Dharma Convention in Macau, China
14th February 2016

HOW TO DEAL WITH THESE NINE TYPES OF PEOPLE IN OUR SOCIETY?

Be cautious when dealing with the nine types of people in our society.

First, there is a type of people who tend to say nice things in front of you but in fact think differently. They may think badly of you in secret, having honey on their lips and poison in their heart. When you encounter them, you know that they are very plausible. Their words may sound friendly and genuine, but they will probably stab you in the back. You should just smile and listen to them, while reciting the Mantra to Untie Karmic Knots in your heart.

Second, when you meet people who like boasting about themselves and who make flattering remarks, you should not be hostile towards them or being sarcastic, otherwise they will talk about you behind your back. In this case, you should recite the Heart Sutra in your heart.

Third, you should avoid people with a mean streak. When you see them coming over to you, walk away and keep your distance.

Fourth, what should you do if you meet people who spread rumours and slander, and look for arguments? Be discreet in word and action. If they talk to you today, you should only listen, but not comment.

Fifth, what should you do if you meet people who have great talent and bold vision? This type of person always says, ‘I must achieve this or that on an international scale.’ You should learn from their strengths but filter out their weaknesses and learn humbly and modestly.

Sixth, what should you do if you meet people who easily fall out with someone after an argument? Be kind and tolerant. You should think, ‘I feel sorry for this person. This person is quick to be angry. They behave like an animal, tame if there is meat to eat and becoming vicious if there is no meat. Amitabha.’

Seventh, there are people who are disdainful and cynical about the world. They are prone to blaming society and others and treat everyone badly. You should see them as equals. When they are complaining about someone, you should think, ‘Actually everyone is a good person; they are just making the wrong judgements. All people are the same; we are all equal, like brothers and sisters.’ While they are the ones talking, internally you are telling yourself something different. This is, ‘You fight in your way and we fight in ours,’ as mentioned in the Chinese military treatise The Art of War.

Eighth, if you meet someone who is hardworking and content, how should you interact with them? With a heart that is willing and generous. When they are happy, you are even happier; when they are joyful, you are more joyful than they are. If they work hard, you should praise them. When the compliments that you give are like lotuses coming out of your mouths, the Dharma protectors above you will laugh joyfully. These people will tell you something – ‘I’m going to tell you about . . .’ – and feel very happy. This is as if someone tells the Master, ‘My wife hasn’t been pregnant for many years, but now she is because she has been practising the Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door!’  The Master would say, ‘That’s great. I’m happy for you.’

Ninth, there are people who are complacent and very proud of their achievements. They do not talk much as if they are going through some sort of unspeakable suffering. They also hold great ideals but cannot find the best way to put their talents into practice. To deal with them, you should try to give them advice or help them, and treat them with compassion. In this way, you can attain the wisdom of Bodhisattvas.

While practising Buddhism in the secular world, you should also learn how to conduct yourself as a moral person. This concept is described by Venerable Master Taixu: ‘By perfecting our own humanity, we attain Buddhahood’.