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As we all know, Harmony in the Sangha is one of the most important attributes of the practicing community which necessarily live and work together.

Yet, it is almost inevitable for people - imperfect as we are - to be drawn into squabbles and/or unwittingly hurt one another's feelings in our daily interactions (or non-interactions) with one another.

Association with the enemy, as it turns out, is one of the 8 Dukkha's expounded by the Buddha. So:

What are the Buddha's advice for people who cannot get along? How should people resolve conflicts when they arise? What should you do to protect yourself if you were deeply hurt by someone close to you?

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Whether it's sangha or Upāsikā same point needs to focused. The answer is in your question it self.

How should people resolve conflicts when they arise? What should you do to protect yourself if you were deeply hurt by someone close to you?

If you closely look at the bold words, I've made highlighted above, you would understand the reason for the problem.

Conflicts: Conflicts are there when something didn't happen the way you want to be. yampi ichchan na labhathi thampi dukkan. That's the root cause for all the conflicts that we face in our lives. So understanding the reality of the nature (dhamma) will stop you from expecting things to happen the way you want to be. Until you understand that, conflicts will happen. ( I can't explain how to understand it here, because if I do, the majority of the audience will down vote this answer)

Close to you: This means you are attached to a person thinking he/she is worth or he/she does have a value to you. But as mentioned above since you can't control the things as the way you want it, the closer people hurt you more. Because you thought the closer people (more valuable ones) will behave as the way you expect to be for sure. But it might not happened if there's no reasons for that to happen. That means it will hurt you more, because you are too much attached to them because you though they are more valuable.

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In MN 128, the Buddha gave this advice:

For enmity in this world
is never settled by enmity.
It’s only settled by love:
this is an ancient principle.

Others don’t understand
that our lives must have limits.
The clever ones who know this
settle their quarrels right away.

The word that was translated as "love" above is avera in Pali, which is translated by some dictionaries as friendliness or kindness.

The same sutta also teaches us how to get along with others:

Then Anuruddha, Nandiya, and Kimbila came out to greet the Buddha. ...

“I hope you’re living in harmony, appreciating each other, without quarreling, blending like milk and water, and regarding each other with kindly eyes?”

“Indeed, sir, we live in harmony as you say.”

“But how do you live this way?”

“In this case, sir, I think: ‘I’m fortunate, so very fortunate, to live together with spiritual companions such as these.’ I consistently treat these venerables with kindness by way of body, speech, and mind, both in public and in private. I think: ‘Why don’t I set aside my own ideas and just go along with these venerables’ ideas?’ And that’s what I do. Though we’re different in body, sir, we’re one in mind, it seems to me.”

And the venerables Nandiya and Kimbila spoke likewise, and they added: “That’s how we live in harmony, appreciating each other, without quarreling, blending like milk and water, and regarding each other with kindly eyes.”

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  • Have a "mind of good will" that's independent of other people's speech and behaviour.

    MN 21

    In the same way, monks, others may use these five modes of speech when speaking to you — speech that is timely or untimely, true or false, gentle or harsh, with a good or a harmful motive, and with a loving heart or hostility. In this way, monks, you should train yourselves: 'Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred.

  • Do not "participate" when someone else seems to offer or invite hostility and argument

    SN 7.2

    Whoever returns insult to one who is insulting, returns taunts to one who is taunting, returns a berating to one who is berating, is said to be eating together, sharing company, with that person. But I am neither eating together nor sharing your company, brahman.

  • If you begin to feel angry, act to "check" it and not to get carried away with it

    Dhp 222

    He who checks rising anger as a charioteer checks a rolling chariot, him I call a true charioteer. Others only hold the reins.

  • Don't hold a grudge

    Dhp 1..6

    1. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
    2. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.
    3. "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred.
    4. "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who do not harbor such thoughts still their hatred.
    5. Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.
    6. There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels.

    This fits with other doctrine too, e.g. anatta.

