Four Methods For Keeping Your Cool With Difficult People

One of the most important states of being to maintain, that I learned from being on a Wisdom Path, is peace of mind. When peace of mind is disturbed or lost, especially because of difficult or reactive people around you, you are knocked off center, lose your balance and leave yourself vulnerable and become unconscious and often act on automatic pilot instead of being present and mindful, in control of self.

I just learned of four methods for “holding your seat,” that came from the Kadampa masters of eleventh-century Tibet that help in developing the patience to stay open to what’s happening. I share this with you from an article but Pema Chodron in Lion’s Roar magazine:

How to Hold Your Seat

1. Don’t Set Up the Target for the Arrow-“each time you retaliate with words and actions that hurt, you are strengthening the habit of anger. Then, without doubt, plenty of arrows will always be coming your way. Each time you sit still with your peace of mind intact, that is, you restrict YOUR  reactiveness to the difficult person, you are tamed and strengthened.

2. Connect with Your Heart-remember that the difficult person who is out of balance already does not need to be provoked by you any further. Go to your peaceful heart where your stillness resides and sit still with the restlessness and pain of your anger at being harmed. When you neither act out or repress your feelings, you are taming and strengthening yourself to be kinder.

3. See Obstacles as Teachers-as hard as it is to do this, see the difficult person as a mirror reflecting back to you a teaching or a lesson you need to learn, strengthen or practice. Allies and guidance come in many forms and the more restraint you learn and act with, the more powerful you become, you keep your peace of mind intact.

4. Regard All that Occurs as a Dream-see the drama that you are in as a play, as a dream and laugh at your demon, that difficult person. When you awaken from a dream, you know that the enemies in your dreams are an illusion. When you see these outer things, as well as these emotions, as well as this huge sense of me, are passing and essenceless, like a memory, like a movie, like a dream.

I find these four guidelines helpful to loosen my grip and open my mind.


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