Columbus Jungto Society

Columbus, OH Branch

Wisdom for Life – December 2008

Wisdom for Life December 2008

What is true leadership in the workplace?

We might think to ourselves: “In my work place I have shown great leadership and I perform better than others. So, I should be in an important position by now…” However, the truth of the matter is that none of us are in more important positions at work despite what we think of our leadership skills. As a result, we may not get along with our co-workers or we want to quit that job and walk out, but we are unable to because we need the income to support ourselves and our families. Therefore, many people find themselves between a rock and a hard place: they hate their job but cannot quit.

We all want things to go our way. Let us assume that ten people are running for president. All ten of them want to be the president but only one can be elected. Even if all ten of them pray to a God or Buddha, there still can only be one president. To have everything fall in one’s own favor is impossible. If one’s goal is to be the president then that person has to put forth their best efforts to get the support of the people. However, if one tries his/her best and does not get elected, then he/she must acknowledge the truth and accept reality. The same applies to the work place. If I try my best to get a promotion and I do not get it then I have to accept the fact it is either caused by me not putting in my best effort or that I did put in my best effort and the person in charge of promoting was in need of someone with different skills. If we agonize over rejection thinking “I am not good enough or God or Buddha did not bless me” we are only harming ourselves.

Do the work that others refuse to; do a job that pays less

If we consider ourselves as practitioners of Dharma then we need to have the mindset of a Bodhisattva in our work place. “What are the things nobody wants to do? Which department has the greatest workload, is the least popular and pays the least? I should do that job.” Apply for that job. Why? because I am a Bodhisattva. “Which department is least popular? Please transfer me to that department.” With this kind of attitude even if you are selected for a promotion, you are able to go to your boss and say “I’m really grateful for this opportunity, but if by chance there is someone else more qualified, I urge you to reconsider.” If we go to work with this kind of flexibility then our worries will disappear. If instead, we agonize over the fact that we are not in a prominent position at work, then we may ask ourselves “why don’t my co-workers suggest me for a promotion? Why doesn’t my boss recognize my talents? I was talented when I was young, why am I so useless now?” We end up hating our bosses, becoming embittered towards co-workers and hating ourselves, which is useless thing to do. This is same as a farmer who does not sow seeds to grow and then complains when there is nothing to harvest. Just take it easy and take the slow path to success. Going slow does not mean being lazy. The faster you reach the top the faster your decline will be, because once you reach the top, there is nowhere to go but down. Therefore, the earlier you get there the earlier you will inevitably come down as well.

Concession and Consideration, Characteristics of Leadership

Doing our best at work and offering the best opportunities to others is the mark of the true leadership qualities of concession and consideration. These people are always popular at work. Popularity is a sign of developing leadership skills. If you posses leadership qualities then others will surely recommend you for promotion and higher-ups will take notice of your potential. As long as your intentions are to work hard and be good to your peers, success will follow, even when you least expect it. At the same time there are those that are opportunistic and try to be on their boss’ good side without actually doing anything. These people sometimes look as though they are reaching towards higher positions quickly, but when they are in a position that demands qualifications that they do not meet, then that position becomes a heavy burden. Over advertising one’s qualifications never produces satisfactory results.

My advice to you is that if your talent is a 10 then advertise it as an 8 to others. This is the path to an easier life. If your talent is a 10 but others rate you as a 5, do not worry. If their expectations of you are low, they will not criticize you as much. If people underestimate you and you exceed their expectations in a time of crisis then you will gain recognition from your peers. However, if you play up your talents to be a 12 rather than a 10, then your actual abilities will be tested and failure will result in being shunned by people for fabricating your qualifications and thus you will be passed over in important future projects.

From now on, change the way you think and appreciate the job you already have. ‘I must have acquired many good merits in my past life for me to be so fortunate to have this job.’ Think this way and accept your current situation as a fortunate one. Instead of having a mind that seeks to blame, have a mind that seeks to appreciate. “Buddha, I am thankful to have a job which pays me because there are many out there who don’t even have jobs. Thank you.” We have to change our lives at work and be thankful and considerate to others. If you respect to your boss, love your peers and lend a helping hand to newcomers then your whole world changes. Then you might even experience a miracle and be sought after by other companies. Then you can humbly decline if you choose to. The idea is to not just work for the financial gain.