  • Beware of pride

    Māna (Wikipedia)

    Māna (Sanskrit, Pali; Tibetan: nga rgyal) is a Buddhist term that may be translated as "pride", "arrogance", or "conceit". It is defined as an inflated mind that makes whatever is suitable, such as wealth or learning, to be the foundation of pride. It creates the basis for disrespecting others and for the occurrence of suffering.

  • Though you might sometimes think you have a "sharp mind" and see things clearly, avoid using that as your excuse for having a "sharp tongue".

    MN 22

    They study the Dhamma both for attacking others and for defending themselves in debate. They don't reach the goal for which [people] study the Dhamma. Their wrong grasp of those Dhammas will lead to their long-term harm & suffering. Why is that? Because of the wrong-graspedness of the Dhammas.

    Ud 6.4

    Not knowing what is beneficial and what is harmful, not knowing what is Dhamma and what is non-Dhamma, they keep on arguing, quarreling, & disputing, wounding one another with weapons of the mouth, saying, 'The Dhamma is like this, it's not like that. The Dhamma's not like that, it's like this.'

  • If you can't agree with someone perhaps you should stop trying:

    AN 4.111

    His knowledgeable fellows in the holy life don't regard him as being worth speaking to or admonishing.

    DN 16

    After my passing, give the prime punishment to the mendicant Channa.”

    “But sir, what is the prime punishment?”

    “Channa may say what he likes, but the mendicants should not advise or instruct him.”

    Dhp 61

    Should a seeker not find a companion who is better or equal, let him resolutely pursue a solitary course; there is no fellowship with the fool.

  • Don't forget Right Speech


In one of my first jobs, there was a meeting where I was too enthusiastic about my own plan of how to do something, instead of politely taking time to listen to other people. Afterwards, my manager gave me this advice privately -- "It isn't enough to be right" -- which I think was saying that, although I was right, I should consider being more agreeable.

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This has been answered;

"Monks, these six are conditions that are conducive to amiability, that engender feelings of endearment, engender feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity. Which six?

"There is the case where a monk is set on bodily acts of good will with regard to his fellows in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This is a condition[...]

"Furthermore, the monk is set on verbal acts of good will with regard to his fellows in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This is a condition[...]

"Furthermore, the monk is set on mental acts of good will with regard to his fellows in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This is a condition [...]

"Furthermore, whatever righteous gains the monk may obtain in a righteous way — even if only the alms in his bowl — he does not consume them alone. He consumes them after sharing them in common with his virtuous fellows in the holy life. This is a condition [...]

"Furthermore — with reference to the virtues that are untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration — the monk dwells with his virtue in tune with that of his fellows in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This is a condition [...]

"Furthermore — with reference to views that are noble, leading outward, that lead those who act in accordance with them to the right ending of suffering & stress — the monk dwells with his views in tune with those of his fellows in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This is a condition [...]

"These are the six conditions that are conducive to amiability, that engender feelings of endearment, engender feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity."https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.012.than.html

There is also this excerpt which i like;

“I hope, Anuruddha, that you are all living in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.”

“Surely, venerable sir, we are living in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.”

“But, Anuruddha, how do you live thus?”

  1. “Venerable sir, as to that, I think thus: ‘It is a gain for me, it is a great gain for me that I am living with such companions in the holy life.’ I maintain bodily acts of loving-kindness towards these venerable ones both openly and privately; I maintain verbal acts of loving-kindness towards them both openly and privately; I maintain mental acts of loving-kindness towards them both openly and privately. I consider: ‘Why should I not set aside what I wish to do and do what these venerable ones wish to do?’ Then I set aside what I wish to do and do what these venerable ones wish to do. We are different in body, venerable sir, but one in mind.”

The venerable Nandiya and the venerable Kimbila each spoke likewise, adding: “That is how, venerable sir, we are living in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.”http://www.yellowrobe.com/component/content/article/120-majjhima-nikaya/302-upakkilesa-sutta-imperfections.html

Whenever someone was behaving particularly bad this was advised;

The practice of Dhamma, [1] the practice of continence, [2] mastery of this is said to be best if a person has gone forth from home to the homeless life. But if he is garrulous and, like a brute, delights in hurting others, his life is evil and his impurity increases.

