[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file [ROOT]/includes/session.php on line 2208: Array to string conversion
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/functions.php on line 4688: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at [ROOT]/includes/functions.php:3823)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/functions.php on line 4690: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at [ROOT]/includes/functions.php:3823)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/functions.php on line 4691: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at [ROOT]/includes/functions.php:3823)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/functions.php on line 4692: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at [ROOT]/includes/functions.php:3823)
Dhamma Wheel • View topic - We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:33 am

Greetings,

( Based on a discussion at Dharma Wheel - http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... 261#p52261 that I thought might be worth picking up from a Theravada perspective)

LastLegend wrote:Correct! We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun. :anjali:

Indeed. This is likely the case for a good many people.

Even if someone is prepared to renounce fun, the 'duties' associated with the household life cannot be easily renounced.

For example, looking at the Pali Canon's Khp 9: Karaniya Metta Sutta ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .amar.html ) we see that learned ones should be "unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways."

Being "unburdened with duties", however, lands the householder idle and at the back of the dole queue. It leaves your children running riot and without direction. It leads to decline and deterioration of property. It leaves one's network of family or friends in tatters. "Frugal in their ways" puts limits on 'fun', and can lead to inactivity, isolation and malaise.

The majority of teachings within the Pali Canon are quite clear about whether they are directed towards bhikkhus and householders and I think it is an important distinction to be maintained. It is all too easy to earnestly lose yourself somewhere inbetween the two archetypes, and find yourself with neither the 'fun', nor the peace of renunciation... only depression.

I do believe the teachings pertaining to peace of renunciation are timeless, but I believe they involve both renunciation of duties (through becoming a monk) and the renunciation of passions and desire (which of course, include fun).

If we cannot knowingly and willingly commit to both the external and internal forms of renunciation (and the peace that is achievable through the conjunction of both forms), it is indeed quite reasonable that we search for alternatives in order to maximise happiness and reduce suffering. Do we follow the Pali teachings directed at householders? Do we follow the Mahayana bodhisattva path? Do we follow the Theravada bodhisatta path? Do we build a modern path based on the fundamentals of the Dhamma, which yield benefit here-and-now? These are all possibilities worthy of consideration, but there are no easy answers.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14812
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby altar » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:52 am

it is an okay subject........

I have found support for most of these paths in the pali canon, however with no emphasis on fun.
A bhikkhu I know says you don't want to be caught between two worlds, neither here nor there. He stresses having fun before ultimate renunciation.
He and life seem have shown me a more more gradual approach. But renunciation is a power which can go against this. However, without seeing the danger, I think letting-go is more sensible. in the case of duties, for example, to renounce them leaves one with extra time. it's not always renunciation. One grows tired of, or leaves what they are doing. if you are overburdened, doing less isn't renunciation.
that said, lay life offers plenty of chances for mini-declinations, with all the offers. sometimes i feel like a renegade for refusing something so many times. i don't want to assimilate (or pretend are the same) the path of a lay follower with that of one gone forth. Citta the householder was a humble potter, (wasn't he?), who attained 4 states with ease, and he was praised as the buddha's foremost lay disciple to be emulated. an anagami.
User avatar
altar
 
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:24 pm
Location: Monterey, MA

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Ben » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:12 am

Paul, there is a middle path between the two. One does not need to renounce one's responsibilities to one's family and by doing so one is not cut off from making significant progress on the path if not becoming an arahant. Within my own tradition I need not look further than U Po Thet (Saya Thetgyi), Sayagi U Ba Khin and my own teacher SN Goenka.

And I think that as one progresses on the path, that which one derives pleasure - changes. So as we progress we may find that there is less fun to be had in hanging out in nightclubs, casual sex, getting intoxicated, engaging in risky and dangerous activities. Also, the nature of 'fun' changes. It becomes less gross and much more subtle and resembles contentment and equanimity than the excitement that characterised our sense of fun we had BD (Before Dhamma).
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16345
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:16 am

Greetings Ben,

That then, constitutes one vote for the Theravada householder path.

:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14812
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Nicro » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:31 am

Well, to me it seems the Buddha laid out that becoming a Bhikku is the ultimate way to practice Dhamma. So I think this comes down to what one wants to do. Renounce, Go Forth, and dedicate yourself to Dhamma, or "blend" Dhamma into your regular life.
Nicro
 
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:48 pm
Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby bodom » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:39 am

I realized early on in my meditation practice and studies that it was not going to be possible, as a house holder with wife and kids, to try to live up to the ideals of renunciation set forth by the Buddha in the suttas. For this reason I compiled a list of suttas given by the Buddha specifically to householders to use a basis for my practice. I think its also important to understand what one is striving for. Practicing for Arahantship as a householder is going to take a tremendous amount of time and effort and requires complete renunciation and in the suttas was a rare event indeed. On the other hand it was demonstrated time and again in the suttas that stream entry is a real possibility for householders and does not require the complete renunciation of sense pleasure.

Suttas for the Householder
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=259

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4661
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby ground » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:10 am

I believe that (as always) there can be a middle way. There are examples of housholders in the suttas that actually live a life close to that of a renunciate. But it may not be compatible with family life.

As to fun:
And what are the six kinds of renunciation joy? The joy that arises when — experiencing the inconstancy of those very forms, their change, fading, & cessation — one sees with right discernment as it actually is that all forms, past or present, are inconstant, stressful, subject to change: That is called renunciation joy. (Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html



Kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 2592
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:01 am

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:21 am

Ben wrote:And I think that as one progresses on the path, that which one derives pleasure - changes. So as we progress we may find that there is less fun to be had in hanging out in nightclubs, casual sex, getting intoxicated, engaging in risky and dangerous activities. Also, the nature of 'fun' changes. It becomes less gross and much more subtle and resembles contentment and equanimity than the excitement that characterised our sense of fun we had BD (Before Dhamma).


I agree, in that I think that renunciation is possible for householders too, just in a gradual way. As we age and progress in the Dhamma, some of the things that were "fun" are no longer fun, not by suppression, but just no more interest in the casual sense pleasures.

And by no means does it come naturally with age; there are plenty of elderly hedonists, such as Hugh Hefner, etc. But aging with Dhamma practice, can lead to more wholesome pursuits, including Dhamma study, Dhamma discussion, practice and retreats.

Husbands and wives who practice together could even come to a new relationship of kalyana-mittas with little to no rāga (lust), which could then open the possibility for even the highest noble states of anagami or higher. (not newlyweds, but those married for something like 30 years or more)

I believe many Hindus follow some sort of 'life-stage' cycle where spiritual matters are deferred toward the end of one's life. In Buddhism, spiritual matters are not to be delayed, since death is inevitable, but for householders, perhaps 'better late than never'.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8287
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Dhammakid » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:53 am

I really appreciate this open and honest discussion. It's one I'm not used to reading on Buddhist sites, i.e. just how effin hard the path is for us householders.

Nevertheless, no matter how hard it gets for me, and no matter how many times I despair and give up and try again over and over, I can't seem to shake my faith in the Buddha's promise that it can, indeed, be done. And that alone is what keeps me going. When I find it hard to give up friends who are unwholesome for my practice, or hangouts that pull me off track, or even familiar speech and conversations with loved ones that are admittedly unskillful, the Buddha's promise keeps me going.

:anjali:track, or even familiar speech and conversations with loved ones that are admittedly unskillful, the Buddha's promise keeps me going.

:anjali:
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:00 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Ben wrote:And I think that as one progresses on the path, that which one derives pleasure - changes. ... Also, the nature of 'fun' changes. It becomes less gross and much more subtle and resembles contentment and equanimity than the excitement that characterised our sense of fun we had BD (Before Dhamma).


I agree, in that I think that renunciation is possible for householders too, just in a gradual way. As we age and progress in the Dhamma, some of the things that were "fun" are no longer fun, not by suppression, but just no more interest in the casual sense pleasures.

... aging with Dhamma practice, can lead to more wholesome pursuits, including Dhamma study, Dhamma discussion, practice and retreats.

