215: Unmasking Near Enemies: The Hidden Pitfalls in Compassion and Kindness on Your Journey to Wellness Pt 2 (Sort Of)

Continuing the conversation about near enemies, we explored the intricacies of cultivating virtues such as sympathetic joy, equanimity, and loving-kindness. We considered the challenge of experiencing sympathetic joy for individuals who may have caused harm or whom we perceive as undeserving, highlighting the need for genuine self-reflection and effort in cultivating positive feelings. Additionally, we emphasized the importance of equanimity in maintaining a larger perspective and managing emotions for the benefit of all, underscoring the significance of self-care strategies in fostering connection and managing distress during challenging times.

Furthermore, we delved into the interconnectedness of virtues, recognizing how practicing one can strengthen others, creating a positive feedback loop. Our discussion also touched upon the concept of near enemies, exploring examples such as the distinction between excitement and anxiety, exuberance and feeling wired, and enthusiasm and mania. By recognizing and understanding these near enemies, individuals can enhance self-awareness and navigate emotions and behaviors more skillfully, ultimately contributing to personal growth and well-being.

near enemies of kindness and compassion

Dave’s Empty Circle Meditation Facebook Page⁠⁠

⁠⁠Zen Studies Podcast⁠⁠

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Transcript:

welcome back it’s recovery sort of the podcast where we explore the struggles of Life the challenges of mental health and recovery and 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 this week we’re picking up where we left the conversation off last week here we go [Applause] [Music]

I know I’ve had a tough time with this one um who do you feel pity for like what kind of situations bring up pity for you well I was just thinking about this one an example like we don’t get many homeless people where I live but from time to time we do and then if I have water granola a couple dollars you know I’ll hand it over I’ve noticed this about myself when it happens I can’t look them in the eye it’s too it’s too too painful like cuz I just I and so I’ll hand whatever I have to them and I usually say something like good luck you know but I can’t look him in the eye because it’s so sad you know and I wish I was Stronger but I like go there with them like I know when I look at them in the eye I’m like oh God their situation suck so bad you know like and um I wish I was Stronger I wish I was better stronger better what do you think’s going to happen if you look them in the eye I’ll get really sad okay have to carry so much but then I gotta go on with the rest of my day being sad yeah I get is that wrong no it isn’t I guess maybe because I’m with my kid or something like I

I just want to stay positive but I mean maybe part of you’s got a fear that once you have a negative thought or a negative emotion you don’t have a way to stop that yeah that is fa yeah like a run away I would imagine makes sense that’s that’s makes sense we protect ourselves For Better or Worse especially with my kid there I want to protect them like I want them to have a good day don’t let my runaway train of emotions ruin your good day though I get in the big picture it’s good for them to see processing or whatever but see I guess in my mind and I don’t know if this is like where I’m at today or for a while or maybe forever I picture what I’m hoping to be able to do is give them Grace as if I am God in that moment because we’re all gods I think and we’re all supposed to be giving each other these unhuman Godly things right like Grace and compassion I think they’re above Human Experience in some ways they’re like tapping into the the God in us to give to someone else and I feel like that’s exactly what that person needs is somebody that looks him in the eye and says

I see you human yeah and I will carry some of that pain cuz this hurts that any of us are here and that we choose to live in a society that puts any of us like that it’s terrible I wish I could do more I think that’s what it is too it’s like I want to do more why aren’t we doing more for you that’s and I that’s starting to sounds like go ahead you say rescuing and pity also yeah and not me but I guess like maybe sad for the whole world like why isn’t the why isn’t like the town providing more for you yes and that’s where I want to be what do I need to do to start making a difference for the town to start I have enough in my life to do more and then that’s when I feel guilty I’m like oh God I should be fighting this battle you know there should I know the word well no I was thinking for me it’s not I don’t have the time to go out and solve homelessness or hunger in Cecil County but there are ways I can impact our environment and our society I’m choosing to spend less money because I think every dollar

