Win Them Over

How do you get people to change without using force, fear, guilt, bribery, or some other negative action? In many social situation one person, whether it’s your boss, parent, teacher, landlord, or social leader, carries the social power so we do what they say. Meditators have all of these social tacts taken away from them because their expected to be honest and to abstain from harming others. This means the only tactic left is to win the person or group of people over.

A meditator must be living with dhamma, be visibly better off because of it, believe that he or she is better off, be willing and able to explain the path, and find ears that are interested in listening. This is a lot harder than just saying, “If you want to keep your job you need to do this.” The meditators words will be challenged at every turn because the listener’s life is so dramatically different. The listener doesn’t want to hear that their lifestyle is harmful to others. He or she doesn’t want to hear that the beliefs are incorrect. The listener doesn’t want to hear that it takes a lot of work to get on the right path.

But if a meditator can field all of the questions and concerns with a positive and balanced mind, he or she will slowly win over the listener. As people observe the meditator becoming a little happier and a little more peaceful every month and every year, they will eventually need to take notice. Once a person is won over by honesty and real results, the battle is won, and won for the long run. A meditators path is a difficult path, but since the results are real, dhamma will spread. I’m happy to be part of the spread of dhamma. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

In March of 2010 I discovered a path to peace and happiness through a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. After establishing my personal practice, and witnessing how it changed my way of life, I'm now curious to explore how the growing community of meditators can help to support each other and make the world a better place.
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2 Responses to Win Them Over

  1. John Eden says:

    Good analysis. It is communicated much better by example. I would add one other point: one must be patient enough to wait for others to ask. In Zen they say wait for someone to ask three times before speaking of Zen. That may be a little extreme, but it makes the point that we should be sure someone is truly interested before saying too much….

    • Ryan Shelton says:

      John, that’s much easier said than done! But it makes sense. Add patience to the list of qualities I need to work on. 🙂

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