Hurting ourselves

The teachings of Buddha are often transmitted through little parabolas, stories that contain the essence of buddhism in a simple and cheerful way. In the zen monastery, where I stayed for few days in Vietnam, I was given a book with some of these stories, and I will share them here.

I’ve practiced this teaching this week and it felt really good. It was amazing to put some buddhism in practice. A person offended me, maybe not intentionally but, before, my first reaction would be to respond and show him that I was offended and that he should not do that and so on. But I chose not to take the offence and to continue with my. And life flowed light and easy.

Hurting ourselves

A Brahmin (hindu priest) was angry because his followers were leaving him to follow the Buddha. He found the Buddha and walked behind him for hours, all the time insulting him. When Buddha did not respond, the Brahmin walked in front of Buddha and stood facing him. “I have insulted you for half the day, why don’t you answer?”

Buddha said: “If you gave someone in this village a present beautifully wrapped and it was refused, what you do with it?”

“Take it home with me,” replied the Brahmin.

“I have not accepted the insults you have heaped on me,” said Buddha, “Now you can take all the anger and hatred home with you.”

We do not have to take on board insults, vindictiveness, sarcasm etc. if we choose not to.

Insults and compliments alike may be regarded as unreal, since they are fleeting and usually of little or no importance to those who give them to us. It is ourselves who magnify them and cling to them, reliving the pain over and over. Or we can let go. As we meditate we breathe in fresh air and can let go of pain as we follow the breath, always returning to the breath.

Font: Stories of Thien – Vietnamese Buddhist Meditation. | Author: Venerable Hue Can and Nick Mills.

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