that it is not a 1-1 exchange. The information (multiple suggestions) replied to a thread seems like it is helping the OP but the bulk of its value is to people who search/read and discover useful information (for years after - I am sure you found many in forums everywhere, it may not help the OP but it sure did help me). I do not agree with the ego/self-modesty/superiority stuff that is valued here over information - that is not for me to change. I have admitted to issues along with resolutions as detailed above in those personal areas to work on and I thank everyone for their help with that! <- This is important. Francis, thank you for your support & advice!

I will continue to furnish information without being asked for it, when the possibility of it being useful shines and if I can clear my personal obstacles and be truly self-freed from any ego/judgement problems. I will try to be better with Right Speech so that it does not come across wrongly and injure egos in the process. (Writing this post is painfully tough and takes WAY longer than usual. Argh.)

Thanks Bruno, you are a valued contributor and I have benefited surely from it! I hope we can let the animosity go with the wind... *Bows*

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/22/18 3:33 PM as a reply to Mettavore.
Francis:
Bruno Loff:
It takes effort to sustain one's livelihood, and so I find it a matter of ethics that one at least works enough to provide for oneself.

I believe some form of universal basic income will help that process collapse into love rather than fear/hate of people not being motivated or knowing how to provide enough for oneself. Unless we invent nanofabrication, when that's paired with dwindling resources every attachment will consume the planet and our humanity with it.

but I already had sped ahead to see the cliff and turned around to find and salvage the meaning of life; it looks like Yilun did as well, and even though we're on different paths I respect everyone here. 

Francis, UBI is so interesting though I hope I am not pessimistic in seeing that it is difficult to see it come true?

Bruno, I am not bragging here but I was successful in monetary endeavors (corporate/businesses), although there are failures (who doesn't?), I am more than capable of making money to live frugally. I felt empty reaching the bottom/middle/top, sensed the same emptiness (non-buddhist) and decided to drop what seems like unhappy cycles of modern life. I do not find it immoral but am very interested to know your views and check if I am wrong.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/22/18 5:10 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun I most often focus on what I disagree with others, and it often comes across as animosity, even when this is not the case. When I become annoyed, or when I loose respect for someone, I usually say so. This did not happen, I have respect for you and I am not annoyed with you.

The issue of work towards society is a delicate one. I agree that automation makes the question more difficult.

But even with all the automation, there are roads to make, buildings to build, children to teach, gardens to tend, trash to clean, injuried to care for, science to be discovered, and so on.

I think one should work, not just for food, but also to make up for the time which others have put into the things we use (e.g. the device you are reading this on, the roads you travel through every day, the roof above your head). And if we have children, work enough for what they use, also. And that is at the very minimum level which I might still classify as "self-centered" but perhaps no longer "selfish". I can respect someone who works just enough to cover for his own footprint. But a person of valor will go beyond that and work, at least a little, to help other people along, as well.

(And by helping people along, spreading your own religion doesn't really count, in my book, unless of course they want to know of their own accord. Of course this ties in to my other critique.)

It just seems like such a simple moral principle, and it resonates well with me. It has in the past caused me to make certain choices instead of others, and I am satisfied with having made those choices. I think that this principle would prevent me from being a monk, unless I found a way of simultaneously working for my keep. I would also hesitate to make my earnings teaching meditation, because I find it a sensitive matter to ask people for money (even when calling it a "donation"), much as I found it very bizarre to be asked for money (or "donations") when I myself was depressed and wanted to learn meditation (I felt someone was exploiting my misery). Other issues arise from being a monk which are morally difficult, such as belonging to a religious order which does politics, or asking for "donations" from people who are very ignorant, and give not entirely out of generosity, but with a mix of awe and superstition - if something is given without understanding of what it results in, isn't the person who accepts it deceiving the person who gives? How about the family and people who love you, whom you leave behind?

So you see, there are all these moral issues which I would have to sort out, and I would need to find solutions for these moral issues if I were ever to become a monk. Fortunately that's not my job :-)

Just to be clear: I see part of what a monk does as being very important as they are the ones who preserve the practical knowlege of the skill of meditation. Maybe this knowledge would be lost if all practitioners were lay people. I.e. my view is more nuanced than the specific aspect I am focusing on.

My own profession has similar issues. I am a mathematician who works most of his time on problems 99.9% of the population does not understand, and I would find it imoral if this was all I did. I have had to come to a solution for feeling morally OK with this. Just so you don't think I am offering a critique of your profession, but am somehow blind to the moral difficulties of my own.

Why would the monk profession be free of such considerations? Of course it isn't...

