Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Zen In Relationships

Dear Anne,

Over at the By Virtue Of Release Blog, Mark McDermott has written a brief but beautiful post on dealing with negative thoughts and feelings about people. To quote part of it:

I remembered the other day that part of Zen practice is "taking the step back." Being very human I have negative, unskilful reactions to things that other people do and say. The unskillful way to have such a reaction is to go with it and be caught up in it like a net that drags me along to further negative consequences - anger, jealousy, irritation - you know.

The skillful way is to take a step back and see the reaction for just what it is - my emotions living their life with no regard for my wholeness. Part of the stepping back is to make no judgement of the reaction, not judging it as negative or positive; and not judging me for having it in the first place.

His full post is the best advice on dealing with negative thoughts and feelings about people that I've yet to see on the internet. Best of all, it's short. Go take a gander, think about it, and let me know if I'm right or if I need to swear off the beer before reading other people's blogs.


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