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Author Topic: [Q&A] How to stop comparing oneself with others? (Or start?)  (Read 457 times)

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Offline Johann

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How to stop comparing oneself with others? Or start?

Quote from: by Eggman on BSE
How to stop comparing oneself with others?

I'm wondering how Buddhism deals with the comparison of oneself with others, and I'm specifically thinking in terms of accomplishments. For example, I have usually had some success in art fields in my life. I now am in a setting where many people have similar, or greater talent. I can't help but compare myself to them, and this causes suffering.

Similarly, I tend to compare myself to others generally, in many ways. I am aware it is bad to do so, but I cannot help myself in engaging in that process.

Is there any way to make the comparisons cease? What does Buddhism teach about this?

If comparing is conceit, many of the answers to How are 'conceit' and 'identity-view' not the same? seem to advocate merely watching mindfully the arising and passing away of the aggregates to extinguish conceit. Would this be the recognized ways of diminishing the presence of conceit?

If any practice could be recommended it would be much appreciated.

Thank you for any reply.'

Venerable members of the Sangha,
walking in front Fellows in leading the holly life.

  _/\_  _/\_  _/\_

In Respect of the Triple Gems, Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, in Respect of the Elders of the community  _/\_ , my person tries to answer this question. Please, may all knowledgeable Venerables and Dhammika, out of compassion, correct my person, if something is not correct and fill also graps, if something is missing.

Valued Upasaka, Upasika, Aramika(inis),
dear Readers and Visitors,


- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

(This is a maybe modified and expanded answer of the "original" that can be found here .)

Actually start, not stop to compare yourself with others! , but only with the wise, if looking for a longer lasting good.

It's against the mainstream believe totally not wrong to compare "oneself" to others, Eggman, according to the teachings of the Buddha and the path going beyond comparing individuals.

If looking and reading the Suttas one will not find many places where not good or bad samples are used for orientation purposes. Path to liberation is all about learning how and what to judge.

Others then in usually wordily regards the objectivity does not focus on material thing to be compared, but virtues, and while ordinary man judges in the frame of gain, loss, status, disgrace, censure, praise, pleasure, & pain. (the 8 worldily Dhammas on which the world turns around), a Dhammika (one following the path, "Buddhist") look for orientation amoung the seven treasures. Which seven?

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

The treasure of conviction, the treasure of virtue, the treasure of conscience, the treasure of concern, the treasure of listening, the treasure of generosity, the treasure of discernment...

That means that one goes after, associate with virtuose people and compares ones own deeds, and this is importand, with people seemingly having such virtues. But like when one seeks for orientation for material skills, one tries not to do it in a battle way, but by reducing to regard individuals. One compares action and tendencies.

When ever there is much notion of "I" and "you", it gives much rise to envy, issa .

That is the result of conceit, and conceit (mānā) ends only for an Arahat totally. A big amout of this notion of comparing in the three conceit-full ways "better I am", "lower I am" but also "equal I am", falls with the reach of the Stream and the lose of personal-views (sat/k kaya ditthi).

Todays popullar notion "equal are we" is in fact most dangerous, because it forms even bigger groups (kayas) as if as individual for identification.

For the daily live with material items to trade, one of course needs to compare certain gains of others, but if wise one puts also the factor "in what way was this gained", in therms of virtues, into it, gives that more and more value for orientation. "How does he find so much peace while merely poor", for example.

How ever, envy, jealousy, does not end at the point when going even a total spirital way and the best description of what is really and most worthy to compare with, is given in the Cula Saropama Sutta: The Shorter Heartwood-simile Discours

So again, it's not bad at all, but foolish if one puts it more or lesser into such as a lasting person and it's qualities, when knowing that the 8 Wordily-Dhammas are not for sure and change sometimes very quick. So it's good the seek after the possession of the seven treasures, with what one does not only have a good and legitime source for ones healthy selfestimate but also would not be easy excelt by material things. At least, who ever had not found the real heart-wood, will not be perfect and secure, aside of all needs for comparisons, beyond.