I spend votes that the way we live is okay I don’t think it is okay I don’t want a system that has homeless people and hungry people I think we need to change it and until we do I don’t want a spend money I can’t totally not spend money obviously but like there are things I can do to say I’m taking a stance and doing my part against the way this world is that I don’t like and it doesn’t have to take up all my time in fact spending less money takes up less of my time I think that this step three is so important with this my experience with step three many years ago which is really stuck with me and it’s a go-to one I mean I use it with my patients too I might not call it step three or I might call it step three depending on what they’re doing um I’m certainly not perfect at practicing it but we made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to a power greater on ourselves that’s the words care yeah made a decision to turn our will in our lives over to the care power right right right and um for me it it’s so much about just doing what I can and then leaving it letting stop trying to control the outcome and th those that is so important right just saying those words okay just do what you can and stop and stop trying to control the outcome Okay blah blah blah no but really really like uh if all I can do is give the person at the traffic light who appears homeless my $10 and that’s all

I can do right now I’m and then I’m going to go do my job as a social worker and then I’m going to volunteer with a meditation group and you’re going to facilitate Dharma Recovery Group and you’re doing your service work and this and and we’re going to keep things moving right you know I who am I to save everybody who am I to save this person right I I they need to save themselves but they need help doing it they need an environment where they can do that they need to be ready also maybe some people aren’t ready to come off the street as long as we have our society based around competition and not cooperation we’re going to keep having these problems like this and and like like Dave was saying in my mind and and I’m not trying to pressure you on this to be better or do better I hope it didn’t sound like that this is more like I think there’s a way

I can do more for our society by actually doing less work by actually doing less effort in a lot of ways and I think that frees me up to not feel like this is harder to do or I guess I was thinking too like if I am able to give that person on the corner a dollar or $2 I’ve done my part if everybody in the world also did their part they would have plenty of money they’d have seven billion or whatever 7 trillion like I got to remember that that’s my part I’m not the savior of everyone I need to do my share in the world and for me that starts at home could I see more people throughout my week I could I could probably help more people would my kids suffer and my family suffer they would I got to make sure that they’re built and ready for a successful and uh joyous connection and inclusion in this life first you know because if I can program them I got five people going out in the world doing more of this good stuff and like it is time and priorities and where where does that fall for each of us you know how much space do I have it’s got to start here for me at home then

I can do something people then I might have space for this and then at some point I don’t so the simpler life you’re describing I think and Dave correct me if I’m wrong but I think the Buddha taught to lead a simp of life like know your limits like take care of uh don’t take more than you need like I that’s my understanding of the teaching was like you know a simpler life is better and more and it’s healthier for you and healthier for everybody else that’s what I I took from a gathering of teachings I think that makes sense it also makes me think of had my first sponsor a while ago he’s gone now but heed to always say who am I to deny them their suffering right so I’m not saying we should live just in that but it’s an important perspective right right see somebody making bad choices you know it’s not that you know if I see someone making a choice that’s going to kill them in the next couple seconds I’m probably going to do something but at the same time I needed my suffering to get here U so yeah how to loosen the grip right of control and the outcome and help Empower people that was another thing you had said I think along the way um doing your part and letting go of the outcome and I’ve been trying to in a same thing different words for me I’ve been trying to shift my measure of how well I’m doing from the outcomes to the effort I’m putting in like well hey I did these three things that was my part of the job I get it didn’t work out the way I wanted hey yesterday morning got up at 6:00 a.m. wanted to hit the grocery store before it got crowded got on the road at 7:15 got a [  ] flat tire like engine stopped after I changed the tire car wouldn’t start like there wasn’t [  ]

