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First of all, I am not sure whether I am posting in the right forum. My apologies if this is not the right place.

I recently went to a restaurant and when I ordered dessert, I found a mosquito inside the bowl of the ice-cream. I asked waiter and he apologized right away and replaced it. In the suggestion book even though my family said not to write, I ignored them and wrote my complaint in anger that "I found a mosquito in my dessert." And the manager was reading that book. The waiter apologized again while I was leaving and he meant every word he said. I could feel it. Now, I am feeling guilty that I should not have written my complaint. I am worried that the manager might fire the poor guy or deduct some money from his salary. I want to know whether I did the right thing or I shouldn't have written about it in the book? I am very disturbed thinking about the incident.

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In the specific situation you've described, you have experienced some powerful emotions - there was anger, like you've said, but maybe also other emotions. It might help you to go back to that moment when you decided to write your complain in the guest book and try to identify all the emotions you've experienced, starting with the most obvious to the ones more discrete. Think about how often you act on these emotions when they appear.

During meditation, we learn to look at our mind. We learn to identify emotional states as they occur -we see that they come, have a certain power, last for a while, then pass away. The reason we do that is because otherwise we just follow the habits (act on those emotions) we have long developed. People who meditate acknowledge the emotions they experience, but note it without acting on those emotions, especially if they are unwholesome. They understand the emotions as something that are present, will last a while, than will pass away. Would you like to learn to control theme? Maybe you would develop an interest in meditation and will learn how to do it.

About the emotions of regret you experience now, by continuously thinking about that situation, you keep the mind focused on a negative emotion, and this is not a good training for the mind. The good part is that you can see the effect your action has on you ( you did something and now you feel bad about it). Try to stay in the present moment. When a thought about that situation shows up in your mind, just acknowledge it as a thought (you are no longer in that situation, in the present it is just a thought about that situation). When you experience an emotion in the present, recognize the emotion and let go ("this is sadness" or "regret"). Maybe it will help to think that you've learned something from this situation and you will try to not repeat that mistake again. Also, be kind to yourself - we all make mistakes, what's important is to learn from them.

I hope you will find something helpful in this answer.

  • Hi Anca, what a thoughtful response! I enjoyed reading it! – user4878 Dec 8 '15 at 12:54
  • Very thoughtful response. I will learn from my mistake. Thanks. – user23 Dec 9 '15 at 13:12
  • I am glad the answer helped you. Be well! – Anca Dec 9 '15 at 14:10
  • @user23 - If you are sincerely concerned about the waiter, why not approach the restaurant manager and clarify that the intent was not to cause grievance and that it was not the fault of the waiter. It's an opportunity to practise thanking them as well helping them. – Motivated Dec 15 '15 at 7:01
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Getting angry is certainly wrong. If this is the first time it has happened to you in that restaurant, a verbal complaint would've been enough. Waiter apologizing and replacing the ice-cream is a clear indication that he took it seriously. Written complaints are usually used for intentional errors or when they don't take you seriously after complaining.

To deal with your sadness, do Vedananupassana: Note the sadness as sad... sad... sad...

To deal with regret, do Cittanupassana & Dhammanupassana: thinking... thinking... regretting... regretting...

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    Yes. I will not do the same mistake again. Thanks :) – user23 Dec 9 '15 at 13:11
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The feeling you are getting is just a feeling. This is aggravated by continuous thinking as to I should have done this or not done that. (E.g. not writing the complaint, just only making a verbal complaint, etc.) This additional thinking is rubbing salt in your existing wound of remorse. Best way is to cut it out by focusing on the breath or another chosen object. (Nīvarana,pahana Vagga)

Also another way would be is just to concentrate on the bad feeling keeping in mind that this also will pass away, i.e., look at the arising and passing or the impermanent nature of the feeling. (Pahāna Sutta, Avijja Pahana Sutta 2)

  • Hopefully, this feeling will pass away. Thanks :) – user23 Dec 9 '15 at 13:10
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I think you might be right: "I ignored them and wrote my complaint in anger" does sound like it might be some unfortunate behaviour.

One of the benefits of 'virtuous' behaviour is said to be 'a lack of remorse'. So if you're felling remorse now, then maybe that behaviour wasn't virtuous.

There are some hints here about how to define 'right speech'; for example,

"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."

Another sutta says that what you say ought to be true, factual, beneficial ... and that, although it might be agreeable or disagreeable, in either case, you need to "have a sense of the proper time for saying them ... because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."

I think if you're angry it's easy to justify angry speech: "what happened is wrong, it's right to tell them, I need to tell them that so that it doesn't happen again."

Anger however is one of the things which can cloud/distort your judgement (of right and wrong).

So if or while you're feeling angry might be one of the better times to not say too much, instead think about it again later if at all. Maybe anger used to be useful, in the animal world for example: if there's some struggle for life and death, anger might make you strong and quick (maybe it helps you to over-react physically). But seeing a mosquito in the ice cream doesn't sound like that kind of emergency.

  • Thank you for the external links you mentioned in your post. – user23 Dec 9 '15 at 13:08
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i am sorry you are feeling like this , let me help you..

the first thing you need to understand is why you are feeling guilty, and the answer to that is , thoughts, when you are entretanined in your favorite hobbies do you feel guilty about what happened? certainly not , since you are not thinking about that, so first akknowledge that the situation it self is not making you suffer but just thoughts , what king of thoughts? well , you think what happened was bad for him, and that it was your fault..

lets examine this thoughts, are they true?

do you need its bad for him in the long run? maybe thanks to this he will be more carful and get a promotion or something, its definitly possible , so you cant assure its bad for him, and the part of blame, well you acted based on your thoughts, but do you control your thoughts? what is the next thought that will popup ? will it be something about the pass, the future? we dont know, if we controlled our thoguhts we would always pick positives ones, but that is not the case, so in the moment, you felt that , that was the right thing, so stop blaming your self, you had no control over the thoughts that popped up in your head...

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