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/22/18 9:20 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
 ...notice all the contributions in this thread trying to make you, essentially, forget and look away from the fact that someone has criticized you. Let this be a critique of those contributions, also.

Just in case you were referring to any of my posts, for the record, it was less my intention to influence Yilun's contemplation of critique and more to do what I could to keep him here with us contributing his gracious, loving wisdom to this community. Something I find vastly more important than any potential validity of cold, calculated critique. 

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/22/18 11:09 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:


Now you can take this critique and do with it what you will. In my opinion, a man of value, when given the privilege of being offered a critique, will reflect on whether it is a valid critique, according to his own values, and if he concludes that indeed the critique has merit, then he will change his actions accordingly.

You would think that me saying such a thing would not be shocking, or radical. Indeed it sounds obvious, I think, once you read it. But then notice all the contributions in this thread trying to make you, essentially, forget and look away from the fact that someone has criticized you. Let this be a critique of those contributions, also.

I assume you're also referring to my posts:

Let me be completely 100% honest here, I don't really give a fuck about your approval and I doubt anyone else does.

I posted because Yilun was pretty much about to leave DhO because of a (in my opinion) a complete non-issue, and I wanted to express my gratitude to him before he did. 

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/23/18 5:18 AM as a reply to D..
Let me be completely 100% honest here, I don't really give a fuck about your approval and I doubt anyone else does.

When it comes to myself, I am more concerned with having my own approval of my own actions, i.e. that they are consistent with my own values. If you look upon your actions and you find them irreprehensible, when judged by your own standards, then why would my approval be important? I don't expect it to be. Although I would expect it to be non-important not as in a "I don't give a fuck" way, but more in a "I am responsible for myself" way. Which of course you are, and I never even suggested otherwise.

As always, I have offered you a critique, you do with it what you will. If you ask me here never to criticize your writing again, I will not do so ever again. In fact, I think it is reasonable to assume you have implicitly asked me not to criticize you, in not so many words, and please explicitly correct me if that is not what you meant to do.

I agree that Yilun shouldn't leave the DhO because of having been criticized. That was definitely not my intention (and it never is, when criticizing) and I would feel really bad if that was the end result. So thank you for trying to avoid that.

In truth I am only insistent in criticizing others, and doing so in this unusual solemn fashion, because there was a specific episode in my life when I received a very important critique, which changed the course of my life dramatically for the better.

Because of this, I have come to consider critique to be a gesture of generosity — it takes time and thought and effort to do it properly. I find critique much more valuable than yeay-saying, backslapping, etc which is a big part of what happens in human interactions. But perhaps I shouldn't do it the way I do, people really seem to hate being criticized, and don't see any value in it, and frankly it's just so much easier to disconnect...


But in this case, Yilun seems to have set up this entire thread with the goal of understanding precisely what he was being criticized about. I find that noble and admirable, and highly unusual, and so I will take the time to offer my perspective until he is satisfied. I hope you approve, but I will do it even if you don't.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/23/18 5:55 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Nick O:
Bruno Loff:
 ...notice all the contributions in this thread trying to make you, essentially, forget and look away from the fact that someone has criticized you. Let this be a critique of those contributions, also.

Just in case you were referring to any of my posts, for the record, it was less my intention to influence Yilun's contemplation of critique and more to do what I could to keep him here with us contributing his gracious, loving wisdom to this community. Something I find vastly more important than any potential validity of cold, calculated critique. 
I did not realize that, I think it is a good effort and thank you for doing that. It would be a shame if someone left for being criticized. I do not mean to be cold when criticizing, it's just that if I don't try to frame things in that calculated fashion, I'm afraid of difusing the point of the critique, and that it is all lost in a sea of "yes, I also think you are a good person deep down", which is what usually happens.

Gosh, I am starting to think that my attitude towards criticism is so unusual, and my criticism is always so ill-received (this is not the first instance) that I should simply refrain from criticizing anyone who is not in my intimate circle. Or perhaps the DhO is not really a good venue for that - perhaps we should restrict our exchanges to technical aspects of meditation practice, and otherwise everything we say about one another should be positive and encouraging, completely setting aside the posibility of critique, which should be reserved for other venues...? Making the DhO a "safe space", to use a modern term. This is not entirely absurd: sometimes certain venues have very specific goals, which are in conflict with other pursuits, even if they are otherwise noble pursuits.

And if criticism is seen as having no merit, and felt as nothing but obnoxiousness, then the point of it has already been defeated. In that case, it would save a lot of effort to simply assume that the DhO, and perhaps by exention the entire dharma community, is not the right place to express critical thought, and its sole purpose should be to teach meditation and nothing else. It's not completely absurd, to compartimentalize like this, I suppose.

