Do Not Look At the Faults of Others
by Brenda Shoshanna – New York City

man sitting at beach

These days we are all obsessed with the deeds of others. Most of our conversations center around who said what to who? And how others responded. Then we become outraged, frightened and absorbed with blaming and judging others. We dwell upon ways to change them, as if we were in charge of how others should behave.

The great teaching of the Buddha, however, suggests otherwise. While we do need to be aware of our surroundings and of others, to focus intensively upon the faults of others is a snare. What we see in others, we bring out in them. If we focus upon someone’s negativity, we can be certain they will oblige and behave that way with us.

Focusing upon others also takes our attention away from where we can make a true difference, looking at our own deeds, done and undone. No one wants to look at themselves. It’s much easier to blame others, for what we refuse to see within.

Zen practice suggests that we turn our attention around, and look at own deeds, those we have done and those we have yet to do. Are our deeds positive, and constructive? Are they moving us and others in the direction of healing? Do they bridge gaps and create understanding and communication? Or, do they arise from an entirely self-absorbed basis? Deeds based upon delusion inevitably bring suffering.

Most think of Zen practice as silent sitting. Of course this is central and crucial to what we do. But this teaching talks about our deeds as well. The act of sitting is a great deed of benevolence and balancing both for ourselves and others. As we heal, we send out healing to the entire world. Before we can even dream of helping another, our own lives and hearts must be in harmony. When they are we are guided to proper action, and healing takes place around us naturally.

Yet after sitting in the silence, the bell rings and we get up! We take the next step, go into action, take care of what needs to be done. We don’t judge others or ourselves either, just place our focus upon what is needed now. Looking without judging is powerful. When we truly see what we’ve done and not done, balancing, and correction come all by themselves. As does well being and love.

Brenda ShoshannaJoin us on The Podcast each week. I take a new look at daily issues and problems. When looked at from the Zen point of view, these problems turn into koans. Not only do we then find unexpected solutions, but become able to thoroughly enjoy our lives. And our problems. If you click the link it will take you to our weekly podcast, ZEN WISDOM FOR YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE.


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