"A quarrelsome bhikkhu shrouded by delusion, does not comprehend the Dhamma taught by the Awakened One when it is revealed.

Annoying those practiced in meditation, being led by ignorance, he is not aware that his defiled path leads to Niraya-hell. Falling headlong, passing from womb to womb, from darkness to (greater) darkness, such a bhikkhu undergoes suffering hereafter for certain.

"As a cesspool filled over a number of years is difficult to clean, similarly, whoever is full of impurity is difficult to make pure. Whoever you know to be such, bhikkhus, bent on worldliness, having wrong desires, wrong thoughts, wrong behavior and resort, being completely united avoid him, sweep him out like dirt, remove him like rubbish. Winnow like chaff the non-recluses. Having ejected those of wrong desires, of wrong behavior and resort, be pure and mindful, dwelling with those who are pure. Being united and prudent you will make an end to suffering."https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.2.06.irel.html

Here is a story of a monk being forced out of a recitation of patimokkha;

Revered sir, let the Lord recite the Patimokkha to the bhikkhus." When this was said the Lord remained silent.

When the night was (still further) advanced and the middle watch had ended, a second time the Venerable Ananda arose from his seat... and said to the Lord: "The night is far advanced, revered sir, the middle watch has ended and the bhikkhus have been sitting for a long time. Revered sir, let the Lord recite the Patimokkha to the bhikkhus." A second time the Lord remained silent.

When the night was (yet further) advanced and the last watch had ended, as dawn was approaching and the night was drawing to a close, a third time the Venerable Ananda arose from his seat... and said to the Lord: "The night is far advanced, revered sir, the last watch has ended; dawn is approaching and the night is drawing to a close and the bhikkhus have been sitting for a long time. Revered sir, let the Lord recite the Patimokka to the bhikkhus."

"The gathering is not pure, Ananda."

Then the Venerable Mahamoggallana thought: "Concerning which person has the Lord said, 'The gathering is not pure, Ananda'?" And the Venerable Mahamoggallana, comprehending the minds of the whole Order of bhikkhus with his own mind, saw that person sitting in the midst of the Order of bhikkhus — immoral, wicked, of impure and suspect behavior, secretive in his acts, no recluse though pretending to be one, not practicing the holy life though pretending to do so, rotten within, lustful and corrupt. On seeing him he arose from his seat, approached that person, and said: "Get up, friend. You are seen by the Lord. You cannot live in communion with the bhikkhus." But that person remained silent.

A second time and a third time the Venerable Mahamoggallana told that person to get up, and a second time and a third time that person remained silent. Then the Venerable Mahamoggllana took that person by the arm, pulled him outside the gate, and bolted it. Then he approached the Lord and said: "Revered sir, I have ejected that person. The assembly is quite pure. Revered sir, let the Lord recite the Patimokkha to the bhikkhus."

"It is strange, Moggallana, it is remarkable, Moggallana, how that stupid person should have waited until he was taken by the arm."https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.5.05.irel.html

Vinaya contains a lot of procedures that are conducive to getting along. It restrains bad behaviour in precept and opens opportunity for confession & making known a suspicion and outlines procedures of censorship, rehabilitation and expulsion.

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Harmony is difficult because there are so many difficult sects & heretics (with different interpretations of the teachings).

Certain individuals, as I have personally witnessed over the years, think they have right view and, when others disagree with them, they quit Dhamma internet forums.

For example, I have never quit any forum because I am unconcerned with praise or blame; agreement or disagreement.

I am often blamed for puting the Dhamma sword thru heretics until they quit.

How can there be harmony when the teachings of the Buddha are not even respected?

The scriptures say:

Furthermore — with reference to views that are noble, leading outward, that lead those who act in accordance with them to the right ending of suffering & stress — the monk dwells with his views in tune with those of his fellows in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This is a condition

This shows when "views in tune with those of his fellows" does not exist; harmony will not exist.

Therefore, the question of "How to get along?" is answered by each member of the Sangha having the right view as taught by the Buddha.

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