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The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice)

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The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice)

Postby flutemaker on Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:44 pm

From “Great Master Bodhidharma’s Essential Discourse on Entering the Mahayana Path by Principle and by Practice”.

云何報冤行。謂修道行人,若受苦時,當自念言。
我往昔無數劫中,棄本從末,流浪諸有,多起冤憎,違害無限。
今雖無犯,是我宿殃,惡業果熟,非天非人所能見與,甘心甘受,都無冤訴。
經云:逢苦不憂。何以故。識達故。
此心生時,與理相應,體冤進道。故說言報冤行。

Translated from the Chinese by the Chung Tai Translation Committee May 2009:

What is the practice of accepting adversity? When suffering, a practitioner of the Way should reflect: “For innumerable kalpas, I have pursued the trivial instead of the essential, drifted through all spheres of existence, created much animosity and hatred, maligned and harmed others endlessly. Even though now I have done no wrong, I am reaping the karmic consequences of past
transgressions. It is something that neither the heavens nor other people can impose upon me. Therefore I should accept it willingly, without any resentment or objection.” The sutra says, “Face hardships without distress.” How? With thorough insight. With this understanding in mind, you are in accord with the Principle, advancing on the Way through the experience of adversity. This is called the practice of accepting adversity.


Alternative published by Tung Lin Kok Yuen, Hong Kong June 2001:

First, suffering injustice. When those who search for a path encounter adversity, they should think to themselves ‘In countless ages gone by I’ve turned from the essential to the trivial and wandered through all manner of existences, often angry without cause and guilty of numberless transgressions. Now, though I do no wrong, I’m punished by my past. Neither gods nor men can foresee when an evil deed will bear it’s fruit. I accept it with an open heart and without complaint of injustice’. The sutra says ‘When you meet with adversity don’t be upset, because it makes sense’. With such understanding you’re in harmony with reason. And by suffering injustice you enter the path.
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby flutemaker on Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:51 pm

There is nothing more painful for me personally than facing adversity, or injustice, caused by people (and not by all kind of natural forces, or disasters). As troubles of this (and many other sorts) tend to appear in series, as my life experience show, the practice of accepting them, irrespective of how Bodhidharma teach, remains the hardest thing, ever.
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:08 pm

It's a good topic. And, a common lament.

More writers than just Bodhidharma have commented on it.

One in particular that is relevant, and which I happen to have memorized because of its use in services in practice for recitation led by the Chant-Leader ("Ino") in Diamond Sangha gatherings, is Torei Zenji's Bodhisattva's Vow; given below (I've added emphasis with italics, and in some places with underlining, where the theme turns to the suffering caused by abuse or injustice):

    TOREI ZENJI: BODHISATTVA'S VOW

    Leader:
    I am only a simple disciple, but I offer these respectful words:

    Assembly:

    When I regard the true nature of the many dharmas,
    I find them all to be sacred forms of the Tathagata's never-failing essence.

    Each particle of matter, each moment,
    is no other than the Tathagata's inexpressible radiance.

    With this realization, our virtuous ancestors, with compassionate
    minds and hearts, gave tender care to beasts and birds.

    Among us, in our own daily lives, who is not reverently grateful for the protections of life:
    food, drink, and clothing! Though they are inanimate things,
    they are nonetheless the warm flesh and blood, the merciful incarnations of Buddha.

    All the more, we can be especially sympathetic and affectionate with foolish people,
    particularly with someone who becomes a sworn enemy and persecutes us with abusive language.

    That very abuse conveys the Buddha's boundless loving-kindness.
    It is a compassionate device to liberate us entirely from the mean-spirited delusions
    we have built up with our wrongful conduct from the beginningless past.

    With our response to such abuse, we completely relinquish ourselves,
    and the most profound and pure faith arises.
    At the peak of each thought, a lotus flower opens, and on each flower there is revealed a Buddha.
    Everywhere is the Pure Land in its beauty.
    We see fully the Tathagata's radiant light, right where we are.

    May we retain this mind and extend it throughout the world,
    so that we, and all beings, become mature in Buddha's wisdom.


    (Aitken Roshi's translation)

My master Sheng Yen writes in his autobiography about the 'ordeals' his own master put him through.
And famously, so does the saint and poet, Milarepa, of Tibet.

:Namaste:

--Joe
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby macdougdoug on Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:04 am

We have an image of ourselves. I think a lot of my suffering comes from the value I place on this image. Coupled with the fact that others can't even see me as I imagine myself to be. So of course they don't treat me as I think I deserve; unfortunately they are acting upon a whole other set of rules as to who or what is important.

Life hits us harder and harder until we see. Good luck.
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:01 pm

mdd,

macdougdoug wrote:So of course they don't treat me as I think I deserve;

An attorney friend and sangha-mate here in the desert teaches "anger-management" seminars.

