Dechen Norbu wrote:
Nevertheless and especially to a serious Vajrayana Buddhist, feeling offended when hearing a certain word is sign of a very poor practice and little understanding. The word, in itself, has no intrinsic value. Feeling offended or having one's "sensibility" hurt by hearing it is ridiculous to a serious practitioner. At most, if the word is spoken by someone in anger for instance, compassion should arise for such person instead of repulsion for the word itself.
What do you think about racist name-calling? OK, compassion for the person is well-developed practice but I would not say that your practice or understanding is poor just because one finds such words disturbing.
That is not cussing.
There's a difference here. Let me try to explain what I mean. If one finds disturbing that there is racism, this is not the same as feeling repulsion for a certain word that has been socially determined as inappropriate (like saying "shit!" when you hurt yourself). What disturbs you is not the word per se, but the whole idea of racism, how unfair it is, how much suffering it causes and so on. That's a whole different matter, but our reaction should be based on compassion and our actions skillful. Finding the word disturbing shows neither wisdom or compassion, because the problem is not in the word. It's in the ignorance of those uttering it, in the suffering they cause on themselves and others. There's a difference.