In one of the Dhamma talks Ajahn Chandako gave recently, he said the best way that we, as monastics, can support people in the world, support ourselves, and support the people who support us, is to develop the monastery and develop our individual practices. We can do this by investigating our tendencies and mind states to see whether we are moving toward contentment and communal harmony or if we are moving toward a tendency to control—trying to push people around with our words or attitudes, or trying to manipulate conditions to meet our preferences. It’s important to stop and ask ourselves, What’s the tendency there? What’s the mental habit?
As we all know, during these fifteen-minute morning work meetings, the work monk assigns a job to each of us. When I was a junior monk, I would feel a tense sense of resistance during the entire meeting because there were certain things I didn’t like being asked to do. Years later, when I became the work monk, these tendencies weren’t there at all because I had control. But even later, when it was again someone else who had the work monk job, my tendency toward resistance came back. This is only an example—a reminder that our tendencies to feel resistance, or any unwholesome tendencies, simply arise out of causes and conditions. It’s important not to see them as wrong, but simply as tendencies of the mind.
With that understanding, we can investigate what is happening for us in the moment when resistance arises and give ourselves space around the feeling that is present. We don’t need to push these experiences away by bossing people around, trying to change things, or becoming reclusive. Rather, we can look at the feeling of resistance and learn how to be with it. We can observe how the feeling changes or investigate the fear that underlies resistance, breaking it all down. When we do this, it’s possible to see that there’s nothing worth fighting against—there’s really nothing to be gained by being caught up in a mind state of resistance.
_This reflection by Ajahn_ _Jotipālo_ _is from_ _[Beginning Our Day, Volume One.](/books/beginning-our-day-volume-one)_