Jump to content

Being nice and kind to others


OmegaMan
LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION : Guided...
LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION : Guided Mindfulness Meditation with Meditation Music

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

 

I would like to shed some light on some thoughts I’ve had in my mind lately.

 

Every time I feel depressed or kind of bad, I seek Buddhism to seek an end to my suffering.

 

Buddhism teaches that suffering resides in the presense of desires.

 

As long as you desire things, you’ll suffer.

 

So I thought, I’ll get rid of my desires and then I’ll feel fine.

 

Could it be possible that life is about satisfying some fundamental inherent needs?

 

Some people say

 

“I refuse to believe that life is about running after our own tail to be satisfied, so I’d rather give up entirely.”

 

Fair enough. But could it be that some people choose Buddhism as a desperate solution not to make the effort of getting what they really want out of life.

 

Biologically speaking, our sex drive and our emotions are there for a reason. I somehow doubt that the purpose of existence is to just sit there and observe until you die.

 

Now, I meditate about stuff, I observe my breath for hours on end.

 

Now meditation does make me feel good. It really does. It makes me relax and more focused.

 

I’m kind of torn to tell you guys the truth, I don’t really know what kind of behavior to adopt.

 

For example

 

There’s this guy on the first floor of our hotel who always listens to his music all day long really loudly. I’ve complained to the person responsible for the accommodation, I’ve complained the to hotel itself, I’ve myself knocked on his door but he doesn’t open.

 

Now, he’s a really old, drunk, lonely guy. I’m pretty sure he immensely suffers from his situation.

 

So far I’ve just observed and decided to bear it.

 

Part of me thinks: “What’s the point of fighting this, if it’s not him, it’ll only be something else to fight.”

 

Another part of me thinks

 

“I want to be proactive about this and solve this problem once and for all.”

 

His music disturbs pretty much everybody in the hotel.

 

Some might say

“It bothers you because his loud music is not what you picture what life should be.”

 

But, imagine I don’t picture that people should punch my wife, does it mean that I should still let it go and accept it?

 

All of my being is saying: do something to stop this.

 

On the other hand, I don’t want him to suffer, I don’t want to cause suffering to him.

 

But I want him to stop causing suffering to others. I want to him to use some headsets once and for all. That way he could enjoy his music on a day to day basis without bothering everybody.

 

I want to tell you about some other experience I’ve had.

 

I used to have neighbors on the second floor and we got along really well. One day the woman on the second met me on my way to work and without so much as slowing down her pace she said: “I’m thinking of buying a piano, I hope it won’t make too much noise.”

 

I replied

“Well, no, I don’t think it should be too bad.”

 

The truth is, it was. Now some people might argue that she was playing music and that because it’s music I am abnormal because I didn’t like it.

 

Here’s the thing, I didn’t enjoy the music. I had classes to prepare and she was playing for hours on end.

 

I tried to observe the sound of the piano but in reality the whole thing was making me extremely frustrated and depressed. I thought, “be compassionate, don’t say anything, just observe.”

 

But it just made me feel about 10 000 times worse.

 

I eventually decided to go down there and tell quite frankly (while being polite) that the music was bothering me and we would have to reach a compromise, to find some kind of solution for this.

 

Eventually, I suggested that she practices the piano while I’m not present at my apartment (which is fairly often, would provide from 4 hours to 6 hours of playtime daily). Anyway, they decided to move out and the woman, the piano player, has resented me ever since.

I sometimes wonder if I did the right thing, if I could have done any other thing. If I should have bore it for 6 months in silence as her actions were making me more and more depressed and desperate.

 

So you see, I decided not to let go, I decided to control the situation and in the end my life in my apartment became bearable once again.

 

About being nice, compassionate and so on

 

I give a lot. I give money to beggars, I give my free time to my students, I give, give and give.

 

And yet I am not satisfied. I know, I know what’s coming. You’re not satisfied because you expect something in return.

 

Yes, I do. I do it because I want to be a good person and because our actions define who we are, I strive to do the right thing. I then tell myself, “I did the right thing, I’m a good person.”

 

But doing those things, those “good” things towards others doesn’t really make me feel any better. I don’t really find satisfaction into doing this.

 

On one hand, I find that being selfish isn’t really satisfying. But being selfless isn’t remotely satisfying either.

 

Which brings me to my next conundrum.

 

How do you interact with other people? Being friendly and nice doesn’t lead anywhere and being affirmative and putting your foot down generates resentment. Is it about finding a middle ground somewhere?

 

I’m reading “no more mr. nice guy” at the moment and I find myself in the way he describes people.

