Author Topic: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?  (Read 20525 times)

WoselTenzin

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Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« on: July 14, 2011, 12:54:40 AM »
Having a tendency to want to do only what is comfortable and avoiding to do what we don't like. It’s not about what benefits others but what we are comfortable doing.

Being nice to some people but are indifferent or even offensive to others because of personal differences.

Discriminating people based on our perceived opinion of them

Being nice to people who have authority and can provide security, wealth, position or protection but indifferent towards those who can't.

Is being selective in ways above in line with practising Dharma?   

iloveds

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 01:50:14 AM »
I don't mean any disrespect. But what other answer is there? I mean who would answer yes to this question? How about the subtlety of selectiveness.

It could be as simple as just not doing a job well or not answering someone because you can't be bothered. Selectiveness is not just choosing what you want to do and ignoring what you don't want to do.

A yardstick is simple if you have any uncomfortable feeling of aversion to doing anything then you know selectiveness is rearing it's ugly face.

Speaking of face that also is a good measure. Your asked to do something and the smile turns into a frown then the selectiveness is coming up again.

Positive Change

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 07:57:33 AM »
I don't mean any disrespect. But what other answer is there? I mean who would answer yes to this question? How about the subtlety of selectiveness.

It could be as simple as just not doing a job well or not answering someone because you can't be bothered. Selectiveness is not just choosing what you want to do and ignoring what you don't want to do.

A yardstick is simple if you have any uncomfortable feeling of aversion to doing anything then you know selectiveness is rearing it's ugly face.

Speaking of face that also is a good measure. Your asked to do something and the smile turns into a frown then the selectiveness is coming up again.

Yes I agree with you completely 1loveds... It is never a good thing to be selective. The very meaning of selective is to choose based on characterising and judging before coming up with a so called conclusion. If Buddha were selective, we would all be in samsara forever! None of us would even come close to be selected! hehehe. But of course, Buddha is not and all enlightened beings are beyond this "process" of selection. So what gives us the right to be...

In fact, if we really were selective, we should be doing the very things that make us uncomfortable as that would be the direct counter to our selectiveness.... That is how we grow and progress. If everything was fine and rosy something is wrong! We cannot be stagnant and be learning at the same time. Think about it. So we need to continue to push ourselves and push away our selectiveness in our pursuit of our spiritual path.

triesa

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 04:52:49 PM »
I must confess that there are many times that I am selective in dharma work, and that is NOT practising dharma at core.

Most people will prefer to do  a job that they are good at or have knowledge with, I guess that is pretty obvious as we can yield results faster.  However, when we are working in a spiritual community, sometimes it is not about whether you are good at a skill and then you would  obviously be given a job that suits you. There are times that it is quite the opposite.....

There will bound to be works that we would not want to do or do not have the know how, our normal reaction is to wait for others to come up to do it. In this scenerio, a true dharma practitioner would forego selectiveness and just say..... I will learn up and I will do it. And sometimes, one's Guru will also assign you with a task or a job that you do not like at all, but this is just to help us to over come our weaknesses so we can move up the spiritual ladder.

If Buddha is selective, then we will probably be burning in the hell without any hope of salvation!

Big Uncle

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 06:05:45 AM »
Having a tendency to want to do only what is comfortable and avoiding to do what we don't like. It’s not about what benefits others but what we are comfortable doing.

Being nice to some people but are indifferent or even offensive to others because of personal differences.

Discriminating people based on our perceived opinion of them

Being nice to people who have authority and can provide security, wealth, position or protection but indifferent towards those who can't.

Is being selective in ways above in line with practising Dharma?   


If being comfortable is pracitising the Dharma, then Buddha Shakyamuni shouldn't have left his palace, royal duties and family to seek the truth. He is very comfortable being in the palace, isn't it? Why can't he be a powerful prince and then king. If he becomes king, he could built lots of temples, sponsor lots of monks and mendicants and bring all his subject towards spirituality.

Overcoming our comfort zone is a difficult practice for everyone as we are all attached to our comfort zones, labels and ways of doing things. Many of us may never really overcome our comfort zone and some of us are very fortunate to be studying/practising under the feet of our Lama who brings tremendous blessings when he gives us instructions and practices that challenge our comfort zones. We may be very attached but if we choose Dharma over comfort zone, we progress on our spiritual path faster and gain attainments as well.

This can be brought over to many aspects of our lives and the truth of the matter, a real Lama's advice and instructions are the best yardsticks for our practice in this matter. If we encounter obstacles and difficulties, it is a blessing to show that we are on the right path. Overcoming the obstacles creates further merits for us to achieve more spiritually. Hence, no matter how difficult it becomes, never forsake our spiritual path because it will definitely bring results - short and long term.

pgdharma

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 03:08:05 PM »
It's never good to be selective especially if we want to pursue our spiritual path. There maybe times when we just want to do  things that we are familiar and comfortable with but knowing that it is not the correct way, we have to  get out from that comfort zone and do what we don't really like to do. By doing things that we dislike, it is a training for us to learn, to push and challenge ourselves for us to move on and progress in our spiritual journey. So if we want to be selective, then choose the things that make us uncomfortable as short term it may be difficult but long term results will have lots of benefits.

WoselTenzin

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2011, 03:19:39 AM »
Selectiveness means not being consistent.  To a certain extent, it means being fake and hypocritical. This is especially true in relations to how we treat people.

If we are kind, polite, generous and patient with certain people but are nasty, rude, stingy and impatient with others, it simply speaks volume about our motivation, attitude and character. 