I could do about that so there’s no point in me judging J in Me by that and that’s what I’ve spent a whole lot of my life doing oh I didn’t get the grocery store done instead of hey I did a good job this morning got up did what I had to do it went sideways but you know what we got home we’re safe we’re warm life goes on we’ll get groceries tomorrow yeah I can relate to that yeah that helps me a lot just judging by what I’m doing and not how it all works out in the end yeah control what you can and flow with what you can that’s one of my intentions it’s cool how we all have like the same thing but it’s all got its own little flavor of how it works and I feel like presenting it that way for people gives them a smorgus borg of like oh this one feels like me that’s the that’s the words I need to use in my head you know well I think in 12 steps they were like they said like stay in your own lane or keep your side of the street clean that’s what it sounds keep your side of the street clean yeah I like the therapy stay in your own lane that helps me sometimes MH figuring out what my Lane is just just even asking the question helps me like oh what part of this is mine you know cuz that’s a different thought than I got to fix this [  ] yeah so we yeah what’s what’s the next one I feel like we we got to loveing kindness oh whether was loving kindness we’ve been talking about compassion that’s true compassion and pity yeah pity and the opposite of compassion the far enemy would be cruelty oh yeah is cruelty cruelty is celebrated mhm

I don’t see cruelty frequently celebr celebrated in person but in online social interactions cruelty is celebrated we Champion getting on somebody or telling them off or telling them how it is like yeah I think it people are detached and it gives them a sense of power a total delusion delusional sense of power uh and you know I haven’t been a marine well I am a marine always a marine but haven’t been in the Marines I’m no longer in obviously uh and learning about violence and um you know what it means to act professionally in situations where cruelty uh would seem by some to be appropriate but that’s not professionalism uh and you know what honestly for the past couple of years U hunting has really gotten me more in touch with this taking an animal’s life right yes I’m a Buddhist and I hunt um I hunt ethically uh I know people might have a hard time with that some you know but I hunt ethically you know to take a deer’s life I’m putting this clip on Tik Tok go for it start

I have no problem um but I mean if we need to debate the being a ve you know being a total vegetarian well how many animals does that kill for the field that you just made okay so there’s this whole it’s you know I yeah so eating meat I don’t think is a problem I think it’s where you get it I think vegetarianism can be a bigger problem than eating meat ethically if you really know how Farms many many farms are run so that’s a whole thing right so uh I but to go out with a bow and spend days weeks cold waking up early at night right doing this and getting to know these animals and tracking them and seeing their tracks and sitting still and then you finally have the moment for this beautiful gorgeous amazing creature and you take its life and you go up close and you see this animal and it’s beautiful like they are so much cleaner than us for one thing their little Hooves might be dirty from walking around the mud but other than that these animals are just perfect perfect and to go through the process after that and feeling the sadness but not an overwhelming sadness you know when I do that I do three bows and I do chant a certain Sutra or that an act of respect for this situation and to see this and to know that this is natural right this is not factory farming all this

I think that’s atrocious I I do my best to not participate in any of that um but to do something that is natural like this and also feel that little bit of pain and have that kind of push and pull about it and then go through the process the deer’s doing their job I’m doing mine um and so cruelty right am I cruel by taking this animal’s life no I don’t think so right now am I cruel by factory farming in ways that are torturing animals yes I would think that I would be if I did participated in that um so it’s just it’s this interesting space right there especially as a Buddhist as well to do that right with full respect and then when hunting season’s over you know we could be friends you know give you some corn honey season starts you’re doing your job I’m doing mine you know it’s an interesting it’s interesting situation I guess I’m trying to run through my head if like if cruelty is celebrated now has that always been or is this A New Concept is this a new dehumanization we have from being online is this something that exists now that has taken us somewhere that previous human history hasn’t see that’s the thing I I think that there’s there’s an element of violence in just living there is right and there’s appropriate violence like what