I am really hesitanting: should I or should I not offer critique on this venue, the DhO? What do you think?

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/23/18 6:01 AM as a reply to D..
Love to read yilun.
 
Great contibutions to DHO.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/23/18 7:04 AM as a reply to alguidar.
Hmmm this is turning out to be a bit of a mess, gonna ignore that ha! But thank you everyone for your contributions! Bruno is right about the purpose of this thread and I'd like to return to it first. This 6 realms teaching is profound and so useful - I hope it is useful for others as well. A sit today had more old stuff bubble up and I could see further negativities like shame for e.g. more shamelessly showing up. I have a question of how to deal with it as I am not sure I am doing this right or the differences in the techniques:

1. Watch the characteristics not content.
2. How best to watch the content? If shame, do we observe it till it doesn't hurt any longer? Or something along the lines of accept-let go? This accept part is tricky - what and how is this done best to its ends? I think I have prematurely skipped certain parts to 'let go' portion as it is still in the depths.

I can offer my views on the other sub-topics (don't mind them being discussed at all):

I value criticism. There are so many lessons there beginning with the initial reactions to the deeper implications of the criticism and the blind spots that I could not see. You are most welcome to critique me, Bruno.emoticon IMO, if all of us take this place to be open to criticism, it can only be a good thing. More honesty, closeness and greater desire to improve usually results from exposing and being OK with our vulnerabilities. 

Monk: Thanks for explaining, Bruno. I suggest thinking about how intangible contributions can and often are more important than brick/mortar ones. I thought making a large enough donation to the monastery would justify my similar issues with being a monk but that in itself can be a trap as it stems from self-justification and can turn ugly. The other problems e.g. politics will be there and is totally out of our control - I have found it useful to accept all such things as the workings of the universe and individuals subject to conditioning rather than having it as more things to control/trouble myself over. In the beginning, I take issue with how 'making merit' seems to flood Thai Buddhism over the 3 Trainings, especially in meditation. In overcoming my judgement of this issue, I start to see and use Metta/Blessings e.g. to a layperson whom is obviously offering alms to me for a wish. I would summon compassion for them first especially if I am plagued by thinking they are having Wrong View' before wishing that whatever they wish for comes true with the suitable Brahma Vihara/s. It grants me peace of mind and if the conditions are right for them, the wish can come true... I have found the BVs the top turn-to-solution whenever lost - EQ to check/hold/investigate and followed by appropriate BV; I have been reducing intellectual reasoning and found this to be a happier more skilful way of living. I suspect it is hard for a balance between thinking/acting intellectually vs 'with love' for smart minds like yours but I think pausing for BVs is a worthy experiment in discovering ourselves and our world - there is a lot more truth in the love reality than my crazy mind!

With Love, Love & More Love! <3

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
Answer
2/23/18 8:22 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
But then notice all the contributions in this thread trying to make you, essentially, forget and look away from the fact that someone has criticized you. Let this be a critique of those contributions, also.

Hi Bruno,

It was not at all my motivation to encourage Yilun to disregard the criticism that he asked for and that you put forth. Like someone said above, I merely wanted to let someone who appeared to be considering leaving the DhO that at least this one starfish valued his contributions. 

Regarding your question of continuing to offer criticism, I have found your posts to be insightful and your criticisms are fair and constructive. I encourage you to continue to do so. I cannot speak for the others, but it was not at all my desire to imply that we should have a "safe space" here that is free from criticism. My hope is that you carry on as before.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/23/18 12:14 PM as a reply to David R.
Thank you both, you have my respect. I also would not like it if the DhO would turn into a "safe space".

I cannot help but feel that my own criticism of your encouragement to Yilun was completely misplaced. I somehow missed the fact that he was considering to leave DhO, and that preventing this was actually your main goal. I was focused on the topic (morality of monkhood), and missed the more important thing for the less important thing.

My bad guys, I am sorry for that. I will be more careful next time when reading encouraging discourse in such a context.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
Answer
2/23/18 7:08 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:

 I am tired of receiving cheap shots, never mind if my intentions to help were genuine or not (you can take it as fake and superimpose your ego-masturbation on mine as well). So, whomever is unhappy about me or have issues with me being Asian or a monk, have the guts to stand out and take a direct shot at the front here, now.

aloha yilun,

   I just realized that you and I joined this list the  same day. I feel very much a newbie here and barely know most of you (though I have to say stuie's passionate feelings resonate with me; however attached he may be there is no egotism in them). Of course, I'm just an "old hippie" and no monk at all; what do I know ('nothing, say it again'). (I love ryokan, though.)

