I’m not sure if this is a good question to ask but would be great if anyone could shed some lights.
Not sure if it’s just me or anyone of you experiencing the same in one way or another?

In workplace – It’s relatively hard to have the Buddhism practice applied when dealing with your co-workers or your bosses. It seems like one needs a little bit of drama to climb the corporate ladder. If you failed to do that, you may very well be left behind the rat-race unless you are satisfied with the condition where you are at now, else you might need to do something to get there. There are couples of scenarios commonly seen in today’s workplace. For example :

(i)How do you even cultivate the so-called “right speech” to your co-workers at a somewhat hostile meeting or even competitive environment?

(ii)In workplace, there’s a constant need for you to show that you are go-getter, driven person. How do you actually incorporate the not clinging to the desire for recognition or acknowledgement to a point where it’s considered acceptable in Buddhism context? On one hand, you are trying to detach yourself from this desire but on the other, you just wanting to do a good job.

At home with family – Are you actually generating bad karma if you are minimizing interaction with your parents/siblings/relatives?
Being away from home for couple of years, I find it pressurizing to go home even on an occasional basis. But I do try my best to go home as often as I could cos deep down I knew, I’m still holding the duty as a daughter. I knew my family misses me dearly and I can’t bear being in that emotional state. It’s like I’m opening up the chances of them having the desire for expecting me to be back again and again which is obviously not my intention here.
Also, there are times when conflicts and disagreements arise, I find myself in a position using all kinds of unkind words towards my family which I felt bad later on. As much as I wanted to maintain good terms with them but it’s always seems like an energy-draining process and I gave up. I simply gave up the notion of having a proper communication with them in order to get the message conveyed properly or at least to have myself understood.
And I thought by minimizing the interactions with them could at least mitigate the continuation of unwholesome act and I thought I could repay them in another way such as sending money back or sponsoring them for trips and etc. But part of me feels like I’m not fulfilling the duty as a daughter cos I failed to show gratitude to my parents/family.

In Society – At times I find it hard to relate myself to non-Buddhist or to those free thinkers. It seems like we have different views and when you start speaking in a spiritual way, they turned judgemental to you or worse, they may think you are a weirdo or have issues and needs to be fixed. I can’t deny that some people going into Buddhism as a way of looking for an answer, for some guidances in life perhaps. I guess my intentions are undeniably between both, also I took it quite seriously as some sort of guide for betterment of oneself. But sadly, in this materialistic world today, the lay life are pretty ignorant with the essence of these valuable teaching.
How do you actually pursue your spiritual path without offending others?

Sorry for my lengthy questions. =(

3 Answers 3


I've experienced some of these issues as well. Before I began a regular meditation and study practice my success at work and in society was much more important to me. Now, quite frankly, it's not important.

Work - I work hard in a focused way but I don't try to fit in (using wrong speech) or be seen as a go-getter. I see the benefits of actually not being promoted as leaving me more time to study and practice. And that's more important than the increase in salary I might have received if I had continued to be ambitious.

Society - I've found myself socializing a lot less. Really doesn't feel like time well spent; especially when you are socializing with people who want to judge you or your practices. It's ok if some old friends move on. Trying to cling to old relationships that don't work anymore will definitely lead to suffering. Trying to forge new relationships with people who don't understand your journey will likely be a waste of time. Finding new friends who are on the same path can be very helpful though.

Family - Going home and getting upset then avoiding family does sound draining. I have only a suggestion to try to keep in touch primarily by phone or email (or letters) or Skype or social media or anything that breaks the pattern of going home and getting involved in old issues all over again, until you have reached a point where others behavior won't upset you so much. Once you have reached that point, a visit home might be more doable.

But meditation can help you be more detached and less inclined to get upset about any of these things. Best wishes.