A big and helpful point that he (Leonard) teaches is that, on analysis, anger often rises because we hold an unreasonable assumption that others ought to treat us in certain particular ways. He really stresses the importance of understanding that it is an unreasonable assumption. When we understand that, we can lighten-up somewhat, cut others some slack, ...and, keep-cool (and safe). ;)

Leonard Scheff's book is: The Cow In the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger (2010).
Amazon carries the book, described and available here, e.g.:

https://www.amazon.com/Cow-Parking-Lot- ... arking+lot

A Kindle-reader version is available too, and a sample of the book can be downloaded free.

macdougdoug wrote:unfortunately they are acting upon a whole other set of rules as to who or what is important.

Ha, ha! Funny. I like it.

The American humorist Ambrose Bierce, in his The Devil's Dictionary, writes his 'definition' of...

    "Egoist, n.; A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me."

:)

--Joe
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby lobster on Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:35 am

flutemaker wrote:There is nothing more painful for me personally than facing adversity, or injustice, caused by people (and not by all kind of natural forces, or disasters). As troubles of this (and many other sorts) tend to appear in series, as my life experience show, the practice of accepting them, irrespective of how Bodhidharma teach, remains the hardest thing, ever.


:tee:
You are funny :)X

How you gonna soften up? Have you tried longer periods of meditation? Kicking yourself in the pussy?

I take it you are a beginner? Probably less then a decade of hard zen?

Be kind to yourself. :ninja: Ninjas are in the post ... :lool: :ninja: :>.>:
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby TigerDuck on Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:05 am

flutemaker wrote:There is nothing more painful for me personally than facing adversity, or injustice, caused by people (and not by all kind of natural forces, or disasters). As troubles of this (and many other sorts) tend to appear in series, as my life experience show, the practice of accepting them, irrespective of how Bodhidharma teach, remains the hardest thing, ever.


We need to remember here that the purpose of accepting adversity is to either:
1. Deepening the realization (or make it more obvious) of same nature between adversity and good life (for those who has realized the true nature)
2. Bring you nearer to the realization of emptiness (for those who has not yet realized the true nature)

If we practice accepting adversity just for the sake of clearing bad karma, although itself is a good practice, but we actually miss the main point of this practice.

Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.

[Nagarjuna]
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby flutemaker on Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:59 pm

lobster wrote:Have you tried longer periods of meditation?

I have not try meditation yet. Does it help?
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby macdougdoug on Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:37 pm

No but humour does.

Image
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby [james] on Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:56 pm

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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby flutemaker on Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:29 pm

TigerDuck wrote:If we practice accepting adversity just for the sake of clearing bad karma, although itself is a good practice, but we actually miss the main point of this practice.

I would not call this a good practice, as [bad] karma, IMO, is inexhaustible by "ordinary" means.

I would doubt the practice brings one nearer to the realization either.

Finally, not being in the business of deepening the realization (for the lack of what has to be deepened), I have difficulties to give myself reasonable basis for such practice.

For a good while I was selling flutes contrary to normal, rational, business practices (which I very well knew, thanks to years of experience in the past). Specifically, I was shipping a flute to a client. Upon receipt, I used to ask if it arrived undamaged. I further inquired if it sounded good. And only after that I asked for payment. And never was left unpaid. Until the most recent case. Wherein the client, a musician [so called] from India, for 2 months was inventing all sorts of tricks and excuses, including false proves of payment, keeping writing me hundreds of words at the same time of how honest he was. The business was... about only US $30 bucks. I could not accept dishonesty. Regardless of Sr. Bodhidharma. I stopped selling flutes whatsoever, erased my showcase website, erased my facebook account, and going to make a fire from the remaining stock of some 20 - 30 flutes, sending the smoke to the heavens, with nothing good being wished for all the dishonest people on Earth.

Not Accepting Adversity.
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:59 pm

I hear that the Indian currency has been re-valued by government order, and is now worth substantially less than the old currency.

The old currency has been confiscated by banks in cooperation with the Indian government, and it is illegal to possess any of it.

Maybe (I say 'maybe'... ) the Indian flute-customer has been hit hard in his wallet by the recent devaluation of the rupee, and too ashamed to admit his reason for not coming forward with payment.

I see this relationship via Google: "30 US Dollar equals 2002.48 Indian Rupee".

And the rupee is still falling, against the (too strong?-) US dollar. Tough times on the sub-continent... .

This is not to excuse dishonest communication or intentions, though.

--Joe

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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby macdougdoug on Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:25 pm

flutemaker wrote:
For a good while I was selling flutes contrary to normal, rational, business practices (which I very well knew, thanks to years of experience in the past). Specifically, I was shipping a flute to a client. Upon receipt, I used to ask if it arrived undamaged. I further inquired if it sounded good. And only after that I asked for payment. And never was left unpaid. Until the most recent case. Wherein the client, a musician [so called] from India, for 2 months was inventing all sorts of tricks and excuses, including false proves of payment, keeping writing me hundreds of words at the same time of how honest he was. The business was... about only US $30 bucks. I could not accept dishonesty. Regardless of Sr. Bodhidharma. I stopped selling flutes whatsoever, erased my showcase website, erased my facebook account, and going to make a fire from the remaining stock of some 20 - 30 flutes, sending the smoke to the heavens, with nothing good being wished for all the dishonest people on Earth.