I was describing I see as appropriate right you know and then there is this drive for this other type of Cruelty and violence that is completely inappropriate and it’s ins satiating it seems like like you’re talking about the revenge stories uh all this kind of arrogance um all this harm that’s created against others all this judgment and separation um of course not to go off on a tangent now but there’s a whole bunch of stuff happening in the Middle East right which has also raised a bunch of U debates among people and caused a lot of Separation among people too who aren’t even there right right you know um so yeah the cruelty is a big subject I think okay uh should we to answer your question I think humans we’ve been cruel because like it wasn’t just about punishing it would be about humiliating like sh putting humans in shackles in in the center of town to like parade like you know about like I don’t know like The Scarlet Letter like you know marking people so that they could be humiliated and um so at least in it’s still happening now yeah it really is literally so US History European history I’m sure it’s across cultures you know except for that sweet little Aboriginal tribe but but even there killing an animal to eat it yeah well and that and I’m not even speaking about like human to animal Realms just human to human cruelty I guess

I don’t clearly I don’t think of that as cruelty like anything that you have to do in the process of staying alive whether that’s eat whether that’s defend yourself it’s not cruel it’s not a thing you did actively because you wanted to it’s what you had to do like that’s why I brought it up because it can it can seem complex right it can have all this crossover where people feel Justified right and it’s that justification that really can breed some of the worst behavior right as soon as you’re Justified it’s it’s all whatever I do is okay in the eyes of God right you know it doesn’t matter um and that’s when really dangerous things happen well and that’s part of what we we have going on too is this idea that like we’ve sold ourselves the ideas of Good and Evil so long that we just think there is this evil and then once you encounter that you are allowed to do whatever you need to do to eradicate the world of it and it’s like what kind of [  ] [  ] is that the evildoers yeah I don’t know that that one really bothers me a lot what was our next one after compassion and sympathetic Joy this is this is an interesting one this is one it sure is the words

I have not necessarily heard before yeah we just did this one our songo Before Christmas time sympathetic Joy because it’s such a like it’s such a prime time to have joy for others like at Christmas time it’s easy it’s easy I going say it’s an easy time so we hit this one before Christmas and what is the definition again of sympathetic Joy sympathetic Joy happens when someone with Good Will Witnesses joy and good fortune uh the ability to notice when someone is experiencing Joy so you something good happens to you you accomplish something you know important to you and I feel Joy for you gota honest authentic genuine Joy yeah I don’t need to be elated all over the place that’s cool too but I do inside have a warm heart that is genuine towards that huh that’s interesting it’s an interesting title for that concept like I I definitely have been had my heart warmed by positive things happening to to others I think that’s awesome but I’ve never thought to call it like sympathetic Joy I’ve heard it called appreciative Joy I like that so what gets in the way of it h what would be the the far enemy of sympathetic Joy it’s a big one jealousy yeah okay good job you passed yeah cool you get a point yeah

I could see that that makes sense oh they got something I wish I had why don’t I how pervasive is that though right now oh yeah especially social media and everything uh that’s how capitalism works is literally giving the right person your item and making everyone else jealous they don’t have it like runaway capitalism I mean that’s kind of where we’re at I think yeah oh [  ] that guy’s got that I got to keep up with the Joneses and have that too wow okay why can’t you just be happy for them or somebody way gets a promotion uh over you and you don’t think you thought you were the best candidate for it oh here’s one they gave somebody a it’s not even necessarily a promotion it’s technically a different job they are instead of just being a therapist they’re going to be a therapist sometimes and then be the office manager sometimes this was like a year and a half ago at my work and they just announced it in a staff meeting that this person was the office manager and

I was like afterwards I was like uh did you ever think about me like nobody ever told me about this position right anything now look turns out a year and a half later thank you [  ] Universe I would never have wanted to do this job that’s what I’m thinking yes yes it would have been terrible but it was like this oh I hadn’t been considered what do you mean somebody else was just picked and you didn’t even think that I might be the best candidate for this job like how could you um so yeah it was I see that so it wasn’t the thing itself I didn’t want the thing yeah I just want to be considered I wouldn’t be that good at an office manager some people are and that’s great we need you thank you but yeah when you just telling me this I’m like you would want that I guess I don’t know you well I just well we need people that want that kind of level of organization and responsibility um thank you but yeah thank you well you know what us I’m thinking uh it comes from all right so that sorry the jealousy comes from like a scarcity principle like there’s not enough so instead of uh oh there’s plenty for everyone it’s like oh there’s not enough

