Practicing Tolerance, Nurturing Zen

Practicing Tolerance, Nurturing Zen

137132384“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher”

~ Dalai Lama

As humans, we pass judgements very quickly and hastily on others, especially toward people from whom we have different views.    Given our busy lives with work, school, family, friends, etc, it is hard to take time to be tolerant of others.  As our lives get busier, our tolerance level shrinks.  However, it is important to be tolerant of those whom you do not like because it improves our ability to cope with stressful situations, which trains us to manage never-ending life obstacles in a productive manner.  Patience teaches us how to evaluate situations in a way that is removed from anger, resentment, and bitterness, and we can only function at our optimum and make sound decisions in our lives if we can be in this state.

Our tolerance level is tested each day on both big and small scales.  In my own job situation, I had a nasty boss who liked to scream on a consistent basis and make you feel small.  The job became intolerable, so I stepped back and evaluated her behavior and what was going on in her life.  I realized overtime that her nastiness was not about me, but that she was projecting her own misery and stress onto others because it was easier to take it out on her employees rather than look inside herself. In understanding this, I started to have compassion for her. Once I had compassion, I was able to handle the situation better, as I divorced myself from her tantrums by not taking them personally.  While working for a miserable boss was not a long term solution, it was certainly a good short term way to cope with a bad situation until I was able to leave the job.   It helped me to reduce my stress level, which had an enormous impact on my well being.

When there is a nasty person in your life, find a way to be patient and not have a knee-jerk reaction, which causes anger and makes the situation worse.  Instead of reacting, just remove yourself from the situation by keeping silent or walking away.  Once you do this,  take time to reflect on the situation, which will provide a clear understanding of the other person and result in a productive response, bringing a sense of resolution and calm.

Our biggest stress in life is when we are in uncomfortable or confrontational situations, so if you can practice tolerance with your enemies, you will bring immeasurable peace into your life.

By Moon Cho, Creator of YING & YANG LIVING

Recommended Reading:

“The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living” by Dalai Lama


  1. Joe Mejica says

    This is very true and necessary. Yet it can be so hard in this world with everything that go’s on. Many thanks for reminding me