214: Unmasking Near Enemies: The Hidden Pitfalls in Compassion and Kindness on Your Journey to Wellness (Sort Of)

In the latest episode of the “Recovery Sort Of” podcast, we delve into the concept of “near enemies,” inspired by Buddhist principles discussed in Brene Brown’s book, “Atlas of the Heart.” Near enemies are behaviors that may outwardly resemble positive or moral actions but originate from a less authentic or well-intentioned place. The hosts explore this concept within the framework of the four Buddhist immeasurables—loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. They share insights from a Zen perspective, emphasizing the importance of identifying and addressing these near enemies on the path to self-improvement, discussing challenges in distinguishing true kindness from superficial niceness and the potential pitfalls of sentimentality.

Throughout the episode, personal experiences are interwoven, providing listeners with reflections on the complexities of demonstrating genuine compassion and kindness. The conversation expands to explore the far enemy of loving-kindness—ill will—and its prevalence in society, emphasizing the need for sincerity and authenticity in actions. The hosts conclude by encouraging listeners to reflect on the impact of near enemies in their own lives, fostering curiosity and self-awareness as tools for personal growth and a more compassionate way of living.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhrUxWgq9qY

Dave’s Empty Circle Meditation Facebook Page

Zen Studies Podcast

Spiritual Bypassing episode

Interconnectedness episode

Polyvagal Theory episode

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Transcript:

welcome back it’s recovery sord of the podcast where we explore the struggles of Life the challenges of mental health and Recovery in the spaces between we express our personal views on life here and this podcast is not meant to replace medical advice or tell anyone the right way to live this podcast is best used as a place of curiosity and questioning to accompany you on your journey be aware there is strong language here we [Music] go [Applause] [Music] welcome back I’m Jason hi Jenny hi Dave hello hi hey we’re uh we’re going to talk about near enemies we invited Dave one to teach us because we don’t know as much as he does um not sure about that but see so so I I heard about this idea near enemies I was reading a book um atlas of the Heart by Bernay Brown she was talking about where she was struggling and and all this stuff with connection and all this and she came AC upon the Buddhist idea of near enemies um and then she expounds on it further and takes it in a different direction talking about these kind of quiet enemies of connection um but

I loved the idea of near enemies and it made me think this is something really important because it’s something that hides in plain sight right I think the little bit I understood was these near enemies are things that on the surface kind of look very very similar to valued Behavior you know what I mean or or or high moraled Behavior I guess but then there’s they’re coming from this other place inside and I guess how would we know that if we didn’t know what to look for to know what’s missing so that’s why I think I wanted to talk about it I wanted to see where these near enemies are keeping me from a happier life uh so I’ll turn it over to you Dave okay turn it over me my name is Dave D my Dharma name is Rian um I’m a person in long-term recovery and I’m also a Zen Buddhist priest I have a meditation group that’s locally here in it’s a local group in Cecil County um called empty circle meditation um we meet every Sunday at 300 p.m. at Impact Martial Arts our website is down right now but our Facebook page is up and running um just want to make sure

I got that in here right now so people can maybe you know if they want to come and learn meditation in the Zen way um come see us so Jason came to me with uh near enemies as a subject and I was like okay I’ve heard this I I don’t know a lot about this uh I’m not an expert at this and I’m like so near enemies this is making me think of the four immeasurables which you know I’m I’m familiar with in Zen we don’t I don’t want to I don’t want to speak for all of Zen I’ve been doing Zen formally for 11 years maybe a little bit longer than that and I have never really heard a talk just on these and I’ve listened to a lot of talks I’ve seen a lot of talks I’ve done a fair amount of reading um you know especially for like the first six years of Zen I’m I’m in my car listening to talks I’m at home listening to talks I’m in the Zen Center listening to talks I I accumulated a lot and I I don’t recall hearing these emphasized in Zen and I was speaking with another friend of mine um priest from my old sa her name is rakugo and she she’s she kind of agreed she’s like I don’t really hear these much in sen um so I took that as a a learning opportunity nice when you presented that and

