Right means

March 9, 2010

I read something the other day about the Buddhist concept of the “right means.”

I read that it means communicating caring and availability while respecting another’s physical and psychic space.

I don’t know if this definition is correct or not. But I do love the concept.

In practicality, it means communicating that you’re there for another person if they want your support, but that you don’t want to intrude if they need space.

It’s a fine balance, this ‘being there’ for someone who might need you. To a greater or lesser degree.

Most of us don’t really have that kind of sensitivity. Not without effort.

We either don’t sufficiently communicate our desire to help OR we force “solutions” in the interest of being helpful.

Either way, we mean well, but miss the mark.

If someone close needs support, it’s important to listen actively. To hear them with an open heart and no filter. To rephrase and feed back what they’re saying. To communicate caring with eye contact and touch.

And to be sensitive enough to know when they need space rather than “help.”

“Right means.” Tough to do. But so necessary.

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