These are the words from one of my precious teachers Latri Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche, spoken at the Red Garuda Retreat this year. I decided to share why this is so important to me in hopes it may help someone else. I have shared this quote and the story behind it to some of my clients, and they wrote it down, because it rang true for them as well.
During one of the first morning sessions of our retreat Rinpoche was speaking about how in the beginning of any long retreat people are polite and balanced. Then as the energy of the retreat builds in intensity, some people will become unhinged, and the slightest thing you say will trigger them into snapping at you. This is due to unbalanced and untransmuted issues of anger those individuals carry within their heart. Along with negative emotions that need to be healed.
Long story short, I experienced a couple of people aggressively snapping at me, which took me by surprise. I did not respond in silence as maybe I should have, but I was not rude or aggressive. I set my boundaries, and did not accept the anger being shot my way.
When the first person vented at me, I apologized and then I told them sternly not to be so rude to me. When another person snapped at me I actually laughed, because that was the first thing that came out of my mouth. A girlish giggle… Then I said I was not going to argue or debate, and I eventually walked away.
Then when I heard Rinpoche discuss going with those you work well with and having compassion for the rest, a light bulb clicked. I have heard this teaching explained many times, but it was my personal experience combined with the perfect timing of his words that brought it home for me. I kept reciting the words to myself during the entire retreat, and I continue to do so even now.
I always say I will not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, when people who don’t know you jump at you in person, it’s a bigger lesson. I decided to do as Rinpoche said, and it worked. I felt love and compassion in my heart for everyone, and the retreat felt like a Tibetan community living in close quarters during 10 days we were together. I felt a connection to the ones that I didn’t go well with, as they were part of me, but I kept my distance. Rinpoche taught me how to be part of a group safely. And when the energies would get a little too crazy for me, I would take refuge in my tiny outdoor hut. Which I absolutely loved. I miss that little hut.
After I kept my distance, I actually ended up becoming friends, later in the retreat with one of the people that vented at me. It was the person I giggled at. We had some amazing conversations, and it was wonderful. I know for a fact that the reason I became friends with this person we because I lived Rinpoche’s teaching. I had compassion in my heart, not resentment. I distanced myself with compassion, not hurt feelings, and it worked. I also feel this person had compassion in their heart for me as well. Compassion and loving-kindness are the most potent healing elixirs.
So, when someone verbally attacks you, remember to have compassion for them, and your response with not add fuel to their burning fire of anger. You might eventually connect with the person on a higher level. You never know. But, even if you don’t, which is the case most of the time, have compassion for them, and let them go.
“Go with those you work well with and have compassion for the rest”
Latri Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche
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With compassion for all,
Lisa Rising Berry
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