I was like okay let’s dive in let’s get into this see what these are about um so Jason and I were talking it sounds like he’s got a list of some near enemies and you’re maybe be coming from a bernee brown perspective of this yeah this isn’t so I I’m not actually sure if these are all Buddhist principle near enemies or if this was a list that somebody took some like some study of Buddhist near enemy principles and then kind of created some other ones um but I like this idea of thinking through that there’s these behaviors that are real similar in look and yet feel very different for the person receiving them I guess just because I’m seeing this so much in my life yeah you know people are giving me love but it don’t feel like love and like where ‘s the where’s the missing piece there what’s going wrong and I think this puts a lot of explanation on it in the world right now too and maybe we’ll get there may we won’t I don’t know maybe do we want to get there we’ll see um yeah so uh I mean one of the things that I’ve noticed and other people have too that psychology and therapy uh for a while now has taken or gained a lot from Buddhist practice MH which I think is wonderful I think it’s amazing for two practices to you know use each other and kind of blend like that um so from a Buddhist perspective the way I see these well from a Buddhist perspective the way

I see these from what I have seen in a Buddhist respect perspective um the near enemies are and far enemies are typically um be behaviors that are the opposite of the four immeasurables four immeasurables also known as Brahma viharas um or some people even translate these in a more modern way to Sublime social attitudes H they’re actually pre Buddhist okay um Buddha taught them Buddha from what I could tell was pretty cool about stuff though he he would admit it like I didn’t make these up I got these from yoga school or whatever right um and I but I think they’re good and I want to teach them is this also known as hard practices the of Horus I don’t know okay of course some people will say well it was the people that taught it before was just a Reincarnation of Buddha it was a pre but I don’t think the buddh said that so it’s okay so the four immeasurables are loving kindness or you could say Goodwill compassion sympathetic joy and equinity H so the near enemies I think it’s a very important thing to look at and we do look at it in Zen we just typically where

I have been don’t use this kind of system for it I got as much so um a near enemy for loving kindness well let’s define these first about that yeah well and and actually can we uh so these four immeasurables um while I know very little about Buddhism itself uh in my mind these are coming across as like the four most important ways of being in the world or the four things that if you live this way make a meaningful life like is do they have a a necessarily a definition behind them of what they’re supposed to encapsulate or these will not result in full Enlightenment okay um they won’t but they’re kind they are a prerequisite ah okay so it’s look this is how we got to lay the ground floor environment first yeah this is how we relate to ourselves and others okay cool yeah so it appears that many most vast majority from what I could tell schools start with loving kindness okay uh then I’ll turn this on its head in a little bit with Zen so loving kindness uh I’m taking I’m paraphrasing some definitions from Doo Burke she’s a teacher zen teacher and priest who’s got a really great podcast called Zen studies podcast and she has a way of just defining things speaking about Buddhism in a very plain easy to understand way she’s got a lot of different episodes about a lot of different subjects there a subject you’re interest interested in she’s worth looking at um in her podcast so I’m kind of paraphrasing

I liked her definitions so that they were nice and plain and kind of easy to understand loving kindness or Goodwill an active sense of goodwi towards beings including oneself or sincerely wishing for their welfare and happiness compassion number two happens when someone with Good Will Witnesses suffering also the word compassion comes from the Latin word compassio meaning to suffer with sympathetic Joy happens when someone with Good Will Witnesses joy and good Fortune the ability to notice when someone is experiencing Joy Equanimity the last one a measure of objectivity the ability to maintain a larger perspective or the ability to manage one’s emotions for the benefit of all what am I doing with my own body and mind H so those could each be a podcast of themselves yes yes so we could most schools start with loving kindness I’ve heard it said that if you don’t start with loving kindness how are you going to do the rest makes sense disagree with that really so from the definitions you just gave I would say it makes sense it does make sense and I don’t disagree with it’s a great place to start and for many it may be the place to start okay I don’t think that’s where you have to start can I throw in so that that’s where I started so when I started looking into Buddhism which was what was Refuge recovery then recovery Dharma but then also I guess

I was following more the Insight like the Jack cornfield Tara Brock and um it was loving kindness was my like intro to Buddhist practice and um and by the way I was thinking about it I they do call them the heart practices in that sector so they lump them under wise intention at least in the recovery Dharma book so um well the rest of the planet calls in Brahma harus though yeah I suppose you what would you pick as the starting point not loving kindness you would pick equinity and I know some other Zen folks that agree with that too uh I think the S I spent 10 years in I believe the teaching would have been that if we worked with these specifically that’s the hardest one I think of the four why equinity what makes you think that’s the place to start I’m curious well in Zen for one thing this is a whole lot of thinking okay I’ve been thinking using these near enemies equinity you know all this stuff this is a whole lot of words and it’s a whole lot of thinking go so thinking about a problem doesn’t always solve the problem agreed right it’s if you’re thinking created the problem you’re thinking it might probably not is going to solve the problem at least not if you’re thinking about same part I agree with that right so the ability to gain that larger perspective step outside of yourself egoic mind and in Zen a lot of practices will start compassion compassion compassion not that Zen doesn’t do compassion we do compassion for sure but if we can see the truth if we can see the big picture if we can get outside of just our small mind we tend to believe that these will come they will come easier okay they will come better they will happen when I have that larger perspective okay because

