Being Offended

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
User avatar
one_awakening
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:04 am

Being Offended

Post by one_awakening » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:41 am

The stronger the sense of self, the easier it is to be offended
“You only lose what you cling to”

pegembara
Posts: 1300
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Being Offended

Post by pegembara » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:51 am

If you offend someone, you say or do something rude which upsets or embarrasses or humiliates them. Without a sense of self, nothing is taken personally and such a "person" doesn't feel insulted. Only unpleasant feeling arising and passing away.
As to this, Ānanda,
the feelings that arise in the Tathāgata are known;
known they persist;
known they go to destruction;
perceptions are known;
known they persist;
known they go to destruction;
the thoughts that arise are known;
known they persist;
known they go to destruction.

So do you, Ānanda, regard this too as a wonder,
a marvellous quality of the Tathāāgata's."

MN 123
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

User avatar
JamesTheGiant
Posts: 480
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:41 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Being Offended

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:01 am

How to get offended

binocular
Posts: 5638
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Being Offended

Post by binocular » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:30 am

one_awakening wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:41 am
The stronger the sense of self, the easier it is to be offended
And yet the primary sign of a spiritual/religious person is that they easily feel offended.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

paul
Posts: 1271
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 11:27 pm
Location: Vietnam

Re: Being Offended

Post by paul » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:53 am

It's all yours:

“Thus I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. Then the brahman Akkosaka Bharadvaja heard that a brahman of the Bharadvaja clan had gone forth from the home life into homelessness in the presence of the Blessed One. Angered & displeased, he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, insulted & cursed him with rude, harsh words.

When this was said, the Blessed One said to him: "What do you think, brahman: Do friends & colleagues, relatives & kinsmen come to you as guests?"

"Yes, Master Gotama, sometimes friends & colleagues, relatives & kinsmen come to me as guests."

"And what do you think: Do you serve them with staple & non-staple foods & delicacies?"

"Yes, sometimes I serve them with staple & non-staple foods & delicacies."

"And if they don't accept them, to whom do those foods belong?"

"If they don't accept them, Master Gotama, those foods are all mine."

"In the same way, brahman, that with which you have insulted me, who is not insulting; that with which you have taunted me, who is not taunting; that with which you have berated me, who is not berating: that I don't accept from you. It's all yours, brahman. It's all yours.

"Whoever returns insult to one who is insulting, returns taunts to one who is taunting, returns a berating to one who is berating, is said to be eating together, sharing company, with that person. But I am neither eating together nor sharing your company, brahman. It's all yours. It's all yours.”—SN 7:2

"A disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'I am not the only one who is owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator; who — whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir. To the extent that there are beings — past and future, passing away and re-arising — all beings are the owner of their actions, heir to their actions, born of their actions, related through their actions, and live dependent on their actions. Whatever they do, for good or for evil, to that will they fall heir.' When he/she often reflects on this, the [factors of the] path take birth. He/she sticks with that path, develops it, cultivates it. As he/she sticks with that path, develops it and cultivates it, the fetters are abandoned, the obsessions destroyed.”—AN 5:57

User avatar
pitakele
Posts: 125
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 11:27 pm

Re: Being Offended

Post by pitakele » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:15 am

binocular wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:30 am
And yet the primary sign of a spiritual/religious person is that they easily feel offended.
Really? I have never heard of that in reference to genuine Dharma practitioners.


edited
now here = nowhere

User avatar
Bundokji
Posts: 1738
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Being Offended

Post by Bundokji » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:33 am

The sense of self seems to be a balanced thing, and change (such as stronger or weaker) seem to happen within this overall balance.

Evidently, different people get offended about different things, depending on what they value. When we value something it comes at the expense of something else, but the overall balance remain unchanged.

So, your statement seem to include a generalization. There is no sense of self in isolation of a thing that gives rise to that sense of self and this is where humans differ. In other words, to say that some people are more egoists than others is not entirely accurate in my opinion.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4398
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Being Offended

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:35 am

pitakele wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:15 am
binocular wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:30 am
And yet the primary sign of a spiritual/religious person is that they easily feel offended.
Really? I have never heard of that in reference to Dharma practitioners. Maybe you are thinking of some people who are thought to be in touch with their feelings or intuitive etc.?
I can't find a link, but a few years ago the UK media was going through one of its mild periodic spasms of anxiety about offending religious people. It was probably sparked off by a religious person or group getting angry or even murderous about an alleged slight to their traditions.

To explore this in a bit more depth, a journalist found that there was a restaurant called "Buddha-Bar" in London. Armed with this information, he phoned up the local Theravadan monastery and informed the Abbot of this fact.

"[Long pause...] Erm, yes, I know. I've heard about it."

"But what do you think about it?"