These thoughts remind me of what I saw in Thailand in my (one and brief) visit: older people, particularly men, spending more time at the temple as their responsibilities gradually passed to the next generation.
And it wouldn't be too surprising if we westerners found that lay traditions in Buddhist countries accommodated our lay aspirations rather better than monastic traditions can do.
:namaste:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3224
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby PeterB » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:57 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Ben wrote:And I think that as one progresses on the path, that which one derives pleasure - changes. So as we progress we may find that there is less fun to be had in hanging out in nightclubs, casual sex, getting intoxicated, engaging in risky and dangerous activities. Also, the nature of 'fun' changes. It becomes less gross and much more subtle and resembles contentment and equanimity than the excitement that characterised our sense of fun we had BD (Before Dhamma).


I agree, in that I think that renunciation is possible for householders too, just in a gradual way. As we age and progress in the Dhamma, some of the things that were "fun" are no longer fun, not by suppression, but just no more interest in the casual sense pleasures.

And by no means does it come naturally with age; there are plenty of elderly hedonists, such as Hugh Hefner, etc. But aging with Dhamma practice, can lead to more wholesome pursuits, including Dhamma study, Dhamma discussion, practice and retreats.

Husbands and wives who practice together could even come to a new relationship of kalyana-mittas with little to no rāga (lust), which could then open the possibility for even the highest noble states of anagami or higher. (not newlyweds, but those married for something like 30 years or more)

I believe many Hindus follow some sort of 'life-stage' cycle where spiritual matters are deferred toward the end of one's life. In Buddhism, spiritual matters are not to be delayed, since death is inevitable, but for householders, perhaps 'better late than never'.

Much wisdom here... :anjali:
One of the problems in terms of western society is that such thoughts run counter to the prevailing ethos which instead attempts to prolong ragic states artificially, which in turn is to do with a denial of death.
If we do not turn to an artificial prolongation of those activities the passing years have the potential to allow us to turn to more valuable matters in a natural way.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Saijun » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:55 pm

Hello friends,

I suppose my question would be, "why focus on renunciation at all?"

Let me explain:

SUPPOSITION: The practitioner in question is sincere, and honest with him/herself.

I would posit that each of us try to be happy in the most (to our own minds) skillful way available to us. As we progress further "down the rabbit-hole" as it were, we become more sensitive as to what really is skillful, and what isn't. And so renunciation for the sake of liberation becomes a side-effect of the practice. After all, after seeing how something is unskillful and non-conducive to the Path, abandoning that activity would be the most natural thing in the world.

On a second note, I would like to address the following:

retrofuturist wrote:For example, looking at the Pali Canon's Khp 9: Karaniya Metta Sutta ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .amar.html ) we see that learned ones should be "unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways."

Being "unburdened with duties", however, lands the householder idle and at the back of the dole queue. It leaves your children running riot and without direction. It leads to decline and deterioration of property. It leaves one's network of family or friends in tatters. "Frugal in their ways" puts limits on 'fun', and can lead to inactivity, isolation and malaise.


I don't believe for a second that "being 'unburdened with duties'" is indicative of what you've described. Rather than shirking responsibilities, I would suggest that it means that one has adjusted this particular perspective, i.e., "I would be so happy if I were a Bhikkhu. I could just walk into the monastery and become an Arahant, but I'm burdened with this [family/debt/illness/what-have-you]. Second Noble Truth in action. Craving for becoming and all that.

So what does it mean? I understand it to mean that we don't view our particular circumstances as a burden. Instead, we understand that, more than anything, "right here right now" is our vehicle to liberation, to unbinding. If one is a monk, removed from the lay world, that is one's vehicle. If one is a householder, embroiled in the day-to-day struggle, that is one's vehicle.

To borrow Retro's example, it's not leaving "your children running riot and without direction." It's practicing the Divine Abidings and skillful means while guiding your children through their young lives. It's not "lead[ing] to the decline and deterioration of property." It's an opportunity to learn how to maintain what you have skillfully and mindfully, and when things break it's an opportunity to observe impermanence in action. It's not "leave[ing] one's network of family or friends in tatters;" rather, one nurtures and develops skillful friendships and relationships, observing the Buddha's admonition to Rahula to look at how actions are affecting oneself and others.

So, to bring it all 'round again, being "unburdened with duties" is just accepting where one is and what one has to do, and using those circumstances to progress down the Path. Is the ordained life designed specifically to be the "fast track" to Awakening? Of course. Is the lay-life as easy as the ordained? Obviously not. But the Path can be cultivated and realized on either, given appropriate effort and skill.

