Wake up and Be Kind

Some questioned the Buddha asking, "Are you a God?"
"No", he replied.
"Are you an angel then?" they asked.
"No," he replied again.

"What are you then?" they asked.
"I am awake," he replied.

My Buddhist friend and teacher once said to me that he stays away from situations that could be contentious. I didn't know what to make of that for a long time. What does staying away from difficult people prove or do?

Of course, this is the same teacher who said to me once that to be angry in the present is impossible. To be angry, you have to conjure up something that happened in the past and become it. To be angry is to insist on the past. To cease living in the present to pursue that phantom demon is to forsake the search for enlightenment. Better to avoid such situations!

Where there is compassion, there is no anger. To avoid difficult or mean people --those who seek the momentary pleasure of causing pain--is to refuse unpleasant or hurtful encounters that could undermine compassion.

I have been trying to understand this lesson for a long time. I have come to understand that holding on to an old argument is the same as insisting on being right. Such insistence has nothing to offer loving people because it shuts out others' perspectives and possibilities. It is to die.

To insist on kindness is to accept that the world is vast and beautiful.

The Monks of Burma


  1. My, my... Did you read my recent post?!

  2. Anonymous10:52 AM

    I guess that's why some things grow larger than life-people insist on the past or don't grow or move out of it. Is this the Buddhist way of forgiveness, at lest for one's self...being able to not go back and conjure up the past?

  3. Anonymous8:23 AM

    This is a beautiful post. It is the essence of Buddhism to abhor violence and to practice my english is so poor i can find the right word.... patience as a virtue?

    that is why wat is happening in Myanmar touches a nerve in people all over the world..the way the military junta is acting..it has lost touch with reality.


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