  • Robin,tq for sharing!Forget abt the power or promotion,I guess v stil need a job to get it goin,as a lay person,as a mode of survival,at least.Instead of hvin sumthin jz to get by.I guess its not really abt power hunger,its more like u r bein responsible for wat u hv been tasked to do.After all,y do u thnk v r bein paid for. Well, bein less social can somehow be labeled as an outcast which could turn up to be unsightly. All in all, it can be a hard-knock life as a laity. Sigh~~~ Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 14:44

Here is my advice in regard to the topics that you raised, much of it that took years of studying in psychology:

  • Workplace: Focus on your work and try to do your best in a state of unity. You will feel happy to work. And you will not take things so personally. (Be careful though to still set limits--don't stay late if your boss is not going to pay you for it or unless you genuinely want to.) If someone yells too loud or criticizes, just see it as a bit of fiery energy within the team interaction that is your workplace. Do not hold things back but do not exaggerate them either. Practice expressing your emotions as naturally and smoothly as possible--don't add extra energy to it or any judgment ("this person is saying this to annoy me"). Just express it: "I am getting the feeling that you are not understanding what I am saying"... also if your work has a time measurement system then make sure to log all the times that you help your co-workers.
  • Family: learn to create healthy boundaries while with your family. Running away from your problems is OK as a temporary fix but running away from anything, never fixes. It is better to argue and work things out then to avoid those arguments and come closer to any solution. If you find that you are falling into too many arguments while with your family, it is an issue of boundaries--either you do not have enough or your respective relative does not. They need to stop giving you advice when you ask them to stop, leave you alone when you ask for space, and most importantly allow you the freedom to do your own "bad decisions". Likewise, you must give the relative/parent space when they ask for it and respect their choices and wishes in life--however self-destructive you may perceive it to be. If you take the time to have one talk about all this and that if they can respect your boundaries, then you won't need to do it again.
  • Society: think of the parable of the burning castle. Those people that are somewhat weirded out--that do not think of the karmic repercussions of ignorance, hatred, and greed... well let them burn inside the castle! Realize that there are people who are ignorant of their ignorance and furthermore there are those who wish to stay ignorant of their ignorance. There are seriously people who believe "ignorance is bliss." They would like nothing more than to meet their basic needs--such people will be animals in their next life. You just have to find like-minded people--which is not easy. It is easy for low-quality people to find low-quality people because there are so many of them. Do not envy them. You, congratulate yourself, and be grateful you have the karma to cultivate beneficial thoughts. Be happy, be grateful, and keep learning/doing the good things you want to..
  • Tq all for the responses! Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 5:48

Question -In workplace

Answer -There is no barrier keeping you from being competitive,You should know there were kings,queens,ministers,generals,billionaires who were Buddhists.To keep you away from career suicide you need to fight with the rest,yes so only follow these.. Don't lie
End arguments with peace,Be rude if you want but always know your line Don't back stab others Expect hostility greet it with being better than the other then they can only complain Remember you can only shape yourself not other people's opinions!,so expect a lot of anger and jealousy. Want respect?give it in the same amount to others Drive your career instead of being driven by it(Show off without fear).Do work to earn the salary Do your homework to earn your place. Remember if you are shy to showoff your potential they are of no use when you're dead,SO DO WHAT YOU GOT TO DO IN THEIR FACES BUT REMEMBER OUR CODES OF LIVING,BUDDHISTS ARE NO SECONDS (BETAS)WE ARE THE ALPHAS BE WHO YOU WANT TO BE!

Question - At home with family – Are you actually generating bad karma if you are minimizing interaction with your parents/siblings/relatives?

Answer -Karma is generated by Acts,Thoughts and words that you use,but only if they are intentional.Buddhism doesn't teach anyone to minimize emotions and be something robot like.you are advised to have your connections with the understanding that everything changes and change causes sadness and because of that nothing is yours truly and therefore you have no soul (that you are not a person,but a functioning mind and a body).Greet your family with love and kindness but do not attach yourself to them so hard like any other person.You are a Buddhist,so always have mindfulness.

Question - In Society

Answer - If they had enough sense of what is happening around them do you think they would remain in their beliefs?there is enough pain and suffering in the world for anyone to understand that something is wrong.this is what you should do,keep your thoughts to yourself and pretend to be interested in their things but always have mindfulness.Just when they hit a bump in their lives you will see what happen to those so called "Free thinkers",simple the difference between a Buddhist and a free thinker is that they need therapy to come over the simplest troubles in life and we just move on like nothing happened!If the common person you will meet had half of your understanding about life they would try to find a solution for life instead of making up things as they go or praying to someone that they've never seen.

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