There is a Buddhist text called the Sedaka Sutta, or The Bamboo Acrobat, in which the Buddha presents the analogy of the exquisite balance required by two acrobats to perform a complex act. Each performer must be firmly rooted in their own center of gravity, while simultaneously staying attuned to the subtle adjustments of their partner. In the same way, healthy relationships strike a delicate balance between autonomy and compassion through sensitivity, awareness, and on-going investigation. If we err on the side of autonomy, we can become cold, indifferent, or self-centered. Yet if we put all of our focus on others out of fear, habit, duty, or self-deprecation, we neglect our own needs, build resentment, and burn out.
In short, to maintain balance in a relationship, or as text itself says, in the effort to be mindful, we need to look after both ourselves and others. Without one or the other, what is analogous to an acrobatic feat falls apart.
Communications in the workplace came to mind.
How many times have you not listened in a conversation?… Read the rest and share