"Well, I've not really given it much thought. The monks don't really have anything to do with restaurants and bars"

"But it's called after the founder of your religion! Aren't you offended?"

"No, because the Buddha told us not to get offended."

User avatar
Bundokji
Posts: 1738
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Being Offended

Post by Bundokji » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:40 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:35 am
"No, because the Buddha told us not to get offended."
Would it be inaccurate to say that this is an example of a value replaced by another value? "the Buddha told us not to get offended" being the new value?

Evident of it being value, a Buddhist would feel guilty if gets offended and acted on it (self view).
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4398
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Being Offended

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:56 am

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:40 am

Would it be inaccurate to say that this is an example of a value replaced by another value? "the Buddha told us not to get offended" being the new value?
I'm not sure - it's only a dimly-remembered off-the-cuff quote by somebody else. But it might be more useful to think of it as being an example of a value being replaced by a predisposition.

paul
Posts: 1271
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 11:27 pm
Location: Vietnam

Re: Being Offended

Post by paul » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:16 am

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:40 am
Would it be inaccurate to say that this is an example of a value replaced by another value? "the Buddha told us not to get offended" being the new value?
Evident of it being value, a Buddhist would feel guilty if gets offended and acted on it (self view).
It is a gross value replaced by a more skillful one, which is how the path operates. Desire is a necessary motivation (SN 51:15).

User avatar
Bundokji
Posts: 1738
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Being Offended

Post by Bundokji » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:34 am

paul wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:16 am
It is a gross value replaced by a more skillful one, which is how the path operates. Desire is a necessary motivation (SN 51:15).
I am not disputing that, but the way i presented it reminds me of my own conceit. As long as i am relying on my mundane understanding of the Buddha's teachings, i am not radically different than the rest of humanity.

By the way, binocular's input is something i can relate to. For beginners like myself, it is easy to develop aversion and become critical of how non Buddhists believe and act. I encountered some Ajahns mentioning similar experiences when they were beginners, which is a relief. Misery loves company :tongue:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

markandeya
Posts: 204
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:33 am

Re: Being Offended

Post by markandeya » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:49 am

To disregard all offensive behavior in all its forms is a bit myopic. Humility is easily exploited.

I have seen a few times where traditional Buddhist are against fashion tattoos of the Buddha and they have become upset and dislike it alot. Try and walk in a temple with shoes on and see what happens, or pat a Buddhist Monk on the head.

I saw one one American guy protect his right to wear Buddha images on his sandals and many Buddhist was unhappy that the Buddha head and face was touched by the feet.

A lot of people from the west are very insensitive to cultural norms and sacred parts of the tradition and stamp their own authority and claim others are not true Buddhist if they become offended. I see no problem to speak out against these things, it doesnt mean the person is offended it just means sticking up for what is sacred to ones own tradition.

Circle5
Posts: 894
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 2:14 am

Re: Being Offended

Post by Circle5 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:06 pm

Wisdom means knowing how to think efficienty, it means "knowing the pathways of the mind". For example notice how football players speak at interviews after a match. If the match was a tie, you will hear something like "it's good that we at least got a point. We had some bad luck, but overall we are going in the right direction and bla-bla-bla" - always a very optimistic answer that sees only the full half of the glass, even when there barely anything in the glass. This doesn't mean lying to yourself or being dishonest, it means having wisdom and knowing how to think efficiently. Choosing to think in this way is absolutally mandatory for any professional player and is something even 4th league coaches know very well. The higher the league, the more wisdom coaches and their players will have.

This is a gross example of how to chose the proper way to frame something in order to be efficient. There are a billion other smaller examples that we encounter every day. The better ones wisdom, the better he is at thinking in an efficient way, a way that is beneficial for himself and others, a way that develops good traits in himself and that leads to his success.

When it comes to getting offended, it's simply an unbeneficial way of thinking. It springs from a person paying attention to elements of an event that give rise to the feeling of outrage + unbeneficial framing of things in his mind. Little by little, by constantly paying attention to this side of things, they build up the tendency to get angry, hateful and offended.

"He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred.
https://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/dp01.htm

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4398
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Being Offended

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:18 pm

markandeya wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:49 am
To disregard all offensive behavior in all its forms is a bit myopic. Humility is easily exploited.
Indeed, it is usually best not to disregard offensive behaviour, because that precludes our dealing with it skillfully. We do, however, have a choice as to whether we are personally offended by it. People who like being offended are very welcome to indulge their preferences, but I don't like being offended, so I'll do my best not to take offence when it is offered.
Try and walk in a temple with shoes on and see what happens, or pat a Buddhist Monk on the head.


I've seen this, and more egregious behaviour, on many occasions. The response depends on the setting. Westerners unfamiliar with the culture and merely making a faux pas are - in the best circumstances - treated with considerable indulgence. It's possible to remind people about expectations and norms without being personally offended.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests