Difficult Relationships: A Discussion with Ezra Bayda

This discussion is now closed.Ezra


"If you want to test your enlightenment," wrote one Facebook fan on the Tricycle page recently, "stay with your family for a week."

Our close, intimate relationships can be a treasure. But they can also be a challenge, especially over the holidays, when we're likely to be spending more time with our family and loved ones than normal. Old resentments and issues quickly arise when we're around those who have known us longest, and it is all too easy to jump to anger or bitterness despite years of practice. This week only, Zen teacher Ezra Bayda will be answering any questions you have about managing difficult relationships this holiday season. So if you practice lovingkindness daily—but still find yourself freaking out at your parents whenever Christmastime rolls around—this one is for you.

Need some inspiration? You can watch Ezra's past online retreat, "Relationships, Love, and Spiritual Practice" here, and read his article "Giving Through Relationships" here.

Post your comments below or email them to editorial@tricycle.com.


Ezra Bayda has been practicing meditation since 1970 and teaching since 1995. He received Dharma Transmission in 1998. He now lives, writes and teaches at Zen Center San Diego.


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Ezra Bayda's picture

dear kate,
it's unfortunate, but true, that as we begin to look at ourselves with honesty that we'll often not like what we see. when our pandora's box of past history gets opened, and we are left with the unresolved anger and resentments, we can even think that practice is making us worse rather than better. the actual fact is, we're just more aware of what's always been there. it's at these times that it's so important to have loving kindness as part of our practice, so we can relate to our new found "flaws" as just the conditioning that they are. in the meantime, if there are moments where you are really caught in your anger, it wouldn't hurt to take the time by yourself to work with it. but most of the time we can practice not expressing our feelings outwardly, where they might cause harm. this is not the same as suppressing our feelings - in fact, not expressing them outwardly may actually allow us to more fully feel what's there. it's just that we may have to put this processing on hold until we find a quiet time to ourselves.
warm regards,