Not Accepting Adversity.


English speaking people will probably be reminded of the proverb : "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater"

Any way, what a shame! Why let your life be dictated by the actions of some idiots? Is your anger so overwhelming? What about the benefits you get from the craft you are developing ? Also learning to deal with frustration and other people are very important functions of becoming whole, and the world of commerce is a great teacher.

Please take 2 breaths and forgive us all.

Love, Douglas
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby Michaeljc on Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:07 pm

Some of us are very sensitive to such events, many are not (IMO). I can relate as I very quickly get soured by business disputes. I have walked away from 2 lucrative business activities due to not being able to stomach the disputes.

I sense that successful business owners ether quickly develop a thick skin or get out. Many simply don't care. It is more pronounced in some businesses than others. One example of challenging business types is car repair garages. No one enjoys having to pay for repair of their car. Disputes are common. Big businesses often have full time lawyers on board.

As I have seen it

m
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby [james] on Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:09 am

flutemaker wrote:
TigerDuck wrote:If we practice accepting adversity just for the sake of clearing bad karma, although itself is a good practice, but we actually miss the main point of this practice.

I would not call this a good practice, as [bad] karma, IMO, is inexhaustible by "ordinary" means.

Not Accepting Adversity.


Karma is inexhaustible if your actions/reactions/inactions compound the karmic tendencies you already have. Karma is exhaustible to the degree that you do not produce new karma. Simple, straightforward, not extraordinary.
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby TigerDuck on Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:55 am

flutemaker wrote:I have not try meditation yet. Does it help?


Of course it will help.

At this moment, you can't practice accepting adversity because your adversity is like Mike Tyson, so powerful.
He just punch you 1 time, you are already KO.

If someone practice meditation, the enemy is the power of their own thoughts. Many thoughts will appear, from easy to handle to very difficult to handle.
Once you manage to handle those thoughts, eventually everything become easy.

In your case, the real enemy is actually not your customer, but your own thought who said why he treat you like this or that. The power of that thought is the one who kill you. You injure yourself.

THat same person can cheat a tree, can steal the fruit, why the tree never gets angry? Because trees doesn't have thought. It is not angry because we steal the fruit, but because it just does't have thought.
Same thing.
It is not because your customer treat you like that than you are so upset. You are upset because you don't know how to handle that upset thought.

All these things related with wisdom and related with game of mind.

This classic text from SHantideva - Guide's to the Boddhisattva Way of Life may be useful.

http://www.tenzinzopa.com/Ebooks/Cttb_B ... mplete.pdf

Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.

[Nagarjuna]
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:03 am

TigerDuck wrote:He just punch you 1 time, you are already KO.

Yep. Jerry Garcia did that to me in his song with the Grateful Dead, "Dark Star", in 1969, and I am still KO.

--Joe (just flesh and blood... )
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby Michaeljc on Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:17 am

“If there is beauty, there must be ugliness;
If there is right, there must be wrong.
Wisdom and ignorance are complementary,
And illusion and enlightenment cannot be separated.
This is an old truth, don't think it was discovered recently.
"I want this, I want that"
Is nothing but foolishness.
I'll tell you a secret -
"All things are impermanent!”
― Ryokan, One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby Avisitor on Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:14 am

Why separate oneself?
This makes for want and desires?
This makes for one .. his enemies and his friends?
And to believe one is suffering adversity at another's whims?

If one is practicing accepting adversity then isn't one creating injustice that must be accepted??

I don't know for sure .. only ask the questions


Michaeljc wrote:I sense that successful business owners ether quickly develop a thick skin or get out. Many simply don't care. It is more pronounced in some businesses than others. One example of challenging business types is car repair garages. No one enjoys having to pay for repair of their car. Disputes are common. Big businesses often have full time lawyers on board.

As I have seen it

m

I believe that the successful business owner is one who likes figuring out the way to benefit both parties in a transaction.
Whether it takes a compromise from one or both parties to bring about the transaction.
And one may choose to not enjoy paying for repairs to their car. But, it doesn't mean nothing of value was done in order to repair the car.
Disputes will always exist in business. That is par for the course.
Just like there are always disputes about the Dharma between common people.
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
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Re: The Practice of Accepting Adversity (Suffering Injustice

Postby Guo Gu on Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:45 am

ani,
one bad case of transaction and you stop your flute business all together? i hope you continue to make and sell flutes.
regarding the indian who didn't pay you for the flute, why not just consider that a gift?
with a change of perspective, adversity becomes opportunity for you to practice generosity.
will you sell me a flute?
be well,
guo gu
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http://www.tallahasseechan.com/
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
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