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JadeRabbit
02 Aug 10, 12:35
Hi all

I wonder if you could share how you find a balance in your practice?

I'm a householder with wife, kids, cats, dogs, fish, etc. I have a normal day job working for an insurance company. Simple stuff.

As time goes on, my interest in Dhamma has grown and would like to spend more time with monks and nuns at a fairly local monastery in Chithurst, West Sussex. However, lay life takes precedence at the moment, how can I simply stay with this desire to spend time with like minded people (as I'm not in regular contact with a local Sangha), without clinging?

At the moment I feel as though I'm just at a certain life stage of raising kids and maybe I'll have the opportunity to deepen my practice in the future, at some point. Tricky, when you realise you might die today :P

With metta :hands:

fletcher
02 Aug 10, 22:32
I completely understand where you're coming from, I'm in similar situation which I wouldn't change for anything, I think all we can do is the best we can when we can.
I suppose how involved you get with the local monastery (or local pub) will depend on how understanding your spouse is.
Regards
Gary

KoolAid900
03 Aug 10, 03:08
Yeah, I can relate too. Don't know of any simple answer.

For myself I have found that much of the personal benefit of BuddhaDharma has come from "rocking the boat," challenging my beliefs & views, inspiring me to widen my perspective to be more inclusive. For instance, even with feelings of conviction in Dharma I struggled with accepting rebirth & karma as valid possibilities for years, but through contemplating repeatedly with the intention of expanding my perception, while remaining honest about my doubts, I now see the theory of rebirth to be at least as logically sound as a belief in no-rebirth. This totally challenged beliefs that I did not even know I had!

If I hadn't been challenged, I wouldn't have grown. At the same time, if someone had tried to force me to believe in rebirth I would have resisted. So maybe if your interest in the Dharma rocks the boat a little bit for your family it is OK. Maybe you are offering them the opportunity to expand. If after taking a few steps in this direction conflict arises, this could be an opportunity for you to expand... your understanding of how to devote energy to practice while remaining true to your family (or something like that). This is what I try to do at least. It is sometimes very difficult, but it seems to be increasingly rewarding.

Cobalt
03 Aug 10, 05:36
I think you could work something out with your wife if she understood that this is something which will help you be happier (and probably easier to be around, too, since happy people are more fun to live with).

All the best.

Aloka
03 Aug 10, 12:40
However, lay life takes precedence at the moment, how can I simply stay with this desire to spend time with like minded people (as I'm not in regular contact with a local Sangha), without clinging?


Perhaps you could arrange with your wife to spend part of a day or evening once monthly at the monastery? Better still if you could get a baby-sitter and go together !

Esho
03 Aug 10, 15:57
I am not in your case dear Jade so my opinion could not be very usefull for your situation. I have found that a simpler way of life highly contributes to a better practice of Buddha teachings. Also, from the approach of Zen, is a needed condition and when one starts to practice Buddha teachings with deep commitment the need of a simpler way of life comes by itself.

:hands:

Snowmelt
03 Aug 10, 22:25
I wonder if you could share how you find a balance in your practice?

I'm a householder with wife, kids, cats, dogs, fish, etc. I have a normal day job working for an insurance company. Simple stuff.

As time goes on, my interest in Dhamma has grown and would like to spend more time with monks and nuns at a fairly local monastery in Chithurst, West Sussex. However, lay life takes precedence at the moment, how can I simply stay with this desire to spend time with like minded people (as I'm not in regular contact with a local Sangha), without clinging?

At the moment I feel as though I'm just at a certain life stage of raising kids and maybe I'll have the opportunity to deepen my practice in the future, at some point. Tricky, when you realise you might die today Tongue

The skilful desire to study and practice the Dhamma strengthens when you get results from study and practice. If time is scarce, practicing awareness of thoughts and their movements can be done at almost any time during the day. That way you are never far from close contact with the Dhamma. With practice, awareness grows and strengthens and we gradually realise that thoughts are not self. With this realisation comes peace and the knowledge that the Dhamma is effective. So, we want to practice more.

Snowmelt
03 Aug 10, 22:42
I now see the theory of rebirth to be at least as logically sound as a belief in no-rebirth.

The lack of a belief in rebirth does not imply the existence of a belief in no-rebirth. Also, one may choose to refrain from speculating on rebirth, since we have no reliable way of determining the truth and since speculation of this kind does not lead to cessation of suffering.

I have copied this to the Rebirth thread (http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/forum/index.php?topic=3111.msg38299#msg38299).

londonerabroad
04 Aug 10, 04:41
Yes it is very difficult for the householder or lay person to balance everyday life with religious life. I was conscious of this very early on, as at one time I did not understand my own father's commitments outside of the house too well and as a result was determined to do better when my turn came for married and family life. Now my son is also facing this dilema - being interested in Buddhism but worried about going the whole way, losing his non-Buddhist friends, etc. It's not an easy one but it surely becomes a great teacher - compassion, mindfulness, selflessness, equanimity, etc., etc. all there in the day-to-day - talk about skillful means!

JadeRabbit
04 Aug 10, 09:40
Thank you all for your kind replies, they have been very helpful :bow:

Lots of things to think about there; acceptance, being challenged and learning from it, marriage, gratitude for my life as it is now, benefits of practice, simplicity + the practical advice!

Also, on a positive note, I mentioned to my wife that there's a Garden Day at Chithurst this Sunday, and she said no problem! so I'm really looking forward to spending the afternoon there.

Aloka
04 Aug 10, 09:48
Also, on a positive note, I mentioned to my wife that there's a Garden Day at Chithurst this Sunday, and she said no problem! so I'm really looking forward to spending the afternoon there.


That's excellent news, Jade Rabbit! Perhaps you could even tell us later how it went (if you want to) in the 'How was your week' thread in the Tea Room. ;D

Esho
04 Aug 10, 15:20
Thank you all for your kind replies, they have been very helpful

Your Wellcome Jade dear,

:hands:

fletcher
04 Aug 10, 16:11
I hope you both enjoy your afternoon, I'd be interested to hear how you got on too.
Regards
Gary

Cobalt
04 Aug 10, 17:31
Cool! Glad she's able to support you in this, and that you'll be able to do the Garden Day together.

JadeRabbit
09 Aug 10, 12:24
Sadly, things never turn out as you'd expect. I was poorly over the weekend and wasn't able to go in the end. I'm off on holiday soon, so that should give me some time to reflect on how I can get more involved in the Sangha, while balancing out family life.

@Cobalt - unfortunately, my missus doesn't share my interest in Buddhism, but she does support me in whatever I want to do. I don't think a day at the monastery would be her ideal day out (although it might do her good ;))

Aloka
09 Aug 10, 12:32
Sadly, things never turn out as you'd expect. I was poorly over the weekend and wasn't able to go in the end. I'm off on holiday soon, so that should give me some time to reflect on how I can get more involved in the Sangha, while balancing out family life

I'm so sorry to hear that you haven't been well, JadeRabbit. I hope you have a lovely holiday soon, and we will, of course, look forward to hearing from you again when you return. ;D

kind wishes,

Dazz

jan
09 Aug 10, 13:43
Sadly, things never turn out as you'd expect.


No - but often something better becomes possible as a result, if you can be open to it - and for good reasons. Buddhism is also about not having expectations ("biases", "preferences") - and taking opportunities in real life (as apposed to our mentally constructed/willed world).Look forward to hearing what has become possible now ... ;D
Warm wishes,
jan