That's what it always boils down to, no?

Metta and Anjali,

Saijun
Saijun
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:28 pm

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Dan74 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:11 pm

Sure, but some conditions are more conducive to liberation than others. Others tend to push our buttons and keep us (or rather help us keep ourselves) ensnared in samsara.

Not many I suspect can practice equally well on a retreat or in a monastery as in the midst of a life fraught with stress and temptation where the emphasis everywhere is laid on everything but the Dhamma.

I am being a devil's advocate here, you realize, because to a large extent I agree with what you are saying, but I don't feel it's quite the whole story.

To me, the answer to the OP lies in becoming (and staying) very clear and honest about our motivation to practice (which of course changes) and practicing from exactly where we are with what we have. I don't think renounce or not is such a dilemma then. Once there is clarity of purpose, what to do is clear, isn't it?
_/|\_
User avatar
Dan74
 
Posts: 2713
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Saijun » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:20 pm

Hello Dan,

Dan74 wrote:Sure, but some conditions are more conducive to liberation than others. Others tend to push our buttons and keep us (or rather help us keep ourselves) ensnared in samsara.

Not many I suspect can practice equally well on a retreat or in a monastery as in the midst of a life fraught with stress and temptation where the emphasis everywhere is laid on everything but the Dhamma.


I completely agree with this assessment. That's why, toward the end of my response I put in:

Saijun wrote: Is the ordained life designed specifically to be the "fast track" to Awakening? Of course. Is the lay-life as easy as the ordained? Obviously not. But the Path can be cultivated and realized on either, given appropriate effort and skill.


Realizing Awakening in the lay world is hard, no doubt about it. Just look at the Canon and count the number of lay Arahants vs. monastic. It seems to me that a properly functioning Vihara (sp?) is something of an Awakening Factory. Everything is oriented to that goal. What I'm suggesting is, that with a shift in perspective, lay life can also provide a fertile field for practice. There may just be a few extra "rocks" in the lay-field.

Dan74 wrote:I am being a devil's advocate here, you realize, because to a large extent I agree with what you are saying, but I don't feel it's quite the whole story.

To me, the answer to the OP lies in becoming (and staying) very clear and honest about our motivation to practice (which of course changes) and practicing from exactly where we are with what we have. I don't think renounce or not is such a dilemma then. Once there is clarity of purpose, what to do is clear, isn't it?


Quite so.

Metta and Anjali,

Saijun
Saijun
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:28 pm

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby PeterB » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:40 pm

Saijun wrote:Hello friends,

I suppose my question would be, "why focus on renunciation at all?"

Let me explain:

SUPPOSITION: The practitioner in question is sincere, and honest with him/herself.

I would posit that each of us try to be happy in the most (to our own minds) skillful way available to us. As we progress further "down the rabbit-hole" as it were, we become more sensitive as to what really is skillful, and what isn't. And so renunciation for the sake of liberation becomes a side-effect of the practice. After all, after seeing how something is unskillful and non-conducive to the Path, abandoning that activity would be the most natural thing in the world.

On a second note, I would like to address the following:

retrofuturist wrote:For example, looking at the Pali Canon's Khp 9: Karaniya Metta Sutta ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .amar.html ) we see that learned ones should be "unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways."

Being "unburdened with duties", however, lands the householder idle and at the back of the dole queue. It leaves your children running riot and without direction. It leads to decline and deterioration of property. It leaves one's network of family or friends in tatters. "Frugal in their ways" puts limits on 'fun', and can lead to inactivity, isolation and malaise.


I don't believe for a second that "being 'unburdened with duties'" is indicative of what you've described. Rather than shirking responsibilities, I would suggest that it means that one has adjusted this particular perspective, i.e., "I would be so happy if I were a Bhikkhu. I could just walk into the monastery and become an Arahant, but I'm burdened with this [family/debt/illness/what-have-you]. Second Noble Truth in action. Craving for becoming and all that.

So what does it mean? I understand it to mean that we don't view our particular circumstances as a burden. Instead, we understand that, more than anything, "right here right now" is our vehicle to liberation, to unbinding. If one is a monk, removed from the lay world, that is one's vehicle. If one is a householder, embroiled in the day-to-day struggle, that is one's vehicle.

