Marriage to non-Buddhists

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Re: Marriage to non-Buddhists

Postby Nausauketman » Fri May 07, 2010 1:05 pm

Zom wrote:
I've been a Buddhist since the age of 15 when I read "What the Buddha Taught" by Walpola Rahula. I'm now in my 50's, and have become ever more convinced that what the Buddha taught is the way. My problem is that my wife is a very devote Catholic and is continually forcing her views on me in an attempt to "save" my soul which of course I do not believe I possess. I agreed when we first married 28 years ago to become a Catholic as I didn't take spiritual matters that seriously then. I felt that Buddhist tolerance could see me through. However, it becoming increasingly more difficult to go through the Catholic masses and ceremonies which are so empty for me. I could do it if my wife was more understanding, but she thinks I'm going to go to a very unpleasant purgatory unless she can save me. Anyone else experienced similar problems?


If you are cute enough, you can convert her to Buddhism yourself - that would solve all the problems.
To do so you can use so called "drop seeds" method - that is you could from time to time give obvious comments and rise natural questions (on different life matters and situations) that will make her think a little bit rather than blindly keep God-belief. Buddha's truths can be seen here and now without any dogmatic conceptions. If you could make her see these truths - that will bring a huge benefit to both of you.


Zom, thanks for the suggestion but the chance of converting my wife to Buddhism is about equal to greed being eliminated as a motivation in politics.
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Re: Marriage to non-Buddhists

Postby Nausauketman » Fri May 07, 2010 1:07 pm

SDC wrote:
Nausauketman wrote:I have tried to talk gently to her as you advise, Ben, but it never works- just sends her into a rage. However, I'll not stop trying. We're both getting older and perhaps she'll grow more tolerant. .


I have a thought that you may find helpful, although I don't know how you could apply it. I occurred to me when you brought up her anger in response to your practice. Now bare with me, because this may seem ridiculous, but I hope not.

For her not to have the person closest to her share in her beliefs may be causing her to momentarily question those beliefs herself. That then requires her to restore her confidence in those beliefs as fast as possible. I do not believe this is a pleasant thing for her to do, mainly due to the fact that, logically, Catholicism is quite difficult to accept. Fundamentally it goes against reason. That seems tough for her. So she lets you know, through anger, how unpleasant that process was. You also mentioned how she brought up the idea of purgatory to you and how she wants to save you from it. Seems to me that she is trying to instill some fear into you to get you to see it the way she does. Perhaps this tactic is prompted by her memories of early days of Catholic education in which fear, whether intentionally or unintentionally, becomes such a major aspect of the religion and how it is conveyed.

I know this may sound ridiculous considering her apparent passionate attitude, but perhaps there something to be seen. She seems terrified for herself and for you and does not want you to "waste" your time with something(Buddhism) that will not "properly" save you.

So I have to say that I agree tolerance is playing a part here, but I do not see it as being the underlying issue.

Let me know if I am way off.



SDC, you are not way off- you're right on top of it. She believes, without any doubts in the veracity of the entire Catholic doctrine. She prays constantly for her loved ones that their souls will be saved and that we will come around to know Jesus the way she does. She means well and is very generous, loving, and caring in so many ways. It's sad that her constant harping about religion actually pushed people away from the goal that she wants them to attain.
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Re: Marriage to non-Buddhists

Postby Nausauketman » Fri May 07, 2010 1:13 pm

To all who have posted here:

As I mentioned before, I'm glad I found this forum. I'm amazed at the thoughtful and helpful responses, full of good will, that I've gotten to this topic. Thank you all again. Just being able to share this problem and get your different points of view has eased the stress in my marriage. It's likely that my wife and I will never see eye to eye on this. The teaching of the Buddha is so clear and liberating, however, that I think I will have the understanding and tolerance to live the rest of my life with this situation.
Peace :yingyang:
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Re: Marriage to non-Buddhists

Postby SDC » Fri May 07, 2010 4:02 pm

Nausauketman wrote:It's likely that my wife and I will never see eye to eye on this. The teaching of the Buddha is so clear and liberating, however, that I think I will have the understanding and tolerance to live the rest of my life with this situation.
Peace :yingyang:


^^^^^Words of wisdom.


Hope it all goes well for you both. :smile:
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Re: Marriage to non-Buddhists

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 07, 2010 9:10 pm

Hi Nausaketman,
Nausauketman wrote:To all who have posted here:

As I mentioned before, I'm glad I found this forum. I'm amazed at the thoughtful and helpful responses, full of good will, that I've gotten to this topic. Thank you all again. Just being able to share this problem and get your different points of view has eased the stress in my marriage. It's likely that my wife and I will never see eye to eye on this. The teaching of the Buddha is so clear and liberating, however, that I think I will have the understanding and tolerance to live the rest of my life with this situation.
Peace :yingyang:

I'm pleased you find the Forum helpful.

Speaking of tolerance, you may find the article "Tolerance and Diversity" by Bhikkhu Bodhi useful to reflect on.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_24.html
To the extent that a religion proposes sound ethical principles and can promote to some degree the development of wholesome qualities such as love, generosity, detachment and compassion, it will merit in this respect the approbation of Buddhists. These principles advocated by outside religious systems will also conduce to rebirth in the realms of bliss — the heavens and the divine abodes. Buddhism by no means claims to have unique access to these realms, but holds that the paths that lead to them have been articulated, with varying degrees of clarity, in many of the great spiritual traditions of humanity. While the Buddhist will disagree with the belief structures of other religions to the extent that they deviate from the Buddha's Dhamma, he will respect them to the extent that they enjoin virtues and standards of conduct that promote spiritual development and the harmonious integration of human beings with each other and with the world.

Mike
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Re: Marriage to non-Buddhists

Postby bodom » Fri May 07, 2010 9:17 pm

:goodpost:

Excellent! Thank you for posting that short section from BB Mike.

: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
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