Letting Go

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Letting Go

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:13 pm

This isn't a suggestion for the admins or the moderators, but to the board in general.

Someone brought up a good idea in another thread where several big subjects were being debated at the same time.

I felt that this idea deserved its own thread.

People asked how they should deal with a posted message that they do not like. Instead of taking umbrage that someone holds an opinion that is not your own, being offended that the person is wrong or insulting the author of that message, it was suggested that message should simply be ignored.

This method has several advantages:

1. It deprives the author of the questionable message of attention.
Depriving the author of positive or negative attention discourages him/her from repeating the behavior. It also annoys the author to get less attention.

2. It saves *time*.
Time yourself. Making 2 - 3 responses a day to messages you don't value in the grand scheme of things can take up to 20 minutes or more. Time you could have used for something fun. Ignoring a post takes up zero time.

3. It leaves you with a clearer state of mind.
Just from my own experience, I find my mind stays more clear when I choose to ignore a message I don't think much of. Writing about it, often has the effect of "grinding the axe" or working my feelings up.

4. It helps improve your meditation
A big part of meditation and walking the path is dealing with distractions. An itch on your nose, the stiffness of a numb foot, an angry memory from an event 5 years ago drawing your attention away, etc.. A common technique for dealing with such distractions is to let them go, which deprives them of power. The way you practice is the way you play the game. If you get in the habit off the cushion of letting go of annoying but inconsequential things it will make that habit stronger in all areas of your life.

I don't always do it. I fall short. Sometimes I enjoy posting messages that don't have any value in my life beyond the web board. Sometimes I do have better, more fun things to do, but I get compulsive with my posting.

I think other people are like me so a hybrid approach is best. You have a forum with people who try to let annoying messages go and moderators there to step in when that doesn't work.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Letting Go

Postby andre9999 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:38 pm

Funny thing is that the people who ask how one should respond are typically the ones who write the arrogant, ego-stroking replies. I'd say your advice is pretty sound, but really doesn't do justice to the amount of time a person spends dwelling on it (#3).

+1 from me.
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Re: Letting Go

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:53 pm

I write as someone who spends too much time not following all of that advice :).
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Letting Go

Postby daverupa » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:51 am

I try to sit in front of the reply screen, with text all written up, and tune in to my intention before I make a submission (in fact, I will often close a window, even with long posts, after reflection). Often my first inclination to respond is itself flawed, coming from an attempt to be noted or commented upon. Ego aggrandizement is a tenacious bugbear.

My signature is a smidgen of medicine for this malady - if I write a post that fails to be in accord with the Dhamma, I've already cited a critique of it from the Suttas.

May this be for future restraint.
:heart:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Letting Go

Postby octathlon » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:22 am

Jhana4, I agree.
#3 is the most important point, I think.
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Re: Letting Go

Postby christopher::: » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:25 am

Excellent observations and suggestions Jhana4. I think "letting go" of whatever it is we cling to and feel aversion to is one of the most difficult and yet simultaneously helpful aspects of dhamma practice.

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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