I better go get that there’s not enough happiness for me the only problem with life on Earth is that we fear mhm and we need fear at the same time and then we act from that place we don’t fear now though we Fear the Future that’s the problem if we just got scared now when we’re supposed to that’d be fine yeah but we get scared about what we won’t have enough of in the future the scarcity and we act from that place of fear of what we got to do now to make sure we’ll be okay then and that’s when we justify harm in everybody cuz I got to be okay in the future I can’t think about about that how can we convince everyone there’s plenty there’s plenty to go around you can cuz it’s not there’s so much that’s the problem though Jenny we all want to know it’ll be okay and there isn’t any way to know it’ll be okay the true solution is everybody getting un getting comfortable with the idea that we’ll never [  ] know if it’ll be okay we might run out of food tomorrow and we all die and we got to be okay with that and it’s okay and that’s okay too that’s the solution just being okay with it yeah I love that it’s it’s all okay thing and that’s a wonderful place to sit in and be in and I’m also a [  ] parent then it’s not okay well they’re not going hungry right like I age with that it’s just that idea of like that’s switch happens you know I need to know that I can’t be operating from that Fear Place yeah like that’s I the answer to that fear place is not knowing

I’ll have enough that’s never going to solve it or I’ll just be caught in anxiety the rest of my life trying to get there mhm so that’s a good marker for me to know like I can’t act from that and I don’t think convincing people that will’ll have enough as the answer either because I don’t know that and it just it seems it’s a little too like bypassing you know it’s not really seeing the big picture oh you’ll be fine you know like I don’t think it’s we did an episode on that oh you’ll be warm food we all will okay everything’s fine then I haven’t had any link back episodes for like three months and you guys coming on today we’ve got like six of them it’s great oh I see so what’s the uh what’s the near enemy anything pop up for anybody I’m just curious what would look like sympathetic Joy but be from a place of self-centeredness I think you just kind of said it it looks like sympathetic Joy but it’s not I can’t think of the word feigned sympathetic Joy or comparison or it says here on this one person says hypocrisy which is a very strong word to me but they were saying you know that

I’m just acting like I’m happy for you but I’m really not trying to think of passive aggressive behaviors is popping in my head I don’t yeah me too okay me too and so but who is that affecting right is it affecting the other person or is that affecting me yes right so I yeah I’m trying to wrap my head around that how to experience sympathetic joy for someone who causes you harm or someone that you feel causes harm in a general sense oh like somebody that’s not deserving of what they’re getting like positive things that they’re getting right can think of public figures I think I can think of public figures I could think of I’ll just put it this way working situations at jobs MH so I don’t actually have to interact very much with my co-workers at all so I guess I don’t encounter as much of that but I there is some I’m talking about throughout the span of my experience oh yeah yeah yeah oh there’s a lot more back there it’s it’s a oh man when I was in the union and the job would be coming to an end and they were laying off not necessarily the people who like didn’t show up or anything they were laying off the guys who didn’t have property that they hunted on or who didn’t go to the bar with them and

I was like oh yeah yeah I don’t like this definitely had some of that or you know somebody that doesn’t show up most of the time to work and all of a sudden they they get a bonus that’s about the same as yours or something right you know but now you’re carrying that and that’s the problem is that who is it hurting to carry that drinking the poison let yeah I have just cited something in my life where I need to actually do more appreciative Joy like I think I was relying on the fact like because we studied that before Christmas I was like oh I’m doing great like I’m always picturing people I’m happy for them you know but um yeah one of my volunteering situations somebody that isn’t pulling their weight instead of me being like oh good for them they’re doing what they need to do in their life I’m like what the come on again you’re not showing up again like oo that’s a place where I really need to practice some appreciative Joy good you’re taking care of you I I need to be sincere about that for me I think it comes up a lot when I go into situation and

