Category Archives: Causes and results

Social heirarchy

The Buddha talks about social status in several suttas. At the beginning of MN 96, a Brahmin outlines who is allowed to serve whom, according to the caste system in place at the time. The Buddha replies (in part): I … Continue reading

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Making a living

The Buddha addressed the issue of how householders acquire and manage their money in several different suttas. Like most things, we can relate to our income and expenditures in healthy or unhealthy ways. In general, we try to avoid obsession … Continue reading

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Employers and employees

Having covered the four cardinal directions (N, S, E, and W), we come now to the nadir, or lower direction. In this case the Buddha describes a wholesome relationship between people who are not equally powerful in a particular situation. … Continue reading

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Friends and companions

The fourth direction on the compass in DN31 (here translated by Bhikku Bodhi) is the north and is described as relationships with friends and companions. These can be the most consequential relationships we have, and if we’re lucky the category … Continue reading

Posted in Causes and results, Friendships, General, Relationships | 2 Comments

Counterproductive instincts

In the last post, one outmoded survival instinct was noted: self-preservation that sometimes appears as ego sensitivity. A couple of years back, a very wise letter appeared in the New Yorker magazine in response to a previous issue’s article on … Continue reading

Posted in Causes and results, Compassion, General, Mindfulness | 1 Comment

Reviewing ourselves

In the monastic community, giving and accepting criticism of each others’ behavior is a standard part of the training. In lay life we tend not to welcome any indication that we or our views are not perfect. However, we rarely … Continue reading

Posted in Anger, Causes and results, Dukkha, Friendships, Patience, Relationships, Speech | 4 Comments

Conflict resolution

When it comes to conflict resolution, there are many things to consider, and the Buddha had a lot to say about the process. Most of his examples are set within the monastic community, but the concepts can be widely applied. … Continue reading

Posted in Causes and results, Compassion, Friendships, Relationships | 2 Comments