Going to work should be fun

If you have no stress from work then you will be relaxed at home too. Going to work should be fun and only then can you be a good spouse and good parent. Then you will have a happy home and be loved by your peers. To live this life is possible. From now on, if an opportunity for promotion arises then concede to others. If upon concession your boss insists that you accept it, then go ahead and do so. “Thank you for this opportunity. I will try my best.” If you end up accepting the promotion after you have already declined it, then there will be no reason for your peers to feel envious and your mind will also be at ease. Instead of contemplating on quitting your current job consider it as something dear to you. There are many people who want to work but cannot find a job, so consider their situation and be thankful for currently having a job. Your salary does not dictate the value of your job.

Furthermore, be considerate to your peers and should something like an important project arise, concede it to someone who could really benefit from the opportunity and you will earn their respect. When newcomers have questions, answer them and help them to the best of your ability. Then they also will respect you. Be humble to your superiors. To be humble means that you do as they ask but it does not mean be subservient. It means respecting and honoring to them. If you do that then your job will be much more enjoyable. If you are happy at your job, your family life will also be happy. Spending extra money for private tutors for your children, or buying them expensive gifts does not necessarily mean being a good parent. A harmonious marital relationship is the best gift you can give to your children. I hope that knowing this truth can help you enjoy your job and live stress free.

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Wisdom for Life November 2008

 

Life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to.

 

 

Life doesn’t always go as planned.

 

We long to do things as we please. When we cannot have things our way, we suffer and remain in agony. When our wishes seem to be beyond our capacity, we turn to others; if this does not work, we even turn to deities in order to get what we want. For our wishes to be fulfilled whomever we pray to should be omnipotent; this way we create all-powerful gods. When faced with extreme hardship we can turn to these gods out of faith, which might be temporarily helpful. However, this is not what a practitioner of Buddhism does. Their practice serves as the means to realize that life does not always go as we want it to.

 

It is not necessarily good to have your wishes fulfilled. If the world were to grant the wishes of every single person, the world will turn not into heaven but into hell. For instance, if you fell in love with someone that many other women also fancied, what would happen? Many women would fight over him, resulting in complete disorder. What if no one wanted to go to work but still wanted to become rich? What would happen to society? Such a society cannot function, and would become overcrowded with lazy people who put forth no effort yet expect great rewards.

 

People are prone to arrogance when things go as they wish. However, this does not mean that life should go against one’s wishes. There are both times when our wishes are fulfilled and not fulfilled, but there are more times when life goes against our wishes. The very fact that life generally goes against our desires is what maintains the world as it is now.

 

If it doesn’t work, try a different approach

 

If you have goals to fulfill, make the effort to achieve them. If you fail even after putting great effort forth, study the reason for failure. Seek a new method and try again. If you still cannot fulfill it, let it go. If you refuse to give up, you try again. This is life.

 

You feel joy when you succeed in achieving your goals. But achieving your goals does not imply that you are completely done by any means. You are not free to just fool around; rather, you set another goal and begin the cycle again. Think about this carefully. Taking on a new task after completing one and re-doing a task after a failure is in fact the same thing. It makes no difference whether you do the same thing twice or do two different tasks in succession. Having rice for breakfast, ramen for lunch, and noodles for dinner is the same as having rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the sense that regardless of what you eat, you have eaten three meals for the day. Therefore it is not important whether or not you have achieved your goal after being committed to it. It is more important how fully and diligently you do your job in the process. When successful, you move on to another task; when the results are unsatisfactory, you decide between continuing with the current job or undertaking another. If you know that in the end both are the same, you will not be afraid of anything you do.

 

People often say, “This can’t be happening to me.” However, can something that is beyond reality actually happen? No. Things happen because they are always within the realm of possibility.

Many unimaginable things happen in this world. For practical reasons, we cannot be aware everything that happens. If we were aware of all the thoughts of our spouse and children then our head would explode. Therefore, in some ways it is better for us to live our life without knowing everything.

 

Not being shackled by the outcomes of life, a truly liberated being

 

We should not agonize over outcomes that are unfavorable to us. If we examine our lives in depth, among the many things we wanted to happen we also have one or two things that did not go as we desired but our lives still moved on. Of course we will face some difficulties and obstacles, but in those cases it is not necessary to agonize over them in order to try again. If we want to pursue the same thing then all we have to do is try again. Otherwise just stop. Either way, it is not necessary to stress out. Once we come to the realization that doing the same type of work a hundred times and doing a hundred different tasks is all the same work, then life will be simpler.