I was thinking when you said uh Equanimity I was thinking love and kindness feels like my path to equinity personally um but you’re saying that maybe from a Zen it feels more like from seeing the truth equinity becomes the only thing that makes sense maybe I don’t know if it’s the only thing that makes sense well so what we’re doing right now is we’re using a lot of words to describe things that really we’re dumbing down huge things like the universe you know what we are the vastness of being into these words for transmission got to right and we’re on a podcast so we’re going to use words not each other I just want to make sure that this is hard think of the perfect podcast and that’s what we just did yeah well you know they I I could see how they would I guess dumb it down for people who are in recovery because thinking is not our strength when we’re coming out of addiction so maybe starting with the easier thing like first you got to love yourself loving kindness love yourself enough to get to the next one you know um and E I mean I think equinity is a tough concept and then practice but if I had a foundation of love and compassion for myself I could then go to the next level I feel like my biggest problem that kept me from getting to any of this positive stuff in my life was and this is very personal for me this isn’t every human’s uh Journey but like mine was

I couldn’t see my worth for equinity so I didn’t want I didn’t see the need for anybody else or for me to take actions that would get closer to that for anyone else because I thought it was all achievement based I guess at that time and like I needed loving kindness for me before I could get to any equinity and that’s just my personal one you know completely fine yeah we’re not saying that that’s not the no I got just we don’t want to limit our everyone to that I remember when I was first in recovery I had I call my first Z teacher U he knew a lot about Buddhism he knew a lot about Christianity he knew a lot about recovery he knew a lot about everything his name is Woody Curry he started the Baltimore station and in Baltimore it’s that’s a whole thing this program is amazing man was amazing he’s gone now he died in 2016 but he was harsh with people but in this caring way this his compassion could be a smile and a met metaphorical hug or his compassion could be a stick metaphorically that’s what I think about Zen In general yes what he used to the first thing he would do with people when they would go to his Treatment Center is you got to sit still for 30 days you’re not doing anything maybe you go to the drugstore once to get some toothpaste or something that’s about it um you’re sitting still and if you go on with all Woody would you know I

I think that he goes stop right there that’s your problem you thought he would just shut you down for like 30 days shut you down um wherever you think whatever big idea you’re going to have oh so now you got the answers right you know just pulling the rug out of under you it’s something that we do in Zen a lot so this is where the near and far enemies are really important to look at because it’s if we can undo those these four immeasurables can happen naturally right our true nature is these four immeasurables mhm if I can relax the the the ego of mind you said that you thought it was all achievement based I didn’t know exactly in what context but the fact that you said that you thought it was all achievement based all right one thing right right right that’s that’s a very small mind right there and so when we can relax that our grip on that and really see and experience ourselves the way we really are which is much bigger than that small mind these are our true nature right here these just happen I say the same exact thing but with the nervous system our nervous system is in some level of disregulation all day every day long

I believe at this point in 2024 at least most of us I mean if we’re meditating or practicing we have some calm moments right but this level of disregulation limits our ability to talk to our prefrontal cour cortex which is all our human thinking all our time planning scheduling Drive reward Future Past it shuts all that off and it takes us back into this lizard brain Loop of gloom and doom and we can’t get out of that and it’s always negative and there’s never a win at any Fork we come to in the road it’s just two bad choices and like my take is if we can just get to that calm Place more often throughout our day and lengthier periods of of checking in with oursel of being present these things happen naturally we start to love and care for more people because we have the space to we’re we’re higher up that hierarchy of needs you know same same idea same thing happening we need to calm down whether it’s the brain the body both we need to calm down and this [  ] is human nature I believe too we’re not that bad guy that’s going to rob you or steal your food we’re the people who help each other at every turn when bad [  ] happens well you said give space we have the space for it yeah I think that’s very important that’s equinity um so maybe I did get there first then see now we’re just using our small mind to to list it out and where’s the map to get there and and relax that too relax all of it so

