Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 03/16/2013


There are times when I feel in a position to receive criticism and am not knocked off my center and then there are times when it is the complete opposite. Like it or not, it seems as though I am going through one of the latter. So, what to do?

Over the years I have tried to meet criticism with an open heart and to accept it as gracefully as possible deposited how bitter it may be. Of course this is easier to do when the criticism is coming from someone we love and respect and is done in absence of contempt. It gets much more difficult when we don’t trust the motives of our critics and we feel that contempt may be the driving factor of their invective.

In a perfect heart it might be possible to receive any criticisms with equanimity and wisely make use of whatever seems to accord with the Dhamma although it does seem to me that we need to consider the source. If a raving lunatic were to find fault with your comportment would you give them the same weight as the Dalai Lama? I know I wouldn’t which is not to say that I wouldn’t reflect on what was said but there would surely be no sense of urgency and little in the way of hurt pride. So, is the solution to view everyone as if they were crazy people? Somethingabout that just seems wrong and almost dismissive. Rather I think the answer lies, like so much on this Path, in equanimity. May we all be easy to admonish and ever-forgiving of ourselves and others.


  1. I recently received a sort of criticism from a coworker who I’m quite confident was just trying to stir up anger in me. I very quickly decided his complaint was entirely invalid and laughed as I walked away from what was obviously an attempt to “pick a fight” about religion.

    Maybe this isn’t quite equanimity either, but I supposed to myself at the time that it was better (and certainly more fun) than being angry.

    Whatever criticism you may receive in life, if it be valid, may you see it as it really is and be appreciative. If it is invalid, may you know it and remember the Venerable Sariputta who was not moved to anger even when falsely accused of offenses by an unscrupulous fellow monk or reviled by his own mother.

    Be well, friend. 🙂

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.