Those Who Listen to Our Advice

Those Who Listen to Our Advice June 28, 2018

“We all have a tendency to like those who listen to our advice and to dislike those who ignore it. We should guard ourselves against this tendency.

If we allow our emotions to influence us, we’re guilty of ignoring the Dharma’s advice. Love and hate can infect consciousness and jeopardize our ability to perceive clearly, to see with unprejudiced eyes. In the darkness we may stumble. When we control our emotions, we preserve the light.”

Han Shan Deqing


Do you ever have that situation where someone asks for advice?

They’ve got two options and it’s really obvious to you what they should do. So, you tell them what you think…and they proceed to take the other option. And you’re left thinking, “Why did they even ask me?”

That can be irritating. Especially if it’s very obvious that they’re making a mistake.

But, what Han Shan is telling us is important. I’m actually surprised he addressed this sort of thing. It’s a source of really minor human conflict, but I suppose the point is that even little things matter.

Han Shan is telling us a simple thing. If someone doesn’t listen to good advice, that’s their problem. We can only do our best when people ask and being attached to the outcome doesn’t serve us. Even if people ask for advice every day, they’re going to do what they want. Unless it directly effects us, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to be attached to the outcome. If we are annoyed that someone isn’t taking our advice that’s really not our way of wanting what’s best for them. It’s our ego getting involved. It’s “How could they possibly not listen to me?”

And that simply does not help anyone.


 Daniel Scharpenburg is a meditation instructor and dharma teacher in Kansas City. He regularly gives teachings through the Open Heart Project, the largest virtual mindfulness community in the world.
Find out more about Daniel on his website 
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