so I’m curious I know we haven’t exactly got to the the far enemies or the near enemies yet but in Zen when they’re not so heavily focused on having to think through or necess neily label or see these in action what is the practice you do to avoid falling into the near or far enemies is it just like a a feel is it a truth that happens like how do you know to avoid them without thinking about them i’ say if I had to categorize maybe two ways there’s a humility side okay which a lot of times I need to be humbled by a teacher M right uh the rug being pulled out of under me yeah the universe does that to me I think I I’m attached to an idea and even if it may be quote the or seem like a right idea a lot of people might agree with it there’s still that attachment to that idea so to have the rug pulled out of under you constantly to undo attachment to that small mind which we need that small relative mind we do we don’t need to just live there and I love it meditation so a good teacher who will do that pull the rug out under you and support you and then meditation a lot of meditation and so how does that work in meditation for me so I could share an experience

I had two Retreats ago this is actual visualization of what was happening at times during this meditation so I do shikantaza now which is just sitting I spend 10 years doing Coan practice which is kind of there’s two Zen meditation practices there might you might be able to describe more but two go-to ones one is Coons which are sort of these problems these situations that work on you and they they undo you go over them over and over and over again they don’t seem to make sense you try to make sense of them you can’t and just breaks that mind and then you’re kind of forced to relax and see the big picture then there’s shik andaza which shik andaza is just sitting that’s it like focus on your breath no Coons no hold on to anything no uh just sitting which is pretty challenging extremely hard uh Shan Taza would even say that there’s Coons are even holding on to something although Coons are a really important practice they’re very beneficial so during two Retreats ago I was doing my first full Retreat of just shikantaza and was sitting 14 hours a day hourong well 50 minute set sits with 10 minutes of slow walking so that’s 550 for 14 of them um it was great it took me 19 hours to have the that stuff undone

I didn’t plan it that way it just was happening I was sitting there I’m more accustomed to doing Coons I’m working on [  ] working on [  ] repeating it now I’m just sitting which I’ve done just sitting but now I’m really just sitting and the best way for me to describe it was there’s this big dumpster filled with negative attachment thoughts and there this a little man who is just taking each thought out and throwing it at my face boom boom boom and so I’m just sitting there not moving and I I’ve sat I’ve meditated long enough to know what’s happening right just to be there with it don’t don’t go down a path with any of these thoughts don’t grab on to them just let them come boom boom this little man’s just throwing thoughts at me smacking me in the face and I like how long is this going to go on you know all right don’t even ask that just sit right just sitting and um after 19 hours 19 hours of that it was a lot uh a lot came up some emotions some strong feelings um you know the dumpster emptied and little man just kind of sat down just I have a kind of a visual mind so that’s just the way I can describe things then just sat down and the the trash can was empty now so for the next three and a half days I just sat there that’s it I do walking a neighbor had lent me his house which is his beautiful house on the water with like a stone patio out there and I was just me in the house

I was doing it online with my songok because uh right now I’m practicing um with sanin which is in Indiana so it’s hard for me to get there but uh although I’m going there this spring I’m excited for that but this time I wasn’t able to so I was just doing that and I just walk outside empty trash can is empty nothing’s getting in the way right right and it was just able to be in that for the rest of the retreat so that’s another way and when I when that trash is empty it’s going to fill back up we know that I mean it’s probably 2third full right now at least but for those moments things like these four immeasurables are come very easily it’s just natural it’s a natural reflex it seems like [Music] you’re the interconnectedness that you realize just being outside feeling the wind on your skin seeing the there’s a bamboo forest there too which is kind of interesting doing Zen there’s bamboo forest swaying in the wind you know there’s nothing getting in the way of that so working with the things that get in the way can lead to these four immeasurables naturally expressing so the things that get in the way could be the they are the far enies and the near enemies

I think the far enemies were were mostly good at pointing that as a soci obious you know yeah yeah they they look yucky they look like mean people or bad people or the the evil people we were told we were going to find in the world yeah so what is the far enemy of loving kindness ill will ill will we’re all familiar with that I think yeah wanting harm to come to others in some way shape or form guilty definitely have done this many many times can be a a reflex for sure yeah uh especially when we’re harmed when somebody’s causing harm right but sometimes we want to like give it back to them you know we want to get them right they need to get theirs yeah let’s let’s try to take control let’s not let karmic you know consequences happen naturally let’s make sure that we play that game with them and uh not only try to harm them but cause maximum harm to oursel in the process and and look when I’m being hurt by somebody that makes real good logical sense to me you know from a calm place like this morning talking it through with you guys we’re in a safe place there’s nothing harming me or hurting me right this moment I don’t want that for anybody

I want people to learn the lesson that it takes for them to wake up and feel Joy in their life not to be hurt more like I get that they’re not in a good spot when they’re acting like that because I’m not in a good spot when I’m acting like that I just don’t have that in that that moment that’s the problem so just see that yeah sometimes we need to sit with oursel to really take a look at what’s going on or we need somebody a sponsor a teacher a friend or an enemy you know to anybody to help us see that it’s it’s hard to point out to people too because they’re so when our nervous system is that disregulated we’re in defense mode already so like to come and tell somebody uh this doesn’t feel appropriate or like maybe you’re being mean or maybe you want to take a look at yourself it’s hard to find the right words that can break through that that grip the disregulation has on them um I’ve been trying to work with this doesn’t feel like you because then it’s not negative right it’s just hey this doesn’t seem like the normal happy nice person you are like and that seems to to not be as offensive to people

I think so I don’t know just a little tip there ill will is so glorified too which you know I’m thinking about your teacher who said you got to sit you go to you can’t even go out for toothpaste for 30 days because it’s like having an opposite and an enemy is like what you’re told everywhere like you’re not taught like that you’re all one you’re not taught that you’re taught like black and white you’re taught you know this is uh right and wrong there’s so yeah it will is like the reaction because that’s what you’ve been trained I feel like there’s a lot of portrayals of it in in media right like when I think about like what’s popular like mobster movies or gang movies or that’s the easy way out it’s always the retribution or Game of Thrones it was all about these War in houses and how to get back at people in the evilest most devious ways and like

I just as a as an individual when I watch those I mean I think about the I don’t know who’s watched Game of Thrones but like the Red Wedding episode right where it’s this big betrayal and like people die over it basically like it [  ] hurts me in the pit of my stomach deeply to see things like that even knowing that’s a Hollywood thing right like so that disturbs me at a human level I feel like at an animal level and I don’t think any of us are different than that I think it disturbs all of us unless we’re in that place where we’re hurt you know that’s exactly why I didn’t watch Game of Thrones like me too I wish skipped it honestly my husband would watch it and I’d walk in the room and somebody was like getting their privates chopped off or like raped or whatever I’m like this is not for me I know my wife got me to watch that song I television I know but um it’s like the devil my wife sold me on that for as connection she was like come connect with me watch the show with me she lowed me in people are have a bite of this apple right right this Apple’s so juicy come connect you know what you’re saying it’s storytelling it’s like it’s like a shortcut

when there’s like an automatic enemy it’s like a shortcut for storytelling like it’s like the melodrama like the evil uh the guy with the twisty mustache who tied the woman down to the railroad track like it’s so easy to know who’s good and bad here like that’s like a shortcut and storytelling stories that are much more complicated it’s like you you know you have to like maneuver through tough feelings that cartoon dude’s name dastardly um you know what I’m talking about from like the 50s and 60s um he was in like the Laugh Olympics oh God damn I can picture the imagery but anyway back to the back to the near enemies yeah and far enemies the whole Revenge thing MH I had a friend just to get off of a retreat in California Zen and it was a really important Retreat for him he was held as the teacher or the facilitator of that Retreat it’s a step in growth as a student and afterwards he’s like he’s like I just want to watch a movie uh have you seen this movie you know and I’m like yeah dude you just got off a this zry you did all this work this is just uh the first half of it is one way you know it’s like it was a viking movie or something first half it looks cultural and it’s interesting I like the second half is just Revenge it’s just i

t goes oh I’m so tired of those I’m so tired of the revenge stories too yeah yeah exhausting at this point so near enemy so ill will obvious yeah we canly very yeah two spot so near enemy of loving kindness or Goodwill could be uh self-centeredness could be uh sentimentality there one that I picked up near enemy of loving kindness what do you have on your list this one doesn’t have loving kindness I don’t think it has the immeasurables it goes into like virtues I saw compassion on there compassion is on here it’s got pity as it’s near enemy that’s a that’s a big one there for kindness it has niceness which I thought was kind of interesting niess as the near enemy yeah I I wonder I’m feeling that’s kind of like the sentimentality that this person would I could see that right say more why why is niess like that I just

I can see that like when I read that when I look at kindness in The Virtue category and neness as the near enemy I think of times when I have witnessed either being a part of or a bystander somebody doing the nice thing for somebody else in a situation right and I picture like 60 or 70y old white ladies who are just doing the right thing not necessarily because they give a [  ] about the person but just because it’s the way you’re supposed to be and in the background they’re probably resentful about having to do it with that shitty smile right why don’t we just uh do this you yeah that’s what I picture why don’t we just move over here it’s okay sometimes I wonder though if niceness is all they can muster you know like well it is from that place sometimes for me yeah yeah and so like you know it’s just a fraction of what loving kindness could be I guess the sincerity behind it is what matters yes because in my mind niceness comes from a place of I need to be this way to look a certain way to other people it’s a form of control it’s a form of I need to be seen this way in the world it’s not a form of I care about you and I want to help it’s not authentic right it’s totally self so when you’ve been instructed be nice you know that’s not that’s that’s the near enemy kill them with kindness yeah if that’s the best you can do that sometimes maybe that’s just what you need

to do but know what you’re doing that’s the thing mhm my first teacher sh and roshi used to always say it’s okay to be deluded just know that you are you know you’re not going to not be diluted to some degree you kind of need to be to navigate this world that we live in you know navigate the delusion yeah but just know that you are right right that makes a lot of sense I guess I’m picturing somebody new in recovery they come in they’re like man I really need help um somebody that is in a position where they they’ve got some years they’re established they have the financial ability to help this person maybe they can pay for a month in a recovery house or something like that person has the ability to be kind right whereas somebody else might say oh my God this newcomer needs help if I don’t help them I’m a piece of [  ] now I’m coming from niceness or or this inauthentic version of helping I guess is the main point maybe that’s what it is it’s just an inauthentic version of shamed into it yeah it doesn’t feel like an option it feels like an obligation and

I got to Monitor and control how people see me in the world or even how I see me in the world I might be the one bashing me that night if I don’t help that person so you know with a daughter I have a daughter with disabilities and I have seen people be nice you know they don’t really like they’re like oh well you know better include her because that’s you know like we we got to make sure we have the girl with Down Syndrome here and it’s not coming from a place of sincerity they’re doing it to look good um or because they feel like they should but they’re not interested in being her friend and you can see it and even River with the disability can see it she knows when she’s being like uh I don’t know what the plated you know I thinking plated about yeah and she knows and they don’t think she’s smart enough because she has a delay in processing but she knows I think you just hit a perfect example of where most of us humans cuz I definitely have that when I encounter people who have disabilities I don’t always know the proper way like you see somebody in a wheelchair and you’re around them for the day do you offer to push them or is that rude like I don’t know all the right ways to be kind and

I think I’m getting better at just asking right obviously like how can you know it’s this individual I can just [  ] ask them what they would like but yeah I have shown up a lot of times around people with disabilities with this fear inside of oh [  ] I’m going to be that offensive person from being nice instead of doing the actual you know connecting Behavior it’s wow that’s a good example in my mind I don’t know maybe other people don’t struggle with that I feel lucky that I’ve had that experience with River BEC I mean my whole life or her whole life rather because I am able to see uh the world from a different way I didn’t know someone with disabilities before I had my daughter and so now I have this extra Insight thanks to her you know it’s helped me grow I think a lot of parents of disabilities will say the same thing we’re like oh I never saw the world this way and now I’m grateful for it a lot of sense mhm here’s the thing that bothers me about near enemies and I this is like the opposite of how I think I’m supposed to use them but like I want to use them to be able to show and help people hey you’re in the wrong spot there you’re missing and like

I don’t think it’s going to work that way for me if I try that sh how like actually do the new enemy like no like actually telling people like I I feel like the problem is the near enemies look close enough that if you try to call it out and say that doesn’t really you’re not really being kind to people doing that uh it’s a big argument I think we need to I think I think that if if more people don’t start so speec specifically with pity right pity is a near enemy of compassion yeah it looks like compassion on a surface level a lot you know being doing you’re still doing the nice thing right but where is it coming from it’s coming from a place of arrogance M right and I think it’s a right now I’m seeing it as one of the biggest problems in our society it’s interesting I mean you have everything from Tik Tock kids going to someone you know a homeless person somebody experiencing homelessness and you know having this conversation with them and kind of baiting them and then giving them like a stack of money you know and yeah that’s just awful it’s [  ] weird I’ve seen that what is this and so that on that level and then you have I’m not sure how we want to deep down we want to go down this route but then we’ve got not seen groups of people as capable right as truly capable in a way that is true and serves them and you know you could look at a savior complex whatever the Savior complex might be whether it’s could be race it could be religion

it could be economic the World Police H the World Police yeah right right so you I I I need to pull you out of problem I’m up here lowering my hand to help you up you know and what’s that that has created so much division so much Division I mean on a global level the first thing that popped in my mind is we in our country will label other countries third world countries right this demeaning term to look down upon them and yet if you go to the third world country I’m not saying there’s not crime there’s not things going on there’s not maybe a uh somebody terrible running the country or whatever but like if you look in these pockets of like hunter gatherer people these third world uncivilized Savages 20 people a day help them with their newborn babies nobody’s homeless cuz they just build him a house like who’s really living this judgmental life here you know it’s just interesting I was watching something on Aboriginal people and it seemed like a very respectable documentary so I’m not trying to SP spread misinformation but this is a very respectable documentary and there so this group of Aboriginal people in Australia they hunt like four hours a day and they dance the rest of the time yeah like they dance for like the next eight and like do wonderful things with their community and they’re so good at hunting that they can go out for like half the day and

get what all that they need and then the rest of the time they’re just in community that reminds me of a different do but we need to help them we need to help them yeah yeah well there was another documentary and I don’t remember all the specifics it’s been so many years but basically a guy went to South America to to preach Jesus to one of these unfound tribes and like found out that they don’t have any words for the past or the future and like everything is in the present and like he decided he needed what they had instead of them needing Jesus at the end of it it was like that’s a happy ending thought you going to say great now there it was just really fascinating to see that like how some other people do things you know but not that this is all wrong and terrible either so there’s uh I think that’s part of pity also is this self defamation that is so runs so rampant in our our culture right now we are terrible everything is terrible no it’s not I’ve been places where things are terrible right when I was in the Marines this is not terrible there’s challenges and there’s problems and there are some terrible things but um just this all this it’s a self-pity too it’s kind of like this it’s an arrogance that looks like the opposite

so when we want to show compassion suffer with somebody and help them through genuinely want to help them with their suffering right the way to do that is get on their level with them THB sit you know empathy sit with the suffering with themb you can even do that in a way that doesn’t require a ton of emotion I tend to kind of because I’m very empathic type person I’m also a therapist which makes being a therapist interesting doing a lot of trauma therapy lately too which makes that interesting but I use that right I try to use it to help connect with the with the patient um so I I just think that this is one of the most damaging ones is pity my old zen teacher would come in if he detected any of that like oh what are you going to rescue everybody now like in front of everybody like you’re not getting away with this one publicly you’re not getting away oh so you’re going to rescue everybody now that’s what you’re going to do right I’m like oh deflated now I’m in my feelings I got to go sit on the cushion and deal with the feeling and but what is feeling wait why am I

feeling all beat up over that statement he’s right yeah so who is feeling all beat up over that it’s that same same one that wants to be arrogant that thinks that you know I need to rescue to be enough right so if I can get on that level if I can even in a visualization Type of Way get below somebody and help push them up I think one of the things one of the gifts of recovery is that if you’re in recovery there’s a very high chance that you’ve been to the hell realm I have I’ve been in hell I have no problem saying that a bunch of times I don’t I’m sure it can get worse there’s always a door that goes down further but that I don’t know that would be astonishing right so once we’ve been to Hell and gotten ourselves out of it with the help of others and principles and a program and practices now we can more freely navigate back down to hell with others and help them out of hell with them right not above them yeah I pity is one I’ve been working with for a while here uh Dal Lama talks about it too H it’s a big thing in Buddhism that I see is something to look at and try to rid ourselves [Music] of have you found that listening to the recovery sort of podcast has helped you in your day-to-day Journey please share the message of compassion and well-being with the loved ones in your life connect with us more at recovery sort of.com Facebook Instagram threads YouTube and other social media spaces and have a great week [Music] [Applause] [Music]