The Daily Cushion

DIGHA NIKAYA 1

“The Obstacles of Both Criticism & Praise” by Steve Lin

“The mendicants told him what had happened, adding, “This was our conversation that was unfinished when the Buddha arrived.”

☀️ “Mendicants, if others criticize me, the teaching, or the Saṅgha, don’t make yourselves resentful, bitter, and exasperated.

👉🏽 You’ll get angry and upset, which would be an obstacle for you alone. 🤔

If others were to criticize me, the teaching, or the Saṅgha, and you got angry and upset, would you be able to understand whether they spoke well or poorly?”

“No, sir.”

☀️ “If others criticize me, the teaching, or the Saṅgha, you should explain that what is untrue is in fact untrue: ‘This is why that’s untrue, this is why that’s false. There’s no such thing in us, it’s not found among us.’ If others praise me, the teaching, or the Saṅgha, don’t make yourselves thrilled, elated, and excited.

👉🏽 You’ll get thrilled, elated, and excited, which would be an obstacle for you alone. 🤔

☀️ If others praise me, the teaching, or the Saṅgha, you should acknowledge that what is true is in fact true: ‘This is why that’s true, this is why that’s correct. There is such a thing in us, it is found among us.’

https://suttacentral.net/dn1/en/sujato

📜 THREE INSIGHTS FROM SUTTA SECTION

📌 People will both criticize and praise The Buddha, The Dhamma, and The Sangha.

📌 People will both criticize and praise us at various times and for various reasons.

📌 The Buddha teaches to not get “angry or upset” about criticism nor “thrilled or excited” about praise, but focus on known or agreed upon truths… then let it go. Dwelling on criticisms and praises is an obstacle of the mind, barrier to peace, and prevents emancipation.

🧘🏽‍♂️ TIPS FOR MEDITATION

📌 Observe the feelings arise when the “ear hears” criticism from others… let it go… knowing these cause obstacles and are not beneficial for the mind.

📌 Observe the feelings arise when the “ear hears” praise from others… let it go… knowing these cause obstacles and are not beneficial for the mind.

📌 Focus the mind on truth and find comfort in the teachings of The Buddha and your own mind and practice. Avoid those who regularly criticize or regularly praise. These can create a “false self” and illusion.

 PREPARATION FOR GUIDED MEDITATION

🧘🏽‍♂️‍ MEDITATION PLACE

📌 Find a comfortable place that is quiet to sit and meditate with few interruptions and distractions to the senses.

👉 RELAX

📌 After sitting comfortably on a cushion or pillow or floor, place hands in lap and close the eyes.

👉 TRIPLE GEM (1-2 min)

📌 Prepare the mind and concentration by taking “Refuge in the Triple Gem”.

📌 Visualize each one in the mind (as an object) and generate faith and warm feelings with each one. Don’t rush this.

📌 I take refuge in The Buddha.

📌 I take refuge in The Dhamma.

📌 I take refuge in The Sangha.

👉 SATIPATTHĀNA WARM UP (3-5 min)

📌 “The Breath”

📌 Begin to focus in the breathing without attaching or stressing about it. Just relax and observe the breath.

📌 As you breath in… observe it and release.

📌 As you breath out… observe it and release.

📌 Observing the rhythm of the breath is essential to relax the body and to practice releasing.

📌 Use the out breath to practice releasing.

📌 Relaxed smiling is good to use to help relax.

📌 I often will use the phrase “Peace” (in breath)

📌 “Release” (our breath)

📌 Continue observing breathing until it becomes very subtle or almost unnoticeable.

👉 SATIPATTHĀNA WARM UP (3-5 min)

📌 “The Body”

📌 As the breath fades, the mind relaxes, the body also begins to relax.

📌 Observe the body as a (body) form. It’s not self, but only a shell, a rupa, that temporarily supports consciousness.

📌 As observing, the body, let the breath and body fade.👉 SATIPATTHĀNA WARM UP (3-5 min)

📌 “The Mind”

📌 As the breath fades and the body relaxes, the mind tends to become active or stay busy.

📌 As thoughts arise, don’t engage with them. Observe them and then let them fade.

📌 They will rise and they will fall unless there is engagement to feed the thoughts.

🧘🏾‍♂️ SELF-GUIDED MEDITATION

📌 After you finish the meditation warm up, recall a time you received criticism from others.

📌 Observe or recall the feelings that did arise.

📌 Observe obstacles or impacts these criticisms had on the mind and meditation.

📌 Observe the arising of any tension, unrest, doubts, fears, and disappointments.

📌 Observe these criticism are clingings and attachments of the mind.

📌 Release and let go of the clinging to the criticism. Breath in and slowly let out as you let go of the criticism.

📌 Recall a time you received praise from others. Observe or recall the feelings that did arise.

📌 Observe obstacles or impacts these praises had on the mind and meditation.

📌 Observe the arising of any clinging, fixations, and cravings.

📌 Observe these praises are clingings and attachments of the mind.

📌 Release and let go of the clinging to the praises. Breath in and slowly let out as you let go of the criticism.

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