I believe I’m genuinely looking to exercise team work teamwork not competition teamwork working together to accomplish a goal and then say the other person or persons is competitive about that I struggle with that uh it’s like we’re on the same team let’s just do the teamwork right the teamw work’s great right but now picking up all these you know competitive behaviors that you know well actually what you really want to do is get ahead and you’re willing to kind of step on me a little bit for that if you need to or a lot bit things like that and then something good happens and now it’s very challenging to have sympathetic joy for that when people are competitive with me it triggers competitiveness in me and that’s not my best footing teamw work’s better when I can stay in that zone see I love teamwork

I hate a competitive part I hate competition within a team yeah unless it’s a friendly like you know who remembered the most of the of that subject right comp that’s totally fine but when it’s the the real competition he’s going to yeah drunk Jenny back in the day like anytime my competitiveness was triggered I would it was like underhanded not my best side so I’m much more comfortable now when I when I can stay in the teamwork Zone where are we at the last one equinity kind of where we started a little bit and seems like a good place to come back around to um 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 so equinity that’s a big one when I saw the word I’m like I said I think I know what this is as a Zen practitioner

I looked into it more and it fits in within the realm of that but there’s a lot to equinity I think it’s a very broad term um I think it’s okay that it is too so far enemy of equinity one person says hatred I prefer distress H I like distress I like disregulated hatred is ill will to me if we’re going to categorize everything you know distress distress is worse than stress completely overwhelmed fixated on outcomes and things that you can’t control in the near enemy could be indifference H yeah kind of can look like Equanimity right oh I’m so balanced nothing’s affecting me I am not easily moved by troubles but I’m really just not giving a [  ] yeah I’m actually disconnected and not giving a [  ] is not eon I think disconnection is is the enemy the big enemy and like that fits it I

was thinking that for the last one like I don’t I don’t I do have yucky feelings in response to other people having positive things in their life I’m not going to say I don’t it just doesn’t happen that much but more often this is what I feel nothing and that’s not good either H and I was just thinking that when we were running through that one I was like oh so yeah you’re at piece because you’re not considering it yeah because it’s not for some reason I’m not allowing it in to impact me either positively or negatively maybe it’s I know it will be negative so I’m just shutting it off before it happens I defense strategy right I think indifference is often most of the time I don’t know I don’t want to say always about that but it seems like it could be right indifference Doesn’t Remind me of a feeling it reminds me of a nervous system state it reminds me of being in that that bottom level withdrawn uh disconnected kind of dorsal vagel um you know uh freeze basically just I that time when my phone rings and it’s my best friend and I’ve had a rough day and

I just can’t [  ] answer it that’s how go ahead I’m sorry that’s how I keep my Equanimity you know like some days I just can’t take that phone call or like some people’s distressing situation I guess we can go back to the homeless example too it’s like I can’t take it in and that’s how I keep my equinity I would love to give more but I just don’t have it I don’t I don’t disagree with that like I think that’s great I I guess this is more of the this isn’t the best friend that’s going to overwhelm me with their problems like they would totally just listen to mine for an hour if I needed that but I just don’t have it in me to connect like I am so in that state of shut offness I just can’t even say hello to somebody even the person I’m closest with like that’s where I get in that place I I don’t know if so is that indifference I mean there’s definitely a lot of indifference from that place I would argue that to a degree it’s for up to you to determine that that is self-care so these one of the things about all of these is we were talking about it being outward but it all starts with you especially loving kindness you can go through you otherwise know it’s meta all these meta meditations and everything it often starts with yourself showing self-kindness if