To borrow Retro's example, it's not leaving "your children running riot and without direction." It's practicing the Divine Abidings and skillful means while guiding your children through their young lives. It's not "lead[ing] to the decline and deterioration of property." It's an opportunity to learn how to maintain what you have skillfully and mindfully, and when things break it's an opportunity to observe impermanence in action. It's not "leave[ing] one's network of family or friends in tatters;" rather, one nurtures and develops skillful friendships and relationships, observing the Buddha's admonition to Rahula to look at how actions are affecting oneself and others.

So, to bring it all 'round again, being "unburdened with duties" is just accepting where one is and what one has to do, and using those circumstances to progress down the Path. Is the ordained life designed specifically to be the "fast track" to Awakening? Of course. Is the lay-life as easy as the ordained? Obviously not. But the Path can be cultivated and realized on either, given appropriate effort and skill.

That's what it always boils down to, no?

Metta and Anjali,

Saijun

I think your supposition perhaps implies a valuing of conscious intention and conscious sincerity rather more highly than the reality frequently suggests.
Much renunciation it seems to me is actually aversion. And much sincere intention is sincere only in as much as it is confined to the conscious mind.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby Monkey Mind » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:16 pm

Saijun raises the same question that I am pondering in my daily life. Is the intention of "unburdened with duties" to be "free from duties" or "manage duties with equanimity"? Monastics seem to be (to my outside perspective) some of the busiest people I know.

Believing that it was my job as a lay person to practice the Bramhavihara, I pursued a career in the helping professions and have worked for non-profit organizations most of my professional career. Honorable work, maybe, but I have exponentially more duties than anyone I know who works in the private sector. So lately I have been thinking a lot about this line from the Karaniya Metta sutta, and wondering if I am barking up a Wrong View tree?
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
User avatar
Monkey Mind
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:56 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:01 pm

Hi Retro,

'Pick and choose' - I think there is enough in this dhamma, wide as the ocean as it is, for everybody, of every temprament. With time, what you choose and pick, will change- it comes with maturity and maturing in the dhamma - certainly it has been with me. I suspect it is pretty similar with everyone else- no one (except perhaps bodom :) ) chooses one thing and sticks to it- I think that would be artificial. Yes, it does cause some conflict- but if I wanted to avoid the unpleasant altogether I wouldnt bother with Buddhism- I would not have religion in my life at all. It is Suffering which keeps me coming back to the Dhamma - damn it he's right..again !

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:27 pm

Greetings Monkey Mind,
Monkey Mind wrote:Saijun raises the same question that I am pondering in my daily life. Is the intention of "unburdened with duties" to be "free from duties" or "manage duties with equanimity"? Monastics seem to be (to my outside perspective) some of the busiest people I know.

I think it's a question of samadhi. The bhikkhu who is organising renovations, organising Sunday School classes or wheelbarrowing dirt is dripping in sweat, not samadhi. Right Samadhi is a factor of the Noble Eightfold Path. Similarly, the enlightenment factors are more difficult to cultivate when the mind is obliged, for worldly reasons, to be attentive to wordly things, no matter how noble or wholesome they may be. I do not believe it is simply a co-incidence that the only people to achieve full fruition in the Pali Canon (i.e. arahantship) are the bhikkhus and bhikkhunis who have renounced the dusty household life.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14812
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:47 pm

retrofuturist wrote:I do not believe it is simply a co-incidence that the only people to achieve full fruition in the Pali Canon (i.e. arahantship) are the bhikkhus and bhikkhunis who have renounced the dusty household life.


Bahiya and Uggasena became arahants as lay men and I think a few others. Bahiya was killed shortly thereafter and Uggasena ordained after enlightenment. But definitely, it was rare, but not impossible.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8287
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: We don't want to renounce. We want to have fun.

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:13 am

Greetings David,
David N. Snyder wrote:Bahiya

Lay in the context of the Buddahsasana, yes... but from what I've heard of him, he was clearly a renunciate beforehand (albeit not one under the direction of the Buddha). A 'wanderer', if you will... and therefore doesn't negate what I was saying about being "unburdened with duties".

I don't know Uggasena, but I'll look him up later.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14812
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Next

Return to Theravāda for the modern world

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests