Everything in moderation is the key to the Middle Path.

There are times when one can clearly see the outcome (insight or out of experience) and actions of other person and their way of thinking.

What is the right way to react in those situations:

  1. when one doesn't have any take away from situation / outcome.
  2. when one can gain from situation/outcome because the action of other can affect you or you have stake in the outcome.

Does one just observe and let the nature/ karma take its course or act to moderate the outcome?

2 Answers 2


When there’s interaction with other people, and as you focus more carefully in that present moment, you begin to realize that you choose where to focus and how you want to shape the situation. You could let yourself suffer, fall victim to these things, or you could make a change. But if for instance when you’re being mindful, say, of feelings, you just watch whatever feeling comes up and don’t make any changes. Don’t meddle with it. Just be non-reactive, allowing whatever’s happening to happen. What this attitude does, though, is to drive underground some really important sources for insight: the ability to see to what extent you’re shaping your feelings of pleasure and pain right now. This applies to physical pleasure and mental pleasure, to physical pain and mental pain. So the way you think, the way you interpret, filter, make choices about how to shape the present moment is a purely internal matter. Mindfulness is to remind you that you can make choices, and that you want to learn to make them skillfully. You can learn how to think in a comfortable way, to fashion your thoughts and your perceptions so as to shape a greater sense of wellbeing. Just take time and use your powers of observation.


In both situations you should be acting to try to minimize the suffering of everybody. This can involve:

  1. Giving one person worldly pleasure because it is a temporary relief from suffering
  2. Giving yourself worldly pleasure instead of somebody else because you are in greater need of a temporary relief
  3. Giving someone else worldly pleasure instead of yourself so that you can observe your suffering and learn to overcome it
  4. Giving somebody worldly displeasure to open their eyes to reality and avoid later suffering (e.g. exposing a difficult truth)
  • how worldly pleasure give relief from suffering?
    – 8CK8
    Jun 15, 2016 at 13:19
  • @8CK8 If you are craving a slice of cake and I give it to you then you are temporarily relieved from suffering.
    – Hugh
    Jun 15, 2016 at 14:34
  • not the answer i am looking for. the context of above question is how to use wisdom gained from following the path.
    – 8CK8
    Jun 15, 2016 at 16:24
  • @user25299. How can giving in to sense desire issue liberation from the rounds of suffering? Isn't that instead like drinking salt water - it might quench the thirst shortly but soon after the thirst returns with an even stronger intensity.
    – user2424
    Jun 17, 2016 at 15:24
  • @Lanka If somebody was to stop indulging in sense desire entirely they may make things too tough for themselves and end up quitting their Buddhist practice as a result. In this sense the sense indulgence is a skillful act which stops one from straying from the eightfold path. It's quite like quitting smoking, reducing smoking over time can be more successful than quitting immediately even though the indulgence in one cigarette encourages further indulgence.
    – Hugh
    Jun 19, 2016 at 22:57

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