I can’t show if I’ve got enough enemies happening right now enough of a bad situation and oh boy I’ve had that over the past year and a half right um if I just can’t show anybody loving kindness I start with myself and then I start moving it out myself you know my family my cats not necessarily in that order I don’t know it depends no they’re all they’re all this they’re all the family my cats you know and you spread it out that way but when we forget to practice these with oursel how are we really going to practice it with other people and so I think you saying right now I just can’t I got to I got to be quiet I got to do nothing I got to veg out for a little bit I worked my ass off this week I’m overwhelmed I’m not feeling equinity right now what I need for equin equinity right now is to just be with myself you whatever I I don’t disagree with that I mean at a base level yes taking that phone call would harm me in that moment more than it would help me I I’m aware of that I guess for me it’s more seeing that raises my awareness around oh you need self-care like obviously don’t take that phone call but now also we’re recognizing that we are in a very distressed nervous system that can’t even connect to get out of it so we got to go take care of us let’s go lay in bed let’s go set a timer let’s go do a guided meditation if

I have to if my thoughts are that crazy like I need to go get back to a Comm place I need to go get back to equinity before I can do anything else is what I say in that moment so yeah I agree it’s it’s self-care I can’t I can’t take the call and make it better that’s not the answer to me it’s just an awareness point of oh oh [  ] this is where you’re at you got to get out of the state before you can do anything so from that’s why I think it’s an important perspective that starting with Equanimity can be a very useful place it’s not necessarily the place you don’t have to start there I think it’s a pretty common Zen type of place to start although uh the person that I got some of these I paraphrase these definitions from who’s got that great podcast she said that she would start on loving kindness every time right so it’s okay wherever you want to start but I

think that it’s really good to respect the importance of equinity and being able to practice the rest of this I don’t know if these are things we have created more words for to describe than we need and these are the same thing or if just one of these allows for the other but in my mind mind without equinity you have no connection so really that immeasurable is connection that’s what we’re going for there are we connected or are we not I interesting I agree with that I definitely relate to that that’s more of where I come from in my practice over the years that’s and and so even things like compassion me compassion fatigue all these things maybe you’re showing loving kindness to everybody but yourself equinity is going to help you with that equinity is going to help fix that I see them as all woven together kind of like the eight-fold path too they all kind of like weave together and support each other and the more you do one the more it supports the other one or you know maybe you have to beef up one to beef up the other one well I feel like with two of them having in the definition that you have to be a person practicing the first one that that one has to come before those those two at least

I think which one which one’s the first one loving kindness because the other two are when someone who has loving kindness Witnesses these two like sympathetic Joy you have to already be a person with loving kindness witnessing the sympathetic Joy or witnessing somebody’s joy to have sympathetic Joy at least that’s the way the person defined them I don’t know if that’s a you know I think a whole lot of thinking that we’re doing it definitely is and a lot you brought up a minute ago a lot of words words for these things that are Way Way Beyond words these are actions ways of being I’ve got a really a nice little teaching uh that I when I think of equinity this comes up first for me so this is uh right now I’m practicing with two teachers at sansin Zeno and one of them is hoko the other one is akamura roshi who is the founder of that he came from Japan and this is about his teacher uchiyama roshi who we’ve discussed here on this podcast before uh the the melons MH