 

If we agonize over things that did not turn out the way we envisioned, we will live in misery for the rest of our lives. Moreover, we will always tremble with fear and cling onto others. Does every business in the world end up successful? No. Also, do all students get accepted to the schools they want to attend? Don’t most students want to go to Ivy League schools? Even so, if a student does not get into an Ivy League school, he is still okay. As parents, if we think that we can do something about our children’s successes or failures then we are acting out of selfishness. Instead, if our children come to us after they experience failure, we as parents should empower ourselves through cultivation of our minds so that we can give emotional support and courage for them to continue on with their life.

 

If we keep thinking about the past and have negative views of our present, then our lives will be complicated. Acceptance is the most important thing in life. We can perform best when our minds are in calm state and thus able to let go of any attachments. Regardless of success or failure, let it go.

 

When I was entering the monastic life my teacher once said that I will have a short life. I did not know if it would hold true or not but I continued to live my life to the fullest. To live life frivolously would have been a waste of even a short life so I lived as though every day were my last and put that same energy into each day, and today I continue to live. To think of the rest of my life as a bonus puts my mind more at ease and allows me to live a more liberated life. Before, I worried over things not going the way I wanted, but nowadays I think that I have done the things that needed to be done during my given life span and anything from that point onward are just extra days given to me, and so I worry less. Therefore, for me dying today or tomorrow does not matter because I have no regrets.

So, if you tumble and fail in life do not breakdown; instead find the courage to move on or try again. Be courageous and do things to the fullest. As humans we will mature more effectively when we taste some failure. If you look at plants, those that grow straight upward will eventually fall over, but those that grow up and outward with many divergent branches appear fuller with many leaves. With cultivation of our minds we can become more composed people. “Everything will be okay. Everything is going well. I have no worries.” When you pray, do it with this mind set, and have a positive outlook. Only then, even when things do not go the way we wanted them to, we will not live in agony or constantly worry. In conclusion, I hope that all of you will always live your lives with gratitude.    

Wisdom for Life October 2008

Ways to Let Go of Anxiety and Worries

 

By Ven. Pomnyun

Attachment and Scattered Busy Thoughts

Anxiety and worries are illusory phenomena that occur when we misconstrue the future for the present. Likewise, we sometimes associate suffering with things we recall from past experiences and therefore reawaken those emotions in present situations. Seeing a heroine on TV crying over the death of a hero makes you cry with them. However, upon turning off the TV, you no longer see such characters or sad situations and only a blank TV remains. Then why do we cry over nothing? This is because we are so absorbed into the drama that we take the story for reality. Likewise, we shed tears or laugh while reading a book as we imagine what happens in the book happening in reality.

Similarly, while sleeping, we perceive what happens in a dream as factual. While asleep, a dream becomes reality for us, so we cry or run away out of fear, or sometimes we grab hold of things dear to us and refuse to let go. If we knew all along that it was just a dream, we would not hesitate to give things away or go with strangers in the dream. When we open our eyes we realize we were dreaming, but when we go to sleep again, our dreams once more become reality. In the same way, vividly recalling past memories within the mind makes the past seem like reality. This way, as soon as we expect something in the future to occur, our expectations become reality in our minds, resulting in fear. These feelings are simply attachments that we have.

 

This does not mean that we should forget about the past but that we should not project past memories onto the present. Those who live in past memories or in future worries are lost in dreams. Neither lives in the present, which is reality. They are alive but not truly living because they roam around in an illusory state of mind. However, most of us, no matter what we do in the present, we succumb to living in past memories or in thoughts about the future. This is just scattered busy thoughts.

 

Everything is Created by Your Mind

Buddhas are awakened ones, and the worldly human beings are those who are wander around in their own illusory world. Crying and yelling due to suffering or celebrating out of great joy are all dreams. When a sleeping man has a nightmare and screams in his sleep, we just think, “what a sleep talker!” Sleep talking has no meaning and is nonsensical. All emotions like joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure that are triggered in the life of someone in the illusory world are just as nonsensical as sleep talking. For this reason, those who live in agony due to pain from the past are like those that live in dreams.

 

Let me compare this situation to our body in order to clarify. If you have a shoulder injury, it hurts a lot when a passerby bumps into it. “Hey!” You will yell at him. Then, the passerby thinks that you are overreacting, which angers you more and you yell, “You caused me severe pain without apologizing.” At this time, the passerby has no idea what he did and says, “What did I do? What’s your problem, and why are you yelling at me?” Before you know it, the quarrel has become serious. For another example, let’s say a wife has mental trauma from the past and her husband unknowingly says things which aggravate her old wounds. Over time, she feels greater and greater pain and soon becomes furious and refuses to speak to him. The husband, having no idea why she is mad, says “what a temperamental woman.”