One compares oneself not to put others down, but to possible learn from them, become equal, seeing that this also does not lead to lasting ease and searches again for better, till on possible sees and recognice Noble ones, listen to their Dhamma and by understanding loses the gross problems of comparisons of the world, able to even be an island for oneself.

Aside the "Self" and the Devas and gods, admirable friends are always good for comparing oneself, and should be ones govering principles all the time.

And to add a short note on "watching the aggregats", if not having accomplished the treasures, is not really possible to do such, so it is good to compare oneself in regard of generousity, moral and their virtues first, become as good as possible equal with that of the Noble Ones. There then is the place to enter the stream .

May this brief talk about a big issue, as well as the advices to a "youngster " in this manner be of understanding it and with it a help for those able to take.

In a following discussion there, with Nyom Chris , he found reminded on the Bhikkhunis Sutta, and inspired to give an answer on the question, based on it, as following:

Further to Samana Johann's answer, I wanted to add...

Buddhism does have things to say about comparing oneself with others.

I think that it (i.e. the Buddhism which I understand from the Pali canon) recommends that you should compare, that you should be discriminating (about whether people are good or bad), that you should try to associate with good people; emulate and learn from, follow, good people; avoid bad people, and so on.

In advice to lay-people, for example, there's this answer about choosing a marriage partner. And there's the Sigalovada Sutta which has a long section about good and bad friends.

And, in advice for spiritual development, there's the concept of the admirable friend , for example:

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie."

"Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path.

In the answers to How are 'conceit' and 'identity-view' not the same? people said that "comparing" is a symptom of "conceit" ... and that conceit is one of the very last fetters (I won't try to explain that now).

But I think it's worth noting that "conceit" seems to be explicitly identified as essential, in one of the suttas, the Bhikkhuni Sutta :

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

'This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.'

Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? There is the case, sister, where a monk hears,
'The monk named such-and-such, they say, through the ending of the fermentations, has entered & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for himself in the here & now.'

The thought occurs to him,
'The monk named such-and-such, they say, through the ending of the fermentations, has entered & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for himself in the here & now. Then why not me?'

Then he eventually abandons conceit, having relied on conceit.
'This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.'

Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.

If I can interpret it, a thought like "Why not me?" and "I can compare myself to him" or "I am or should or could like him, and do or behave as he does" is what makes it conceit.

What makes it useful is, as mentioned in Samana Johann's answer ...

wise one puts also the factor "in what way was this gained"

... in other words you ask yourself, how is it that this person who I admire has attained that admirable state? So in the sutta I quoted, for example, the thought-train includes understanding how the other person did it ("through the ending of the fermentations") and thus sees what needs to be done in order to be successful.

Also you wrote,

I now am in a setting where many people have similar, or greater talent. I can't help but compare myself to them, and this causes suffering.
I guess you're talking about jealousy or envy or something like that.

There is another doctrine in Buddhism, i.e. the Brahma-viharas :

These four attitudes are said to be excellent or sublime because they are the right or ideal way of conduct towards living beings (sattesu samma patipatti). They provide, in fact, the answer to all situations arising from social contact. They are the great removers of tension, the great peace-makers in social conflict, and the great healers of wounds suffered in the struggle of existence. They level social barriers, build harmonious communities, awaken slumbering magnanimity long forgotten, revive joy and hope long abandoned, and promote human brotherhood against the forces of egotism.

The Brahma-viharas are incompatible with a hating state of mind, ...

In this case I'm thinking especially of mudita i.e. taking joy in someone else's being happy or skillful or successful; for example:

When unselfish joy grows, many noxious weeds in the human heart will die a natural death (or will, at least, shrink): jealousy and envy, ill will in various degrees and manifestations, cold-heartedness, miserliness (also in one's concern for others), and so forth.

I expect that mudita can be developed or brought into being by conscious meditation, i.e. people practice "metta-bhavana" meditation and you might presumably practice "mudita-bhavana" too.

This doesn't answer the question at all, of how to stop comparing yourself. Instead it talks about how to make use of it, and how to live with it.

Sadhu & Anumodana
This post and Content has come to be by Dhamma-Dana and so is given as it       Dhamma-Dana: Johann





July 14, 2018, 11:10:02 AM
 :-* :-* :-*
Karuna tvay bongkum Bhante
 :-*  :-* :-*


July 14, 2018, 11:09:03 AM
 :)  ;) Moritz, gut einfühlbar. In Österreich lebte der Körper nach der asiatischen Uhr, hier in N nach der österreichischen Uhr.
Nicht zeitgerecht der Natur entsprechend zu leben, überfordert den Körper.  
Beste Grüße aus Kathmandu!  :-*


July 14, 2018, 11:06:18 AM
Sadhu, und vergesse Nyom sich nicht.


July 14, 2018, 11:00:04 AM
Es wird spät in Hawaii. Einen friedlichen Tag allen. _/\_


July 14, 2018, 07:40:41 AM
Ja, gestern Vormittag bis Nachmittag. Ich lebe wohl gerade ungefähr im Einklang mit der Zeitzone von Hawaii.


July 14, 2018, 07:36:45 AM
Nyom Moritz. Hat er auch ausreichend Schlaf genommen?


July 14, 2018, 07:30:08 AM
Good day, Bhante _/\_


July 13, 2018, 05:58:06 PM
Vandami, Bhante _/\_


July 13, 2018, 03:20:13 PM
Nyom Roman


July 13, 2018, 03:07:40 AM
Ach ja, hab nun geändert. Vielleicht klappt's nun beim nächsten probieren @Roman


July 13, 2018, 02:21:56 AM
Vielleicht gut wenn Meister Moritz Nyom Roman die 5 Mühsam-Beitagszahl hineinzaubert, da dann spamschutz wegfällt und er zu den unöffentlichen Foren Zugang hat.


July 12, 2018, 09:13:06 PM
Hier eine kurze Bild-Erklärung zum Beantworten von Themen und Beiträgen.
Wenn noch Probleme, gern weiter hier nachfragen. _/\_


July 12, 2018, 09:11:14 PM
Gut zu hören, dass der Bruder sich mitfreut. Sadhu! :)
Möge alles problemlos im Eintritt in das neue Leben für ihn laufen. _/\_


July 12, 2018, 09:01:41 PM
Danke moritz

Ich werde es ausprobieren!!

Aufjedenfall war es eine sehr erfreuliche Nachricht! ! Ich bin sehr stolz auf marcel!! Mein herz geht auf!! Wunderschön!


July 12, 2018, 08:58:37 PM
(Also auch auf der neuen Seite, wo dann das Text-Eingabefeld ist: Das Text-Eingabefeld ist nicht gleich im Fokus, sondern man muss erst ein gutes Stück nach unten scrollen, um es zu finden.)
Nicht sicher gerade, wie es auf Smartphone aussieht, ob da viel anders ist.


July 12, 2018, 08:56:57 PM
Wenn man ganz unten ans Ende der letzten Nachricht scrollt, sollte da ein Button "Reply" oder "Antworten" sein. (Je nach eingestellter Sprache vielleicht.) Da drauf klicken. Dann sollte auf der nächsten Seite eine Texteingabe-Ansicht erscheinen. Zu der muss man aber erst ein Stück runter scrollen.


