Tag Archives: hear

2015-September Shinnyo Podcast Pain and Suffering

2015-September Shinnyo Podcast Pain and Suffering

  • We Really Hate Pain
  • Leading the Horse to Water that It Won’t or Can’t Drink
  • Taking off the Bandage
  • Rain Flows Downstream

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http://img.picturequotes.com/2/2/1661/1661.jpg
You Cannot Find Peace By Avoiding Life — Virginia Woolf

When we first enter this world, we learn the harsh feeling that pain delivers. As parents, we spend lifetimes trying to keep our children from experiencing as much as we felt when we were growing up. As aged people, we spend on pharmaceuticals and every contraption imaginable to avoid having to suffer from it.  And our own imaginations create our hopes of next world existence in places free from pain – heaven, nirvana, the after-life.

We even will often leave ourselves in relationships that are painful simply because we want to avoid the additional pain of having to end it – because in some sense, it may feel worse (mostly from sense of guilt) to end the relationship, rather than endure and continue. This particular point is often seen as one of those “double-edged swords” with what seems to be negative outcome no matter which path you choose. Remember that guilt becomes a trigger for our own negative behavior, as well, as it is triggered from our emotional wish to try and relieve the pain and suffering of others. But also remember the premise that others can only change themselves, just as we can only change ourselves.

Through that same idea, we cannot end the suffering of someone else, even if we are causing it, because we can only remove ourself as a source of pain. Even if you go away, their pain they feel may continue. You cannot achieve a goal of making another person’s world free of suffering. They have to be able to create and sustain that for themselves.

We are even taught that suffering trains us to be tougher, or more resilient. (e.g. “Man up!” or “Tough it out!”) While love may work through the premise, that “All love flows through your own love for you,” pain follows a similar path. When you put yourself through a painful life, it actually tends to transmit the same to others. Ever had an emotional reaction to seeing an senior war veteran, realizing what that person had gone through and still emerged alive? Was that feeling joy and elation? Or was it empathy for their pain?

http://www.justjared.com/photo-gallery/1796651/90210-habitat-for-humanity-02/
‘90210’ Cast Volunteers With Habitat For Humanity

This is why Shinnyo talks about your attitude when performing voluntary service is really important. If you view contributing your time and efforts as a burden, or a task you’d rather avoid, others will not see the positive nature of our efforts – they feel the pain instead. In doing our work, any work, if we do not retain the joy and happiness related to why we are doing it, we actually can produce a counter-productive result. Instead of more people being encouraged to “follow our lead” and help-out, we end up giving people the idea “Wow, I’m really thankful I don’t have to do what they’re doing.”

Physicians of all sorts learn the concept behind expediency in trauma treatment leading to faster recovery (and ideally, less pain sustained.) The pain of pulling a bad tooth endures less than suffering from the infection. But I think the verdict is still undecided on removing bandages from a healing wound. Some say, doing it quick has a momentary shock of pain, but it’s over quickly. Others find removing it slowly and deliberately causes less incremental pain, though it takes longer to subside. Either way, leaving it in-place doesn’t end the suffering, it merely avoids it, but perpetuates the pain’s eventual emergence.

The difficult thing is that emotional pain can extend long beyond the physical cause. That’s because emotions are triggered from inside your mind, and not a splinter you can just remove. I think it’s this kind of pain that often binds us to inaction – why we stay in bad relationships, or even perpetuate ones that we know aren’t good for either person, but it seems preferable to having to experience the actual pain of breakup and dissolution. Or maybe we even try to convince ourselves that somehow the pain will end if we just suffer through it, even though we’re causing it (which is why emotional pain isn’t a bandage you can simply remove.)  From a physiology standpoint, emotional pain is biochemical – which means until you change the chemistry that creates the trigger, the psychological experience will endure.

Even a person with advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s can still feel emotional pain. And all the sedatives and tranquilizers you can take, won’t change the biochemistry that is causing the sensation; they just mask your momentary awareness of it. Only actual change in mind (setting forth the right thoughts), body (cessation of the bad behavior), and soul (this is the motivational part of why you are listening, or reading this – it is your Self you are changing) can heal an emotional wound.

