Ever notice how hard it can be to stay kind, centered, calm and compassionate – Zen-like – in the face of daily annoyances and perturbances that cause us to lose our cool? Especially when particularly annoying people are particularly annoying?
There is an irreverent, sacred tool for use in such moments. It is a technique deeply committed and dedicated to the easing of suffering.
I call this approach Budd Lite, respectfully.
Here are the real Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, the foundation of Buddhism, juxtaposed with Budd Lite:
Four Noble Truths Budd Lite
1. Life is suffering. 1. Some things just suck
2. Craving is the cause of suffering 2. You make it worse
3. Suffering ends 3. Victimhood is voluntary
4. There is a path 4. Shut up and follow directions
It starts with a Zenless Rant – a diatribe about something encountered that triggered a negative reaction (Number 1 from above, either side), almost uncensored air time is given to the fear-based ego mind’s negative perspective (Number 2). This reveals the ugliness of what’s really going on in there, the nature of the disease.
Then there’s the Buddha Bonk – like a Zen slap – a hit on the head with a lotus flower of truth and wisdom to get the mental machine out of its conniption fit (Number 3) and working properly again, not unlike kicking a refrigerator to get it to stop rattling (Number 4).
It’s a process that gives voice to the opposite sides or personas in us, the aggressor and the peacenik, the lower self and the higher self, the devil and the angel, the tantrumming child and the reasonable adult, the problem and the solution.
Here’s an example:
The Zenless Rant
It is unfathomable to me how someone could treat a person with such coldness, and after all we’ve been through together. How could she? What was she thinking? Certainly of herself, not me. How could she say that to me? Doesn’t she realize how mean that sounds? It makes me feel like she’s never even known me. She’s so weak, she can’t handle just supporting me through this hard time without judging me because she’s afraid. I need stronger people in my life. I don’t have room for this relationship anymore, and I’m no longer interested.
(Can you see the illustration of Numbers 1 & 2, Some things just suck and we make it worse?)
The Buddha Bonk
You certainly don’t have to remain friends with anyone you don’t want to remain in friendship with.
Whatever you decide, don’t make that call right at this moment, while you are upset – with anger, resentment, hostility and blame. We all know these aggressive emotions are covers for the more vulnerable feelings, such as hurt, loss, and sadness.
You shouldn’t make a big decision of any kind while under the influence of strong emotions, especially ones with a negative charge.
Take care of yourself. Take a break from talking to this friend. Take a walk. Take a bath. Take a look at yourself, at what you need, and where your focus is needed to better your situation.
This will better your mind about it.
Then take action on your recently adjusted course for your path. Take the time you need.
When you are ready, take a look at this relationship and see how you feel. Decide from there.
(Can you see the illustration of Numbers 3 & 4, Victimhood is voluntary; shut up and follow directions?)
The Zenless Rant and the Buddha Bonk are tools to use any day of the week – silently to yourself, in writing, or out loud with a partner – to train our reactive minds to obey our Higher Selves in order to have more harmonious, loving, and fulfilling relationships and more well-being in our experience of living.
Thank you for reading. I am seeing clients in my Arcata office, and I offer tele-counseling work with individuals and couples in any location.
Happy Summer to you. May you enjoy the long days and extra daylight on your path.