   You have such a chip on your shoulder and are so challenging, the irish in me can't help but respond. Though it isn't good for me and makes my heart race; I think maybe I would do better in the safe place, wherever that is. The Pure Land, maybe.

  The original fire for which your critics jumped you was the assertion that you were "hosting/guiding" six people from DhO. Cutting and pasting so as to have you exact:

 (I am 'hosting'/guiding 6 practitioners this month from DhO - I do not need to sacrifice my time/effort/own practice for zero personal upside.)

   Once people publicly wondered about this, it would seem easy enough to either verify it or say you had misspoken, you meant you were providing guidance wherever you could, or perhaps in your monastery. 

  However, when questioned about this few times you became extremely upset and never responded to the questions of who these people were and how this process worked. You switched the thread away from the original quote and have been putting out smoke ever since.

   I still wonder, more at your extreme and voluble reaction than at the original (arrogant?) assertion. It doesn't matter whether you guide or don't. I wouldn't doubt that six people here might stand up and say that your words helped "guide" them. I would never have doubted you in the least until I saw the way you responded to "attacks," not all of which were real. It no longer matters what the original truth was, at this point.

   There is no time like the present for letting it drop. Good luck, yilun; I hope that some day you will meet a genuinely kind person.

   Thus challenged, I have duly stood up. Now I suppose you will feel obliged to take your shot; I hope you can let it go, and rejoin the community without further comment or drama.

terry


from the dhammapada:


1. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.

2. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.

3. "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred.

4. "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who do not harbor such thoughts still their hatred.

5. Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.

6. There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
Answer
2/23/18 11:20 PM as a reply to terry.
 Thus challenged, I have duly stood up. Now I suppose you will feel obliged to take your shot; I hope you can let it go, and rejoin the community without further comment or drama.


How does one respond skillfully to such a strong comment? I only know that I can only humbly comply...

P.S. the post on hosting practitioners was posted the same day I joined and edited to add information (copied and pasted onto Wiki by Daniel MI a while back). If you read the first post on this thread, you may find insight into what actually transpired. It is all there for anyone to see if they'd like to but I sense you are jumping into conclusions, though you are right that I should not comment any further. Thank you for your advice! 



RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/23/18 11:23 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Not sure. Not important. Dropped it. emoticon 

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/24/18 12:18 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:


When it comes to myself, I am more concerned with having my own approval of my own actions, i.e. that they are consistent with my own values. If you look upon your actions and you find them irreprehensible, when judged by your own standards, then why would my approval be important? I don't expect it to be. Although I would expect it to be non-important not as in a "I don't give a fuck" way, but more in a "I am responsible for myself" way. Which of course you are, and I never even suggested otherwise.

As always, I have offered you a critique, you do with it what you will. If you ask me here never to criticize your writing again, I will not do so ever again. In fact, I think it is reasonable to assume you have implicitly asked me not to criticize you, in not so many words, and please explicitly correct me if that is not what you meant to do.

I agree that Yilun shouldn't leave the DhO because of having been criticized. That was definitely not my intention (and it never is, when criticizing) and I would feel really bad if that was the end result. So thank you for trying to avoid that.



Perhaps my post was a tad too aggressive. I got extremely pissed off after reading Stuie Charles Law's 'criticisms' which were basically encouraging Yilun to leave, for no actual reason, and had nothing constructive in them. I may have mixed his nasty little 'critiques' with yours. (Which on further reading are far more reasonable, so I apologise.)

So, please do continue offering critiques, as they are far more civil and insightful than I had previously thought.

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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2/28/18 8:28 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno,

A little bit of a delayed response here.....I was away for a few days.

Thank you for your reply Bruno. Just as Yilun's, I appreciate your contributions. I wasn't surprised when you mentioned you are a mathematician. Your arguments come with great attention to logic and that strength is valuable to this community.

I would just be careful, especially when there's the possibility of someone suffering under your words, to introduce some humility. You also tend to cast your arguments in a style that makes it seem that you feel they are completely unassailable and matter of fact. For some people, this can come across as arrogant or on the extreme end, manipulative. I know this is not your intention! I feel DhO is definitely the place for criticism but it can be done in a "safe space" kind of way. As with everything, it doesn't have to be black and white. 

I'll be gone on retreat for 10 days, so please excuse me if I never get around to future responses on this thread. Love you all!        

RE: Right Speech & Defensiveness
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3/3/18 6:40 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Nick O:
Hi Bruno,

I feel DhO is definitely the place for criticism but it can be done in a "safe space" kind of way. As with everything, it doesn't have to be black and white.

Yes, I agree. Three cheers for Shargrol's post! Transformative of the conversation, raising the level many notches. Would that we could stay at that level more often.