I arrived as a volunteer in Dzogchen Beara last year august and my first period here I stayed for 5 ½ months. In that period I worked with a few volunteers and staffmembers. Living and working in the hostel (having a bed in the female dorm), I also met loads of other people every day.
Not everyone was to my liking: some were to noisy with bags in the bedroom, or they cleaned different than I did, they didn’t care enough for the cats here, they asked me questions at the wrong moments. It took me some time, practice, conversations and contemplation to realize that that were all thoughts in my mind.
All of my thoughts and what I might see as ‘facts’ is actually saying something about myself, not about the other.
With some help I came te realise that all the people around me were here to give me a possibility to learn something. I like this quote about that:
“Imagine that everyone is enlightened except you. The people you meet are all here to teach you something.”
The longer I worked here, the better I understood that when a new volunteer came I automatically thought: “No matter what my first impressions are, we are here together. We are part of a team. We work together. We live together. We are family.”
Some volunteers felt like people I really connected with, others were like an annoying little brother and another one was more like the irritating aunt I would avoid at family gatherings. Still: I tried to accept them all, because that’s what you do in a team, a family.
Work with your own habits, your reactions, your assumptions, your prejudices, your preferences, your view.
And spread more love, acceptance and Loving Kindness. Also to yourself. Because yes: some people of them will trigger you. That’s how you practice.
And be honest…. You might as well be someone else’s annoying sister or irritating uncle… Wouldn’t you like them to give you a change, to see you from a more loving perspective?