Last night I found it difficult to type out what I was thinking here on this space. I want to write everyday but I don’t know if what I am saying is particularly relevant to anyone but me. So I was in bed writing in my journal about this idea of the Hungry Ghost. The idea of both the insatiable need to fulfill our desires and the uncontrollable emotional response which seeks to fulfill those desires. It seems as though it is not always an internal need either. I mean there is the desire inside yourself for what you personally want. There is also this thing that the monster of society and culture creates for us. There is also this desire that other people have for us, to have control over who someone else is and what they do and what they look like.
Part of this need to fulfill ourselves is self created, and at times it is culturally created and still at other times it is created by our need to please others. One of the things that Zen Buddhism seeks to do is to cut off this reactionary craving. Not that you won’t have it anymore, but that you will be able to notice the craving, the wanting to alter yourself for whatever reason, or even to alter others or I suppose to please others even when it is damning to your own sense of well being. Instead it is a place of noticing that these cravings and wishing to please others is there, just noticing it and not allow it to cause you react. React. Or even to ACT. Sometimes just letting it happen and having no action or reaction is best.
I struggle with this. I really do. How do you not get involved in situations which are emotionally charged. Particularly when the person knows you well enough to “push your buttons”, or perhaps not well enough to know which buttons to not push. In the end the idea of meditation I guess is to deactivate the buttons.
So here I have the tool that I need to take a life long difficult situation and deactivate the buttons. On the other hand you reach a point when you find yourself not wanting to be around the person who will push the buttons repeatedly obsessively without concern. Here is my biggest struggle right now.
My ego says that you do not have the right to speak to me that way, manipulate me that way, egg me on, goad me, pressure me or bully me. Do you keep interacting with a person who is doing this, because you are trying to be a good Zen Buddhist?
At what point do you say I cannot continue this way? Is it my ego? Is it okay to stand by and take abuse from someone just because you are trying hard to deactivate that button? What do you do?
I suppose I should go to dokusan and talk to Roshi about this. When do you say enough and walk away from a person who is hurting you emotionally. And what if talking to that person doesn’t work and you have tried, repeatedly?
I could really use some advice on this.