July 12, 2018, 08:53:20 PM
Oh, die Nachricht wurde abgeschnitten. Hier in der Shoutbox sind nur ein paar hundert Zeichen möglich.
Ja, das Forum ist etwas unübersichtlich am Anfang. Moment, ich versuche mal, zu erklären. :)


July 12, 2018, 08:41:24 PM

Ich lese sehr viel hier!! Es ist sehr interessant!! Die Menge an Infos! ! Sehr toll!!..Ich habe versucht auf den Beitrag zu reagieren der die Entwicklung von nyom marcel beschreibt..glaube von Johann verfasst. Jedoch weiß ich noch nicht genau wie dieses funktioniert.
Ich habe die Nachric


July 12, 2018, 08:34:57 PM
Hallo Roman, Binocular/Visitor _/\_


July 12, 2018, 02:08:25 PM
Nyom Roman


July 11, 2018, 10:08:30 PM
Ohh... es ist woeder mal 3 geworden. Atma erlaubt sich, sich zurückzuziehen und sich etwas um die Malaria zu kümmern.


July 11, 2018, 07:20:56 PM
Sadhu zu Ersten Ausruf/ Aufruf. Sadhu zum zweiten, zu Vorbildhaftigkeit, und mag er sich stets entlassen fühlen


July 11, 2018, 07:00:07 PM
Chom reap leah, Bhante _/\_
Nun wirklich weg hier für heute, Arbeit ruft.


July 11, 2018, 05:43:01 PM
Allen gute Besinnung auf was besinnenswert ([1] | [2] ) ist wünschend _/\_


July 08, 2018, 09:33:25 AM
Karuna tvay bongkum Bhante :-* :-* :-*


July 08, 2018, 09:28:47 AM
Nyom Sophorn


July 08, 2018, 12:20:06 AM
Bhante and Moritz _/\_


July 08, 2018, 12:16:49 AM
Moritz, Danilo


July 08, 2018, 12:09:40 AM
Good evening, morning or whatever the time here and there. _/\_


July 02, 2018, 04:20:58 PM
Meister Moritz


July 02, 2018, 02:57:42 PM
Vandami, Bhante _/\_


July 02, 2018, 02:36:37 PM
  :-* Hallo Moritz


July 02, 2018, 02:33:25 PM
Hallo, Marcel, Sophorn. _/\_


July 02, 2018, 05:18:33 AM
Nyom Sophorn, Nachricht von Bhante Indannano: http://sangham.net/index.php/topic,1554.msg15198.html#msg15198


July 02, 2018, 03:51:28 AM
 :-* :-* :-*
 :-* :-* :-*


July 02, 2018, 02:22:38 AM
Nyom Marcel


July 02, 2018, 02:08:22 AM
Geruhsame Nacht, Nyom


July 02, 2018, 01:48:32 AM
Gute Nacht. _/\_


July 02, 2018, 01:47:01 AM
Hallo Mirco! :)


July 02, 2018, 01:46:48 AM
Sadhu. Möge Bhante lange gesund bleiben. _/\_


July 01, 2018, 06:45:22 PM

Angenehmen, klärenden Tag. Auch allen anderen.

Atmas Gesundheit, trotz der durch stetes Regnen zahlreicher Mitesser, ist soweit ok und wer weis wie morgen. Bisher schon länger malariaanfallverschont.



July 01, 2018, 04:45:36 PM
(Bin erst mal kurz weg vom Computer.
Chom reap leah. _/\_)


July 01, 2018, 04:41:41 PM
Guten Abend, Bhante. _/\_

Wie steht es um Ihre Gesundheit und Malaria?



July 01, 2018, 03:48:17 AM
Hallo Sophorn!
Gruß auch zurück nach Österreich :) _/\_


July 01, 2018, 03:40:58 AM
Freut mich, dass es gut geht.

Beste Grüsse nach Asien und Resteuropa!  :-*


June 30, 2018, 12:23:03 AM
Werte sophorn,
Mir geht es gut!  :-*


June 29, 2018, 08:23:49 PM
Werter Marcel,
Wie geht's?


June 28, 2018, 08:10:49 AM
  :'(- irrtümlich gesendet!!


June 28, 2018, 08:08:00 AM
 :-* :-* :-*
 :-* :-* :-* :'(


June 28, 2018, 08:07:58 AM
 :-* :-* :-*
 :-* :-* :-*

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