I’ve learned the hard way just how corrosive criticizing and complaining about others can be. I’m sure there are things that are more damaging to us spiritually, but criticizing and analyzing other’s faults has to be near the top of the list.
No matter whether you hear good things or bad things, do not let yourself be affected by them. Being praised when you lack virtue is truly shameful, while having your faults shown to you is a wonderful thing. If you are happy to see your faults, then you will surely correct them, while if you are ashamed of your lack of virtue, then this will spur you on to practice more diligently.
Don’t speak of other people’s faults, because eventually it will return and harm you. If you hear harsh speech or rumors directed towards someone else, look upon that as if someone was slandering your parents. Your criticism of someone else today will become criticism of you tomorrow. All things are impermanent, so whether you are criticized or praised, there is nothing to be happy or upset about.
Talking about the things that others have done,
“This was right,”
“That was wrong,”
from morning until night.
At last spending the entire night
deep in the haze of slumber.
If a monk lives like this,
how will he repay
all of the donations he has received?
Escaping from the three worlds will be