In Dharma, selectiveness is a big no no because it means we are not sincere to people and worse, we are not even sincere in our Dharma practice.
 


Roberto

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 07:54:15 PM »
If in Dharma being selective is a big no no, then how would you tell someone they are being selective when they can not see it? And they are in Dharma?

Chances are if they have an ego they will react, then point fingers, then fingers will be pointed back and the cycle will continue...

Its like automatic defense mechanisms at work, in total opposite to Dharma theory.

Many times have we been in a situation like this and who will be the person to end it?
It's so easy to spot. Yet at the time it's easier to just say nothing.


WoselTenzin

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2011, 07:03:15 AM »
If in Dharma being selective is a big no no, then how would you tell someone they are being selective when they can not see it? And they are in Dharma?

Chances are if they have an ego they will react, then point fingers, then fingers will be pointed back and the cycle will continue...

Its like automatic defense mechanisms at work, in total opposite to Dharma theory.

Many times have we been in a situation like this and who will be the person to end it?
It's so easy to spot. Yet at the time it's easier to just say nothing.


When we see a fault in a situation, the easiest thing to do is to keep quiet. 

Then we don't have to confront the person at fault because it can be intimidating if the person at fault is outspoken.  We do not need to take any responsibility of providing solution of any sort. and we do not give people a chance to question us if we do not walk our talk.

We can assume anything about whether or not the person is receptive to our constructive criticism but if we do not speak up, we have not done our part to fulfill our universal responsibility.

Also, instead of assuming the other person has a big ego and would not listen, how about looking at ourselves and ask whether we have done anything to earn the other person's respect to listen to us.  Even egoistic people listen to people they respect.

   

Reena Searl

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2011, 04:20:18 AM »
Before dharma, my 24 hours were mainly working, eating, having fun & sleeping… I was very good in all these.
I realized, When i  practicing dharma with no agenda will achieve better result because i let go of the self cherishing mind or attachment to what I like or do not like. Sometimes, i see the improvement in dharma practice when i not be selective.
 
In order to stop our suffering and to achieve happiness, must realize that what we have are not permanent and telling myself that
“ I want to stop it completely “ through practicing dharma ,  whatever matters most are not an issue anymore.

Positive Change

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2011, 08:06:08 AM »
Having read all the threads including my own again... I feel we tend to define the word selective as a bad thing. Being devil's advocate, perhaps being selective is not necessarily bad. Maybe one can be selective in a good way. e.g. making sure we select the good from the bad. However one might argue, how do we know what is good and what is bad for us stemming from a deluded mind. What are everyone's thoughts on this?

Tammy

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2011, 01:09:07 PM »
Selective can be positive and one can still be considered practising dharma while being selective!!
We can be selective - to work on jobs/functions that we are good at rather than wasting time and resources trying (in vain) to perform tasks that are beyond our best abilities! This is being practical and being efficient..

Our time in this lifetime is short and we do not know when we are going to leave this live, so why take on something that is beyond us in the name of dharma?

On the other hand, if the particular job (which, we are not good at or not trained for) is being assigned to us by our Guru, then we have to just throw all doubts out of the windows and JUST DO IT!.

In short - be selective with the right motiviation and depends on situation.
Down with the BAN!!!

WoselTenzin

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2011, 06:47:20 AM »
Having read all the threads including my own again... I feel we tend to define the word selective as a bad thing. Being devil's advocate, perhaps being selective is not necessarily bad. Maybe one can be selective in a good way. e.g. making sure we select the good from the bad. However one might argue, how do we know what is good and what is bad for us stemming from a deluded mind. What are everyone's thoughts on this?

In the context of this forum post, selectiveness here refer to the selectiveness with regards to how we respond to different people in the same situation.  Maybe more commonly known as double standards. If we practise double standards on people, how do we reconcile it with practising equanimity?

If we are even serious about developing compassion of any sort, we have not even gone pass the preliminary of developing equanimity.  Therefore, being selective or having double standards is an obstacle to developing compassion which is the core practice of the Mahayana path.

Aurore

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2011, 02:55:31 PM »
Having read all the threads including my own again... I feel we tend to define the word selective as a bad thing. Being devil's advocate, perhaps being selective is not necessarily bad. Maybe one can be selective in a good way. e.g. making sure we select the good from the bad. However one might argue, how do we know what is good and what is bad for us stemming from a deluded mind. What are everyone's thoughts on this?

In the context of this forum post, selectiveness here refer to the selectiveness with regards to how we respond to different people in the same situation.  Maybe more commonly known as double standards. If we practise double standards on people, how do we reconcile it with practising equanimity?

If we are even serious about developing compassion of any sort, we have not even gone pass the preliminary of developing equanimity.  Therefore, being selective or having double standards is an obstacle to developing compassion which is the core practice of the Mahayana path.


I also feel that your post refers to selectiveness in the context of double standards. If it's that case, then yes it's undeniably not dharma. Dharma is doing things you don't like and accept everyone despite our differences. It's not an easy thing to do at all but if one can achieve that, then it's dharma. We can't change others, but we can change ourselves.

The good selectiveness in situations where it may look like being selective. Such examples are an act of appreciation towards someone who's been nice to you. In such cases others show extra care and attention to people who are wealthy ... example sponsors who contributes towards dharma. It's not meant to be double standards even if can appear to be. Just rule of thumb is, people who give created the karma to get back.

Klein

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Re: Are we practising Dharma when we are selective?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2011, 08:56:47 PM »
Practising the dharma means benefitting all sentient beings always. Therefore, there is no room for selectiveness. We need to do whatever is necessary to help a living being regardless of our personal agendas.