Abused (Photo credit: Andrea Marutti)

I have found this wonderful story about the Buddha and a good way of deflecting abuse from others. This is an ongoing struggle for me because I have such bad boundaries when it comes to what kind of behavior I will and will not accept. I also take things to heart and often internalize what people think of me. Since people with bipolar disorder feel things more intensely abuse from others can seriously affect our mental equilibrium. This excerpt comes from an article called Buddhism: How to Meet Evil With Good. You can download the entire booklet at www.accesstoinsight.org Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a Buddhist in order to benefit from this story.

A certain brahman belonging to the Bháradvája clan had a great
prejudice against the Buddha since he thought a kshatriya1 had claimed to
be a saint. And as it transpired, his own wife was a great devotee of the
Master. On a certain festival day when everybody, including his wife, had
gone to the monastery to hear the discourse, the brahman, coming to
know of it, became furious. Fuming with rage, he rushed to the
monastery, and forcing his way through the crowd and shouting loudly
foul abuse, he headed straight to the place where the Buddha was seated.
People were aghast. Even the presence of the king, the nobles and
ministers did not deter the enraged brahman from reviling the Buddha to
his face. When the Buddha remained completely unruffled, projecting
powerful thoughts of loving-kindness, the brahman stopped abusing him.
But he was still peevish.
Now the Buddha asked him: “My friend, if somebody visits you, and
you offer food which he refuses, who gets it?”
“If the visitor doesn’t accept it, I will get it back because I offered it to
“Since I don’t accept your abuse, to whom will it return?”