Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Attack and Defend

At work, or in life generally, there are times when we are in conflict. Often, it is because our agendas conflict. We may want different things, or to do things at different times. And when this happens, it can lead to one person saying that another is wrong, or that another should do something differently.

What does nondual wisdom say about this? It would be nice to say that it provides clear answers, or a list of things to do in response to being attacked. But nondual wisdom is not a system of self defense--it is a system instead to see how permeable the sense of self actually is.

When someone attacks us, our instinct is to defend ourselves. And we can even revisit this in our minds after the fact. Perhaps we do not feel that we defended ourselves well enough. Maybe we think, "I should have said this," or "Next time, I'll say that."

In the nondual way of thinking, though, we are open to anything that is happening. There is no preference for defending or not defending. We see the attack for what it is. We see our urge to defend for what it is. We notice what happens when we say something back, and we notice what happens when we don't. We even notice whether our actions may have contributed to the attack. And, over time, there is a change in how we act, and react, in these situations.

To start with an end in mind, though, is not the point. Instead, we accept whatever is happening, and we open to the feelings that go along with that. Our openness can begin to create a field in which there are fewer attacks, and there is less to defend, but that is not a goal.


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