In cultivating the Way, sometimes you may
find that you are unable to find the Path that you don't
know how to go about cultivating. You may run into a fork in
the road and not know which way to go. At such a time you
need to have wisdom and samadhi power, and also hold the
precepts. As to dealing with people, sometimes you may be
especially good to some people but they return your kindness
with dislike. The better you are to them, the worse they
treat you. When you encounter this situation, you must break
your attachment. What attachment? Your attachment to being
good to people! When the better you are to people the worse
they are to you, they are being your "reverse" good knowing
advisors. They are helping you to learn to take it easy when
the going gets rough. This is based on my own experience in
cultivation. Every step of the way, I have encountered such
abuse and these tests. Abuse and tests are there just to see
whether you will go forward or retreat. If you really
understand, you will be vigorous in both agreeable and
opposing states. There is a saying:
If your ideas aren't working,
look within yourself;
Perhaps you are very nice to someone, but he or she is not
willing to get close to you. In that case, return the light
to see if your kindness is really adequate. If it is,
eventually you will influence the other person to turn
towards the good. If people don't follow your instructions,
return the light and think, "Could I be laying power trips
on people?" If you nod or do a half-bow when you see people,
but they act as if they didn't even see you, once again,
return the light and think, "Am I being sincerely respectful
If you are kind to people and they don't reciprocate,
take a look at your kindness.
If you give people orders and they don't follow them,
take a look at your orders.
If you pay respect to people and they don't return it,
take a look at your manners.
If you can always return the light, you
won't be too far away from the Path. You are on your way.
This is very easy to talk about but very difficult to do!