Buddhist Ethics

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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 6/11/09 12:13 AM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/11/09 12:13 AM

Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: leenutter
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 6/11/09 12:14 AM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/11/09 12:14 AM

RE: Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: leenutter

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Jackson Wilshire, modified 14 Years ago at 6/11/09 3:02 AM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/11/09 3:02 AM

RE: Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 443 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
Hi leenutter,

I'll be the first to say that it sounds like you're making this situation out to be much bigger than it really is.

It would have been courteous for the restaurant make it clear that they are cash only. It was inconvenient for you to find an ATM. I get that. Does that warrant them to be stiffed $4 at the end of the night? Probably not. Blame the owners, not the servers and cashiers. It probably wasn't their decision to not have the appropriate signs up.

Next, the ATM you went to was obviously not from your own bank. Otherwise, there would not have been a fee (I know this. I work for a major bank). Believe it or not, without the $4 charge that ATM wouldn't be there (how else are they going to pay for operating costs and have some left for themselves?). In this case, it was convenient for that ATM to be in light of the circumstances, not inconvenient. Consider the $4 fee a "convenience charge".

I think what's necessary here is a big dose of perspective. Buddhist Ethics, as far as I know, are not deontological. There are no hard and fast "right" and "wrong" are floating out there in space for us to discover. Rather, I think that Buddhist Ethics calls us to view situations in light of interdependence, suffering, and compassion. It's more relational. It's not all about "me". That doesn't mean we shouldn't stand up for justice when necessary, but it does mean that we choose can let things like the above described scenario roll off our backs. Are you going to let the "small self" get thrown around by "small scenarios"?

In other words, what would Buddha do? (haha! I just had to throw that in there)

Jackson
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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 6/12/09 1:32 AM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/12/09 1:32 AM

RE: Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: KristerHolmes

Sounds like you had a TERRIBLE night!

sorry about that!

I can completely relate to your story. I'm a bit of a reactor myself and can really get ticked-off sometimes about what I see in the world and identify as wrong.

Thing is it's much easier to work with YOU than try to fix everything in the world cause it's a fight you're likely to lose emoticon

Sounds like if you remove the situation and look just at your reaction you have something you can really work with. I was freaking out about a girl who had left her bag on the seat next to her on a crowded bus with old and infirm people around her and when I got home I figured, there must be some kind of technique for dealing with this and googled anger and buddhism or something and it came up with this article which has been EXTREMELY helpful!!

http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1756

Using this technique my anger dissipated VERY quickly. The only thing that kind of sucked is after I got all proud of myself and figured - yup, that's it! I got this licked! watch out Buddha, here I come!!! I realized that the reason I was freaking out about such a little thing was because on a scale of 1-5 my base level of anger was about a 2.5-3 which meant that I was walking around carrying a bunch of cranky that was just waiting for a trigger to get me going! So I've been working on it a bunch and this little anger technique has obliterated a really good chunk. At least on good days emoticon One kind of concomitant thing that really goes well with this is mindfulness. It really works great if you're kind of watching yourself all the time so that when the seed of anger plants you can jump on it right away before it turns into a grenade! I find that watching how my body reacts to situations is a really good canary in the mine. If the anger grenade blows then it can be hard to get perspective.
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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 6/16/09 10:42 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/16/09 10:42 PM

RE: Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: leenutter

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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 6/16/09 10:52 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/16/09 10:52 PM

RE: Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: leenutter

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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 6/16/09 11:22 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/16/09 11:22 PM

RE: Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: leenutter

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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 6/17/09 4:04 AM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/17/09 4:04 AM

RE: Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: ccasey

"Obviously that is a bad example, we've already discovered it was my actions were inconsiderate and unwarranted, but at what point DOES it become worthwhile?

At the moment, I'm leaning towards almost never. Unless you already have a dialogue with the person doing the wrong thing, they're unlikely to listen to you anyway despite how tactful you might be. Nobody likes to be told what to do and you'll probably just end up making an enemy."

Good question. I agree with the above. I find that if I keep the focus on myself and what I am uncomfortable about with my participation the answers come; it is an ongoing process. I'd suggest going back to the restaurant and asking to speak with the manager and let him know politely that you were uncomfortable with the fact that they provide no signs about their 'cash only' policy. That can be done politely, quickly and respectfully and serve you as well in terms of being an active member of this human community: not passive and not aggressive--the middle way.

What is the middle way? What is the third option? That's often the one that is overlooked due to dualistic thinking.

Also, are you holding on by saying something? Are you holding on by not doing anything? So, the challenge is to find a way to respond that also allows you to let go, and respect your own participation in the process, and the fact that others will go through a similar process with the restaurant as well--which you can only "possibly" affect with your response to this situation. There is so much interdependence at work it is so complex-- to even write about.

Doe this help?
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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 6/17/09 12:21 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/17/09 12:21 PM

RE: Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: leenutter

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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 6/19/09 2:06 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/19/09 2:06 PM

RE: Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: ccasey

Your posting prompted me to thinking about how useful it can be to actually go back and give yourself the gift of making direct amends. It can be a really affective way of becoming more intimate with the entire community. Often times, just moving on and remembering to behave differently in another community or setting can dilute the power of the experience of going back and cleaning it up. Also, there has been for me, often a higher probability that I will pollute a future situation by not cleaning up the recent one.

There have been some very amazing outcomes in my life from going back and making direct amends and opening a dialogue with another person, or representative of an organization. Always much to learn...
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Wet Paint, modified 14 Years ago at 6/19/09 4:40 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/19/09 4:40 PM

RE: Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: bhikkunow

I have been in similar situations to your experience at the restaurant and have generally taken the "I learned my lesson and I'll NEVER do that again" route. However, on the very few occasions in which I have "taken a stand" in a simple and direct way, I have found it much easier to let go of any resentment about what happened -- regardless of the response I got. So, my suggestion to you is that in trying to decide whether or not to speak up, you forget about the probability or potential for change in someone else and ONLY pay attention to what action will make you free by the cleanest and fastest route. Most of the times that I've taken the "chalk it up to experience" route, I've ended up with lingering resentment against the other party, myself or both.
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tarin greco, modified 14 Years ago at 6/19/09 9:09 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/19/09 9:09 PM

RE: Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
i totally agree with this, thanks for bringing it up bhikkunow. i would go on to say about that, that others' potential for change/happiness is in their own hands, as it ought to be anyways, and in the spirit of helping others, simply not carrying about any lingering resentment whatsoever is a pretty good example to set and possibly also the most that can be done for others (it is no little thing).
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 14 Years ago at 6/21/09 11:29 PM
Created 14 Years ago at 6/21/09 11:29 PM

RE: Buddhist Ethics

Posts: 3274 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I guess this may be of some relevance to hardcore meditation practice or to training in morality, but it wanders a little far from the general thrust of this site. That said, some of the basic advice for dealing with anger if of value.