Relationships And The Dharma

In the Upaddha Sutta, the Buddha explains to his attendant Ananda the crucial importance of relationship for realizing the Four Noble Truths (the quote is found in the notes attached to this posting).  Modern psychological research validates this belief–we are inherently social animals and co-create each other through our interpersonal exchanges.  the concepts are described during the discussion, connecting the Buddhist principles of virtuous relationship and the discipline of mindfulness of breathing meditation in the process of awakening–this could be called “Right Relationship”.  The explanation was followed by discussion on how different applications of “kalyana mitta” (spiritual friendship) can become part of daily relationship experiences.

Here are the notes prepared for this discussion:  BUDDHISM AND RELATIONSHIP NOTES


Releasing Unrealistic Expectations

During this talk, the lojong commitment “Don’t Put A Horse’s Load On A Donkey” was reviewed.  The emphasis of the commitment is to avoid idealizing expectations of self or others, that is, to avoid perfectionism.  One of the benefits of being relieved of the stress and confusion of the five hindrances is the release of energy into the process of awareness.  This can manifest as overreaching one’s capabilities, or displacing responsibility on others, thereby expecting too much of their capabilities.  This leads to contempt and a feeling of disconnection from self and others.  A goal of this practice is to become clearly aware of how self-organization either leads to clarity or to confusion, and eventually understanding how to release the “hardened” expectations that result from craving and clinging.

Here are the notes for the discussion:  MANAGING THE BURDEN OF RESPONSIBILITY

Here is the worksheet provided for those attending the meeting:  Relationship Responsibility Worksheet