Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/07/2019

Overcoming Resentment

For the past week, I feel as if I’ve been unable to evict the latest occupant in my heart: resentment. In particular, I’ve been feeling pretty sorry for myself and wondering why I don’t get the same benefit and consideration as does my spouse. Why is her work more important? Why am I not allowed to be stressed out? Why should I not be catered to? And, so on, ad nauseam et ad infinitum. It really is a rabbit hole but at least I can see it as such.

So, what do I do? How can I release this resentment, kick out the squatter in my heart and get on with it? I’ve found a good article by Bodhipaksa that gives some techniques but the one which he mentions and which keeps coming to mind of late is the Simile of the Saw so I figure I should post it as there is no better teacher than Lord Buddha. The whole sutta is much longer and bears a careful and repeated reading but here is the best part (and the section from which it derives its dramatic name):

“Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding. Even then you should train yourselves: ‘Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic, with a mind of goodwill, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading these people with an awareness imbued with goodwill and, beginning with them, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with goodwill—abundant, enlarged, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.’ That’s how you should train yourselves.

“Monks, if you attend constantly to this admonition on the simile of the saw, do you see any aspects of speech, slight or gross, that you could not endure?”

“No, lord.”

“Then attend constantly to this admonition on the simile of the saw. That will be for your long-term welfare & happiness.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

 

 


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