Look what he did ~ 17th Karmapa

I would like to share something on my own personal experience. I am not sure how this would work in other contexts but it helped me move beyond this sort of conflict. I mentioned that since I left home for the monastery when I was seven years old, I have had different caretakers and guardians. One older monk has a tendency to be quite nit-picky, and to constantly correct me on matters I consider completely trivial. This happens a lot, and we live together in a close quarter, so I had to develop a way to deal with it. What I came up with was this: whenever he would start scolding me, I would imagine that he was talking about another person – not about me, but about someone else. Then I would mentally take my caretaker’s side in the argument against this third person. I would nod in agreement with my caretaker’s criticism and inwardly say to myself, “Oh yes, what an awful guy that Karmapa is. Look what he did. Can you believe it? How could anyone wear such wrinkled clothes!” It became a game that I could play whenever this caretaker started in on me. It was actually fun and I got to the point that I quite enjoyed it. Most importantly, it allowed me to keep my feelings of affection and warmth toward this monk alive and strong, no matter what was going on between us. I could remember that he was doing his best to care for me in his own way.

17th Karmapa

from the book The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out

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