Trying to help a friend

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oak1
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Trying to help a friend

Postby oak1 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:04 pm

Greetings :anjali:

When a friend of mine is going through a rough time, I often have the tendency to tell them about things I heard during talks and read from books. My question is whether it is wise to do so? Since I haven’t realized most of these things myself I wonder whether I have the wisdom to determine whether it is wholesome to tell these specific things. I do always try to mention that Buddhism is all about being a light upon yourself and I try to always say ‘I think Buddhism says …’ instead of ‘Buddhism says …’ when I am not sure if I remember correctly.
Then, another question that arises is ‘If indeed it’s not wise to tell these things, then how should I try to console my friends.’

Always a pleasure to be able to make use of Dhammawheel!

Best wishes

Caodemarte
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Re: Trying to help a friend

Postby Caodemarte » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:23 pm

oak1 wrote:Greetings :anjali:

When a friend of mine is going through a rough time, I often have the tendency to tell them about things I heard during talks and read from books. My question is whether it is wise to do so? Since I haven’t realized most of these things myself I wonder whether I have the wisdom to determine whether it is wholesome to tell these specific things. I do always try to mention that Buddhism is all about being a light upon yourself and I try to always say ‘I think Buddhism says …’ instead of ‘Buddhism says …’ when I am not sure if I remember correctly.
Then, another question that arises is ‘If indeed it’s not wise to tell these things, then how should I try to console my friends.’

Always a pleasure to be able to make use of Dhammawheel!

Best wishes


Perhaps you should ask your friend to frankly tell you if it is helpful or not.

dharmacorps
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Re: Trying to help a friend

Postby dharmacorps » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:31 am

I understand your post and get the inclination. I often feel like I am trying to give people some dhamma. I've been trying to do it without even mentioning the Buddha or Dhamma--stealth dhamma!. Give them whatever you feel may really help. If what you give them doesn't help, just do your best. As long as your motivation is concerned with their long term welfare and happiness, that's all you can do as a friend. The rest is up to them.

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padmini
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Re: Trying to help a friend

Postby padmini » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:52 am

I am not an expert, but I would say that sharing with your friend in need the advice and wisdom you found useful in difficult situations, with the intention of helping your friend, is a very positive thing.

Your friend can later go and find out by herself the teachings if she wishes to do so.

I hope this helps. :)
The Buddha's path is simple and meant for ordinary people; anyone with goodwill and determination can follow its steps toward freedom of heart and mind
-- Ven. Ayya Khema

binocular
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Re: Trying to help a friend

Postby binocular » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:36 am

Caodemarte wrote:Perhaps you should ask your friend to frankly tell you if it is helpful or not.

Absolutely.

If the friend isn't sharing your Buddhist beliefs, what you're telling your friend might as well be in a language they don't understand, and could even cause more confusion than help.

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oak1
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Re: Trying to help a friend

Postby oak1 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:17 pm

Many thanks.

I also realized that many teachings that I encountered are out there anyway, so in that sense, I guess they have been already deemed to be worthwhile and not harmful for people who have no or little experience with Dhamma.

:anjali:


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