The accumulation of these kinds of incidents gives rise to conflicts. And yet, we live our lives, feeding our pain with trivial fights and arguing. The past is like a night’s dream, but we live with a firm grip on it, as if it were our reality. Your present problems arise when you hold on to your past memories. Therefore, you should clear all the mental wounds that you obtained in the past and should such wounds appear to reopen, you should become aware, “This is an illusion that my mind created.”

 

Just Let Go of All The Attachments

The same applies to thoughts about the future. For instance, when waiting at a bus stop, we see our minds changing frequently. When we are late for a Dharma gathering, we get so impatient we complain about the bus driver who seems to be late without reason. However, if we are waiting for a friend at the bus stop and the friend is late, we worry that the bus may come early. Buses just come and go. There is no need to complain about their coming early or late. Depending on what the agenda we have in mind, we feel easy or uneasy. Knowing about the workings of our minds, we can think, ‘Buses do not come early or late according to my wishes. If one comes a little late, I can be a little late. If one comes too early, I can let it go and catch the next one’ and not resort to unwarranted distress.

No matter how trivial a thing it may be, anything can become a matter of grave concern once we develop attachment to it. Inversely, no matter how serious a matter it may be, it becomes nothing when we are free from any attachment to it. All suffering is produced by your mind. When suffering, you can let go of your anxiety and worries by becoming aware that ‘Oh, I am attached to this. By holding on to it, I am messing up this matter’. A rat wouldn’t knowingly eat something if it knew it was rat poison and we likewise would not hold onto attachments if we knew how harmful they are to us.

 

People often ask me, “How do we let go of our attachments?” The answer is simple: just do it! You might reply, “How? I don’t understand.” Say you were to hold a very hot cup, how would you put it down? You say, “Ouch, its hot!” and put it down. If you were asked how you did that, what would you say? There is nothing else to say except that you simply let it go because it was too hot. Suppose that someone says he cannot put it down because he does not know how and keeps yelling, “Hot, hot!” Does he not know how to let go of it? It might seem so. But when we examine his mind, it is not a matter of not knowing how to let go of the cup, but rather an unconscious urge to possess it. Therefore, you have only two choices; put it down and avoid burning your hand or hold it and consequently burn your hand. Only the foolish would burn their hands whereas the wise would put it down, thinking no matter what it is not necessary to burn their hands for the sake of holding onto it.

 

Let’s say you nagged your husband because you thought you could change him for the better, but he worsened instead. With this kind of consequence you should stop your nagging, but you keep doing it. This is not your husband’s problem but yours. Therefore, you need not argue with your husband; as you sense the urge to nag, look within and accept it as your problem and only then can you break yourself of such habitual behavior. By accepting your problems as your own you relieve your mind of placing responsibility on others and progress in your practice of dharma in daily life. At this moment you come to feel grateful to the Buddha. ‘If I had not known the Buddha’s teachings, my family might have fallen apart because of this conflict or I could have gotten divorced, but the problems are solved thanks to the Buddha’s teachings. Thank you. I am so proud and glad that I have found the Buddha’s teachings.’ This is the very blessing of the Buddha

 

Transforming Disaster into Blessing

No matter how disastrous the incidents you encounter in life, those experiences will get you to mature more than ever if you take refuge in Dharma and study your mind. For example, having long suffered from the aftermath of sexual harassment, one who meets Dharma and sees “A-ha, everything is the workings of my mind” can let go of past trauma and as a result that person actually becomes more blessed than those who have not gone through such an ordeal. If others talk with you about their painful experiences of sexual harassment, you will have a distinct (???? Distinct ???) attitude — you will be able to console them with deeper understanding and sympathy, empathizing with their anguish and guiding them to overcome such painful memories.

 

It is not that Dharma entitles you to avoid disasters and receive only blessings but that Dharma enables you to transform disasters into blessings. When this is the case, what in the world is not a blessing? Therefore, no matter what happens, we can live without fear. This is the greatness of the Buddha’s teachings. If you keep practicing this Dharma properly, how could any gods not bless you with good fortune? In this manner, blessings follow you as an unexpected gift. Nevertheless, even if no one gives you any blessings or luck, you can always make your own. Only by practicing Dharma in this manner can you become a person of great and genuine luck.

Venerable Pomnyun is coming to Columbus!

Dharma Talk

Question and Answer Session

(Ask any question Buddhism, personal problems such as relationship, money, job, love, etc.)