 

Anyway, I’ll keep you informed about my thoughts about this topic. Looking forward to your response.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The way I see it, I would go to a Buddhist idea of simply living in the moment. Don't adopt a sweeping generalization of how you should behave. I've had this problem for quite some time, and in many ways what works for me as well is a principal of "ethical egotism," which is basically the notion that you should simply live for what brings you joy. Show kindness and love to those who deserve it by virtue of how they treat you and what you judge to be their intentions.

 

This may sound selfish, but you seem to be a connected, empathetic person and you'll find that bringing the best out of other people will make you have a better time with life. Hell, then the people you'll be with will be awesome people, but if people are stepping on your toes, so to speak, don't be afraid to let out a little bark, or even a bite if necessary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have found that being nice to people seems to give them a green light to walk all over me. Use me when they need me and immediately forget about me later. When you stand up for yourself you get ridiculed and they loose all respect for you. Niceness is rarely reciprocated, and if it is they usually want something from you.

 

Most people live in a bubble, only thinking about themselves. Base their actions only thinking about themselves, and never consider the other people around them.

 

Right now I am really tying to figure out how I should treat people. I have always treated people how I want to be treated, and it hasn’t lead me to any happiness. I have a ton of people who like having me around, but would never think about me if I can’t offer them anything. For example: if my “friends” don’t need me to drive them somewhere. I will never get a phone call if they go out somewhere.

 

Sort of like a dammed if you do dammed if you don’t kind of scenario. Be a shadow and forgotten, or be a jerk and never liked. Living in the moment might work. Let me know if you ever figure out a solution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if people dont outwardly show acts that they appreciate ur kindness doesnt mean they dont. i too like to live by the rule, treat others as you would want to be treated. but no one is perfect; we do not exist outside ourselves; we do, say things that can be interpreted by others as offensive or wrong. but all you can do is the best you can do, and accept that you cant please everybody.

instead, think about pleasing yourself firstly: does it make you happy to be kind towards others? in which case, continue to be kind towards others. (i know that if there is one thing i like most in a person is their kindness. i find it one of the most appealing traits a person can hold.)

at the same time, there are people in the world who are simply incapable of reciprocating your actions or striving to be as such as well. (be it due to environment, past history, childhood etc). i think if you look into yourself firstly, and make YOURSELF happy first, that will radiate from you and you can be your whole self in that situation, time, place, whatever. i dunno, the whole thing is complicated, because its so subjective. im not promoting selfishness, but you cant sacrifice yourself for everyone elses happiness, or you'll dry out. if you are happy and know what you want, people wont have the green light to walk all over you. you can be nice, kind, generous but also make it clear you are not a doormat; nice people can be assertive, and there is nothing wrong with that at all.

also, OP with the whole 'eliminating desires'; of course its somewhat impossible, i'd say, to eliminate biological, inherent desires that run through all humans. i interpret the ridding of desires in terms of materialistic pleasures, or desiring ppl around us to meet our needs the most. but you have to let people be, and be as whole you can be. not perfect, because perfection doesnt exist. being whole; the good and bad sides of you.

i dont know, i hope that conveys another perspective.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Desire causes suffering. The extinction of desires leads to nirvana.

 

This much we know. In terms of everyday action, there are two ways of looking at things:

 

1. First, some actions inherently disturb the mind. These actions prevent the extinction of desires. thereforee, we should avoid these actions if we wish to reach nirvana.

2. Personality is not permanent. Instead, it is supported by causes and conditions. By itself, personality is irrelevant to nirvana. Actions, supported by this personality, is irrelevant to nirvana. (If you enjoyed tobacco before you were enlightened, you will continue to enjoy tobacco after you are enlightened, just as you would continue to speak English after you're enlightened. Proof: Hakuin Ekaku continued to enjoy tobacco after being enlightened.)

 

Different schools of Buddhism have different views on the Vinaya. Many Buddhists will recommend that you behave according to the Vinaya.

 

Personally, while I believe in the existence of nirvana, I do not ascribe a privileged position to any Buddhist school over other mystical traditions. After all, words are not reality. They merely point toward reality.

 

Even though the sutras say that seven years are sufficient to make someone a stream-enterer, how many monks become stream-enterers after a lifetime of meditation practice?

 

Instead of saying "What should I do?" - you should clearly define your goals, whether it's enlightenment, peace and quiet, relaxation, mystical experiences, etc. One you know what you want, then you can devise a systematic plan to obtain it.

 

Speaking about "getting mad," you might want to read some biographies of Buddhas and Buddhist saints. Sakyamuni Buddha certainly got mad at people. He was no pushover. Maybe that is the answer you want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...