some strategies for working with "character defects"

basic coping strategies:

1) avoidance; 2) defensiveness (rationalization); 3) aggression; 4) external hypervigilance; 5) dishonesty


these strategies are

1) short term solutions only, leading to long term insecurity & hypervigilance

2) reactive as opposed to responsive; train us to talk before weighing options

3) ignorant of the subjectivity of "facts" as we experience them, not hearing the feelings of others

4) hinderances to long term strategies in properly maintaining long term meaningful friendships


mindfulness is not limited to their interior existence

—The Buddha taught we should practice mindfulness in all things

—we need to develop a detachment during communication that allows for internal awareness

—bring skills we learn in bhavana into our interactions


1) sati. a complete commitment to the present

—drop our stories, our past, our agendas, bring the mind to the present

—thinking is not always preparation, sometimes it can cause more stress

—dropping our inner warnings doesn't make us unsafe


2) samadhi. relax the breath and body, underlying stress.


3) yoniso manasikara & sampajhanna. especially observe feelings (vedana) as they arise and pass, see stress rising, citta changes, etc


(4) sussusati. listen deeply w/o interruption

—don't prepare our responses when we listen

repeat back the feelings we hear, empathize with the feelings


5) samma vaca. limit the scope of what he would discuss (Vacchagotta mn 72, Potthapada dn 9) is this topic one that's conductive to where i want to go right now?

the buddha"this topic is not conducive to the goal of the skillful life. The topic doesn't lead to dispassion, to calm, to wisdom to self-awakening, to Unbinding.


(6) samma vaca speak from truth, usefulness and timeliness (abhaya sutta)


7) kalyanamittata. association with the wise develops saddha (maha-mangala sutta)