Ven. Pomnyun Sunim

 

Received 2002 Ramon Magsaysay Award

Ven. Pomnyun Sunim is a monk and an activist working to obliterate famine, disease, illiteracy, and for the ecology, peace,

human rights and the unification of Korean peninsula.

 

A founder of Jungto Society, we vow to create a world with an open mind, one lives a happy life. When we practice sharing, it becomes a community of good friends.

When we live a simple life, the earth will be beautiful.

 

Unity of work and practice is the hope for the new society.

 

Topic: Ask Me Anything!!

 

When: Tuesday, September 16th 7:00 P.M.

Where: 173 Oak Street, Worthington Office park, Columbus, OH 43235

Contact: Changmi Tam: 614-284-7728; Susan Ha: 614-296-8113

Wisdom for Life September 2008

Download the Word document or read online below:

Wisdom for life

An Inferiority Complex is an Illusion.

Ven. Bupryun : the publisher

We want to be better than others and when this cannot be the case we become obsessed with an inferiority complex. For example, adolescents are particularly prone to inferiority complexes about their appearance as well as their grades. Although parents are critical about their children caring too much about their looks rather than education, the children are anxious to look attractive to the opposite sex and stand out from amongst their peers. In addition, wherever they go, they long to be the center of attention. When this doesn’t happen, they feel isolated and inferior. In the worst case scenario they become self-destructive. Some even come to suffer from depression. Looking into the reasoning behind an inferiority complex, we can eventually see that it originates in the desire to be better than others, or a superiority complex. In other words, an inferiority complex stems not from believing that one is inferior, but rather from one’s wish to stand out among others, which manifests itself from a superiority complex.

Intrinsically, every being is free of any sense of inferiority or superiority. Each and every being is simply different. In fact, it is us who discriminate, saying things like: “This is better than that” or “This is worse than that.” This discrimination does not reflect a being as it is but distorts it. In the Buddhist Heart Sutra, this distorted image of something is called “Jun-do-mong-sang,” which means a dreamlike, inverted thought. We do not see things as they are. Rather we see inverted images, which are never consistent with reality. This inconsistency gives rise to our suffering, agony, and limitations in life. The usefulness of a hammer and nail never changes when you are looking for something else. Those items merely exist and will be useful when called upon. No object is inherently more useful than another. It just comes down to situation and purpose. Likewise, we have to see all things (including people) in a similar manner; seeing them as they are will show us the truth that there is no inherent superiority or inferiority. Human beings perceive things through six sensory organs1, and based on those perceptions we develop an inferiority or superiority complex.

In spite of its insubstantiality, seeing the mirage of an oasis in the desert is still very convincing; therefore, it is vitally important to recognize that illusory things are merely illusions. For example, you continue to live even if you do not like your nose, eyes or other facial features. We often hear that even so-called “gorgeous” actors or actresses have an inferiority complex about their looks. One person might say, “Everything looks all right except for my eyes.” Another says, “I don’t like my nose.” A different person might say, “I like my lips but not my teeth!” This way, we can see that being “inferior” is one thing, and having an inferiority complex is another. Since this complex stems from our mind and not from physical features, a so-called “superior” being can have an inferiority complex. Therefore, we should recognize inferiority complexes as just illusions that are a part of the mental process and not based on reality.

Understand the Illusory Nature of an Inferiority Complex

There is no inferior being in the world. All beings are simply different. Let us say we randomly choose twenty people and measure their traits and rate their abilities. Who weighs the most or is the tallest? When they are rated according to various features such as weight, height, facial features, the length of their arms or fingers, skillfulness in cooking, jumping, running, and so forth, a wide range of scores will be produced. If they are rated according to a thousand criteria, the average scores will be similar across the board. This shows that each and every person is individually different, but if viewed from a distance, they are all similar.

However, different generations and different circumstances result in diverse grading criteria. A few decades ago, people were graded on test scores in math, Korean, and English. In the Cho-sun dynasty one was assessed only on one criterion, which was writing ability. Nowadays, singing and dancing is highly regarded as admirable skills. In Korea baseball took off in the 80’s. While pitching a ball well would have been useless 50 years ago, these days a pitcher can make a lot of money. As a result, parents in particular should exercise caution when evaluating their children because each generation has different criteria for determining what skills are useful or not.

