I went to a Buddhist talk / meditation group last night. The subject of the talk was
“What causes you the most problems in your life?”
Think about this before you continue to read.
At a guess I bet you named things that are in your external environment, like lack of money, your boss, your partner. To be honest by mind grazed through external reasons. Than I thought “My attachment (my desire) to wanting things to be different”. I said this out loud confident that I had the right answer; funny isn’t it that when placed in a classroom type setting I can revert to school days and want to get the right answer, rather than the answer that is true to me at the time. Does this happen to you?
The monk looked pleased with all the answers than said,
“Buddha said that what causes us the most problems in our life is our self importance”.
Let this sink in for a while.
There where quite a few people in the room that felt uncomfortable with this. The monk went on to say that if we can put ourselves into another persons shoes and see things from their perspective than we’re less likely to be angry with them.
This made complete sense to me. I reviewed times in my life where I have felt upset and the odd argument I have had. I could see with clarity that when I am upset it is because I believe that someone is not seeing me and my opinions or believes as important; which is placing to much importance on my believes and opinions. If this has escalated into an argument it is because one or both people in the argument is trying to assert that their opinions and beliefs are more important than the other persons. It is much easier to get into self importance when the other person is important to you.
I then reviewed times when I was able to stand back and accept what I was feeling, so I could have a clear and peaceful mind to try to see / hear / feel what the other person’s perspective was. What I noticed was that if someone is less than happy it is often because they need to express something. When I listen I often find that the person needs compassion and understanding.