When you feel life’s burdens seem to be never-ending, part of the feeling may also be the result of what we consider karma or the product of previous generations. That is not to say, the blame is from your ancestors – each generation is given the opportunity to address that burden and each generation can address it, or pass it on to the next.  You have the capacity to transform burdens into life’s challenges and your opportunity to overcome them, or be overwhelmed by them.

http://www.justpo.st/channel/chasing+money+to+the+grave
http://www.justpo.st/channel/chasing+money+to+the+grave

There’s an old illustration of a thief who has a strong attachment to money. Succeeding generations of their spiritual downstream also maintain a similar attachment, whether in the opposite direction (they loath and refuse to accumulate it), or reinforcing it (by hoarding or collecting it.) The attachment becomes a never-ending hunger that cannot be satiated either way. That is where the concept of embracement of life’s events becomes empowering. Shinnyo (oneness with truth) says life never delivers you a challenge you are not ready to accept. How you deal with it determines so many things downstream from your choices. Whether called the Butterfly Effect, or leave it unnamed, this is the actual power you have to affect the world around you.

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/* For more information and discussion feel free to e-mail me at jlui at jlui dot net, or twitter @jhlui1; With Gassho _()_, James*/

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2015-July Shinnyo Podcast One on One Communications

2015-July Shinnyo Podcast One on One Communications

  • …as I have heard.
  • Differences Between Group and Individual Listening
  • Tailoring the Message to the Recipient

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Each of the various sutras (sacred writings) related to buddhism ends with a common phrase, “…as I have heard.”  (technically, “Thus, I have heard..” begins the phrases in Sanskrit, and we translate the grammatical structure in-reverse for English – and that’s more than you wanted to know about why there’s a difference.) Going back to the beginnings when Siddhartha was walking around talking with people about what was on his mind, many people couldn’t read written text (education being something only for the wealthy, and having a few thousand different dialects didn’t make it any easier), and so, he spoke. He also noticed something interesting about speaking with people – people listen and hear differently from each other.

http://shanghaiist.com/2015/08/05/bbc-documentary-chinese-teaching-style-british-schools.php
http://shanghaiist.com/2015/08/05/bbc-documentary-chinese-teaching-style-british-schools.php

There’s a BBC2 programme called “Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School” that is studying the differences between UK students, and those in China, relating to how and why they learn, and the struggles of attempting to teach students that are from very different social backgrounds. One of the many take-aways in the program relates to classroom management, wherein there are classroom monitors (elected by their peers) who are designated to act not only as supervisory extensions for the instructor, but also become role models for the others by demonstrating desired behavior.

The observed difference for a teacher attempting to mass educate a large group in a standardized way, without that group being very consistent and homogenous in focus and intent, becomes very chaotic.  By comparison, speaking with a smaller focused group, or even one on one, becomes much simpler for the speaker to adjust the content and manner of speaking, or even vocabulary, so that the instruction doesn’t get lost.

Similarly, when the students are given a physically engaging task to accomplish, that requires both focus and determination, they are as a population, able to achieve their individual goals at their own pace, some needing assistance from facilitators, and others determining their own path to success.

When students at Shinnyo-en attend dharma school (kind of a 5-year Masters program in Buddhist theology), the attending students are all focused on the same objectives and attending for pretty much the same reasons. In these situations, it is fairly simple to develop a standardized way to communicate a complex topic because the audience is consistent.

By contrast, when you encounter individuals asking a question, or seeking guidance, you will tend to shape your style and manner of communication to most effectively reach your goal of the other person understanding what you are trying to say.  There is also a difference in the way you speak with someone close to you, with whom you share a common connection, versus what you say to a stranger, with a corresponding difference in objective (for example, to a stranger about to misstep, you might say, “Be careful!” and go about your business; but if that same person is your child or parent, your intent and purpose become not only insistent, but also highly protective.)

This is also the difference between this podcast, going out to a random population, versus how and what I would say to an individual.  The content here is general information presented in a very common form, which some may or may not understand. But for those who reach out and ask individually for clarification, or when a familiar person encounters a situation needing similar advice, the information herein becomes tailored to the unique needs of that individual, restated in whatever ways are needed to make the message clear and understandable.

That’s the power of one on one conversation, at least so far as I have heard (and experienced it.)

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/* For more information and discussion feel free to e-mail me at jlui at jlui dot net, or twitter @jhlui1; With Gassho _()_, James*/