There is no absolutely superior or inferior being; for this very reason, it is important to understand that an inferiority complex is an illusion that we should break out of. For instance, the physically disabled are not inferior; they just have to find different ways to do things. If you are one-armed and think of it as a challenge, you can overcome this challenge by using an artificial arm. However, if you consider your physical handicap as inferior, you will develop two symptoms; one is self-loathing which in extreme cases can eventually lead to suicidal tendencies and the other is to hate those who have two arms and wish harm upon their arms. Following this path makes you develop a character disorder that simultaneously exhibits both self-destructive and aggressive behaviors. For example, dictators, if psychologically analyzed, are said to have latent senses of inferiority in them. Dictators live mentally unstable lives with extreme ups and downs with their emotions. They become generous to those who praise them and are good to them, but they can also become so cruel as to kill even their wives or siblings once these people oppose them.

Accepting things as they are can get you out of an inferiority complex

With only a few out of countless human abilities being deemed necessary to judge people, it appears as though there are inferior/superior beings. This is a psychological problem; put in the Buddhist way, it is a problem of the mind. Upon understanding how the mind works, it becomes possible to work through all kinds of inferiority complexes. For example, if you view a visual impairment as something that merely requires adaptation to a different lifestyle, your inferiority complex about visual impairment will disappear. Whatever you were not good as a child, whether it being math, English, dancing etc., your present day inferiority complexes are the product of your attachment to your feelings of inadequacy. This sense of inferiority is what binds you and a complex is formed not by any innate inferiority but by your own ignorance.

To illustrate, let’s use the example of a man who has been smoking for 30 years. No matter how hard he tries to quit smoking, he cannot quit. He thinks, “I must have smoked a lot in my previous life; otherwise, how could it be so hard to quit?” What he doesn’t understand was that there never existed any seed of habitual smoking transplanted by a previous life, and his habit was actually formed later. Such habits are called “uhp” or “Karma.” In Buddhism point of view, there is no karma that we are born with and all karma is formed. The foundation of the ego consists of the habits we form in very early years of life which are so deeply internalized that the ego appears to be who we are, thus making it difficult to change. However, Buddha pointed out that the very roots of our consciousness are also things that are formed. There is nothing which originally exists without being formed. Though extremely difficult, it is still possible to uproot our karma; this does not mean that determination alone will allow us to change but rather we can have hope to keep heading towards Nirvana because it is fully within our reach.

To reiterate, there exists nothing inferior or superior in the world; therefore, there is no such thing as an unfortunate being. Finding somebody pitiful is merely your thought. If you feel sorrow every time someone dies, you should continuously grieve forever at any given moment, there are people dying. However, depending on who is dying and how they are related to you, your emotions vary. We feel sorry for children who are handicapped, but would Buddha respond to those children the same way? Buddha would smile, holding them in his arms while treating them just like other children. Imagine yourself playing happily with a child and suppose you notice another child with a disability, and express sadness. From the disabled child’s perspective, he never considered himself pitiful, but seeing others feel so sorry for him makes him feel depressed. This way, your thoughts and consciousness which are shaded by ignorance made the child pitiable. Strictly speaking, if we have no inferiority complexes while understanding that nobody is inferior or superior then we will neither envy others, nor will we anticipate helps from them.

Even though nothing is inferior, inferiority complexes are still very much a part of reality. The reason for this formed sense of inferiority is that we are evaluated according to a few criteria by home, school, society and other various groups or communities. One who is greedy will have an inferiority complex towards those with lots of money and at the same time develop a strong sense of superiority over those who have less money. Also, those who are attached to high social ranks or positions become subservient to whomever ranks higher and remain authoritarian to whomever ranks lower. Like this, a sense of inferiority and superiority arises from what you are attached to.

When attached to money, you develop complexes about money; when obsessed with appearance, you develop complexes about looks. “An inferiority complex is what has been formed in a certain circumstance, and no being is originally inferior or superior.” If you can be resolute about your understanding of this fact, you will not be a slave to any sense of inferiority. Even if you find yourself susceptible to succumbing to an inferiority complex, understanding alone can stop you from suffering because of it. Be firmly aware of the roots of inferiority complexes, and free yourself from them.

1 in Buddhism this is interpreted as the five sensory organs with the sixth one being the mind

What to do if an intruder threatens your family?

Question

If an intruder enters my house to rob and harm my family what should I do?

Answer

You should compassionately subdue the intruder. The important thing is your attitude. The wrong thing to do would be to hold angry resentful thoughts towards the intruder.

Save your child or save 100 people you don’t even know?

Question

If you have to make a choice between saving your child and saving 100 people, which does Buddhism say is the wiser choice?

Answer

Buddhism says that saving 100 people is the Buddha Way.