I know now that’s really random you’re going to have to look up that one the podcast Zen and the squashes that’s squash interconnected you want to hear me and Dave talk about melons melons and squashes anyway uh this I love this and this actually changed akamura Roshi’s path in his life he says that this is what this was the kind of the fork in the road for him to make his life about Zen akamura roshi spoke about his teacher ucham Roshi’s teaching about what zaz Zen is zen zen meditation I was describing that before he used the analogy of the earth and atmosphere he said we draw a circle about 6 in in diameter the thickness of a pencil line is the thickness of the atmosphere that’s where we live on earth we see the clouds are much higher than us under the clouds we experience all the various scenery and conditions of the world that is always changing sometimes it’s very clear bright and peaceful sometimes it’s covered with dark clouds sometimes we have storms underneath the clouds we are constantly influenced by those everchanging conditions Uchi Amar roshi said that is what’s happening with our mind our mind is such a shallow space within our life our life is much deeper much more expansive we think things happening only within this shallowness are important we need to understand even though we have to we cannot escape from the different weather conditions we experience here but the sky is always blue and the Sun is always shining above the clouds that is you also that is the larger perspective of who we are fundamentally so don’t be moved by things happening within this tiny atmosphere we need to see our life is much deeper much higher much greater and much larger than what

I think is my world that sense of the world means the atmosphere we have to live underneath the clouds but beyond the clouds the sky is always blue and the Sun is always shining I like that because in my mind it also points us to another piece of what needs to happen there uh when it’s pouring down rain outside in a storm I don’t just go out the door like I do every other day I do other steps I say oh it’s raining out here maybe I need a rain jacket maybe I need an umbrella but I got to think through ways to take care of and protect myself and in the same way when I’m having that kind of rainy day in my head what extra steps STS do I need on days like today that are different from the average day when I wake up feeling okay do I need an extra hot tea maybe I need my favorite comfy sweater today to get me through the day like maybe I need an afin on my lap while I’m going through work like what is it extra I need on those gloomy days just like the rainy days outside yeah love that

I like that I like those tools and of course we are much much bigger than all these little thoughts than these small minds that are so obsessed with words and outcomes of this that and all the things that we’ve discussed we are much bigger than that it it’s all included we don’t discard that but we are much bigger I think you sold me on the idea that equinity comes first because in my mind equinity talks about peace and calm and distress is its far enemy it’s opposite right and in my mind we’re talking about the nervous system either you’re in a calm nervous system and you have the space to take on these other immeasurable ideas or you’re in a distressed nervous system that’s disregulated and you just got to get Calm before you can do anything or fatigued nervous system it’s just done exhausted so that was cool it was a great talk about near enemies I still have a huge [  ] list of interesting near enemies that maybe we can bring back on at a later time with Billy and maybe Dave wants to come back on and we can kind of talk through cuz some of them I definitely see in my life like just to give you a hint we were my wife and

I were talking about these the other day and I had had kind of a grumpy evening the night before and I was like oh The Virtue here is expressing and its near enemy is spewing I was definitely [ __ ] spewing yesterday like you know it was it was coming out in that like there was no better word for it it was coming out grumpy it was coming out negative towards people and like but I like the idea of when I see that now I know where the shift needs to go even if I can’t can’t do it necessarily I know the idea okay I I’m allowed to do this and there’s a way I can take care of it that doesn’t hurt people and that’s just what I got to aim for and I don’t know I think maybe going through more of them could help us yeah I I had in mind um the near enemy of or I don’t know excite there’s a thin line between excitement and anxiousness and that’s me oh boy do I love getting excited but then whoops it’s anxiety now you know like that’s in line they don’t have that one specifically on this list uh but they do have exuberance and that’s the The Virtue and the near enemy is wired and I’m picturing my 9-year-old I don’t know I kind of like being wired all over the but

I know what you’re saying yeah and that’s how talks when I would do public talks started off super nervous and everything and what I noticed happening was over time I’d have the same chemical release in my body I could feel it in my muscles right like burning you know and that I started to associate that with like an Adrenaline Rush Oh now I’m pumped up right rather than I’m terrified it felt the same but my Association was totally different they also have enthusiasm on here as a virtue and its near enemy is Mania that’s interesting too what about weird or mysterious they’re not on here they’re not on here um but yeah so stick around come back visit us again check out the episodes Dave was on previously I’ll try to list all them we mentioned most most of them um and keep trying to apply these things in your life and and yeah you know if you know stuff about near enemies write in tell us join us whatever see you soon