Compromising Zen for Practicality!

For the past year I have been practicing Zen and the art of easy-going, being fluid, loving, self-compassion, cognitive flexibility, being compassionate to other beings no matter their attitude towards us, taking control of response in our hands which is to be loving, compassionate and nice. My realisation after practicing for a year has been that, I have become “too soft & fluid”, and that I have followed the principal way too much. It is very useful, being in our own minds, but when we are dealing with the world we have to be able to practice softness and assertiveness at the same time. We cannot be soft where we are required to be assertive or vice versa for example when it is someone’s birthday or when someone greets you, we are expected to be soft and warm and welcoming and it is a correct place to be soft but there are situations when we have to be asserted and if we go easy-going and be soft or emotional over there it is not beneficial at all. We have to understand the principles of Zen and spirituality and also their limits and the proper application of these principles. For example when someone expects us to be warm but instead we are assertive, then that highlights more because it is out of place, it seems so wrong. When we are expected to be logical but instead show emotional responses, we may seem clingy or dramatic. As easy-going attitude is not acceptable in certain situations such as corporate dealings, it is one thing to be nice to your employees and another thing to deal with them assertively in a professional way. This is not relevant only in corporate settings but also in personal life, you have to know when you have to be warm and supportive with your family and when you have to be assertive and logical and concluding. You might know someone who is way too emotional and sometimes we see that their talking and behaving in certain situations are out of context, out of place, irrelevant, or maybe inappropriate. Balance is the key. With experience, I feel, unless we have renounced material life totally it is not wise to apply such spiritual teaching religiously in family & professional life. We should try to practise them as much as possible but sometimes these spiritual teachings & values need to be compromised for the sake of logic and rightful action in material life. This isn’t an issue of integrity but only a sign of wisdom.

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