RE: Dealing skillfully with having been transgressed against

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 Tarver , modified 9 Years ago.

Dealing skillfully with having been transgressed against

Posts: 262 Join Date: 2/3/10 Recent Posts
Discovered today that somebody seems to have let themselves into my workshop/storage area and stolen a number of tools. Hard to determine exactly what is missing, but the value probably exceeds a month's rent.

I am surprisingly calm about this (so far) and the thought occurred to me fairly early on that this could be fodder for practice. To be sure, it also occurred to me that if I caught the bastard I would be entirely willing, ever-so-selflessly, to hasten their enlightenment by teaching them the true nature of suffering, but I am also feeling compassion for somebody who is so desperate, ignorant, and lacking in empathy that they would behave in such a way. They must live very deeply in the world of samsara.

To the extent that this concerns morality it perhaps has more to do with the thief's than mine, but I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on how to use this experience skillfully for practice. On the one hand it is very real, but on the other hand I feel I have just enough "distance" to actually work with it in this case.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Dealing skillfully with having been transgressed against

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
With any 'negative' feeling (e.g. "I want to hurt this thief!") or 'positive' feeling (e.g. reveling in the thought of inflicting harm, and gaining pleasure from those fantasies), ask yourself - what does generating this feeling accomplish?

Note that not having the feeling does not mean inaction. You can be angry, and do nothing. You can be angry, and look for the thief. You can be angry, and seek insurance claims. Or, you can not be angry, and do nothing. You can not be angry, and look for the thief. You can not be angry, and seek insurance claims. etc.

So, given that any action can happen regardless of what you feel, what benefit is it to anybody to nurture these feelings? If you find no benefit, you will stop fueling them, and they will fade.
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Dealing skillfully with having been transgressed against

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi Tarver -

This is like sitting meditation. On one hand there is the (your) notion of a bastard who stole your tools and deserves your hastening of enlightenment (by which I suppose you intend some swift blow of cowboy or slower court justice), and on the other there is the (your) notion of a desparado suffering samsara and lacks empathy.

Hmmmm.

On the cushion this would be a mind lunging at learned/assumed objects.

If you meet the gal (or guy) who stole your tools, you can always have your mind steady to observe, feel how it jumps at notions, check those notions, breathe, observe.

A friend once watched me deny a customer a 15% discount on an object (which was about $1), saying, "Seeing him I would've have given him the disc". She had assumptions about the person's life, and having seen this person several times, the assumptions and discount did not apply.

Edit: grammar
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 Tarver , modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Dealing skillfully with having been transgressed against

Posts: 262 Join Date: 2/3/10 Recent Posts
I just realized that I never thanked you guys for your responses. I was too busy dropping the whole thing. Sorry to have been rude and not saying thanks more promptly.

I remain astonished at how little this has "gotten under my skin."
thomas delrue, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Dealing skillfully with having been transgressed against

Posts: 3 Join Date: 1/31/12 Recent Posts
A quote from wise Shakespeare comes to mind:

[quote= Shakespeare, Othello]The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief;
He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.

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