Buddhist question about compassion / ignorance / envy?
I recently was dumped after a seven year relationship. Now, I'm not saying I'm a great guy but I am fairly thoughtful. I had my "party years" and I am done with that lifestyle. Unfortunately for my ex she went from me back into that lifestyle with real gusto.
She's doing a lot of drugs, having a lot of sex and generally having the time of her life. I know it's wrong but I feel that it's so unfair that I'm trying my best to be mindful about what path I'm taking(Dharma), avoiding vices, not surrounding myself with ignorant people, etc. In short I'm living my life trying to be a good Buddhist, yet I am so unhappy.
I see how happy my ex is living the lifestyle full of hard-partying and drugs and sex and I see and hear about how incredibly happy she is now, away from me and my "prudent" ways. I guess I am feeling envious of her happiness. Although it's not very compassionate of me I feel as though it's unfair that I'm trying my best to do what is right and I am miserable and she is living life in ignorance and feeling so great.
I wish I could feel compassionate for her in the sense of, "oh, one day all that hard partying will catch up to her" but in reality I can't sincerely feel that way, part of me doesn't even believe that it will catch up to her. I know it's wrong but I want her to recognize her wrongs (and no, not to realize that i am the guy for her or anything) but just to see how meaningless and harmful that lifestyle is, yet, I really think that that type of person never will come to any realizations that way--- and not only are they NOT punished by their actions, they're seemingly rewarded with happiness (ignorance is bliss), meanwhile the diligent and restrained ones suffer with awareness...
Is this a normal Buddhist perspective? How can I feel more compassion? I want to but I feel so jealous and vindictive / like there is no justice in the world when I see how easy the Hedonists have it.
- P'angLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
The Buddha offered the five precepts (which include abstaining from intoxicants and from lustful behaviors) because he had seen within himself how suffering originated.
He knew that certain behaviors, such as drinking and promiscuity, move people away from wisdom and compassion. He could look at a drunk and see that, although the drunk might be laughing and having a "good" time, the alcohol only masked great suffering.
Indeed, that's the point of altering through alcohol and drugs - to mask those feelings that are simply too painful to face.
Your ex-partner may seem to be having a great time. Certainly, she will tell you that her life has never been better.
But, if you understand how we produce suffering for ourselves, you will understand that Mara has her by the throat.
And that leads back to you . . . if you wish to feel compassion for yourself and your ex-partner, you might consider the Buddha's basic teachings on how we create our own suffering.
We suffer because we won't stop craving for our life to be different. If you re-read your question, you will see how you strongly crave a different life. And yet, as the Buddha taught, craving brings great anguish.
If we want to live with compassion, generosity, kindness, and wisdom, then we must study how craving arises in our own minds. And we must discover how to put an end to craving. The Buddha offered the Eightfold Path as the method for this work.
The work of uprooting craving is not easy for most of us - it's a lifetime's work. But, as we proceed on this path, life becomes easier and our actions benefit everyone we encounter.
Because the Buddhist path can be challenging, most people find great value in regular practice at a Buddhist center. If you practice at a center near you, you will receive the support of a teacher and other students. This will help you stabilize your strong emotions. Your jealously will moderate and your heart will open in compassion for everyone, including your ex-partner. Most importantly, you will open to your own life.
I'm sorry to read of your suffering. I hope you'll take concrete steps to make a change.Source(s): Here's a listing of Buddhist temples around the world. Hopefully there is one near you: http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/