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Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun? - Dhamma Wheel

Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Aloka
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Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Aloka » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:17 am

This is a spin-off from another thread about Ajahn Brahm, because it wasn't really relevant to that topic.

Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun ? I'd be interested in reading other peoples comments about this.

Thank you.

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cooran
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby cooran » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:34 am

Could you define 'fun'?
Do you mean something like "is it possible for practising Buddhists [not including Bhikkhus in this thread] to feel pleasure in a conversation or activity?"

With metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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tiltbillings
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:37 am


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Aloka
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Aloka » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:51 am


Feathers
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Feathers » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:03 am

As an inquiring (currently) non-Buddhist I have to admit my first thought was "I *** well hope so or I'm getting the hell outta here" (the **** isn't nearly as bad as you are probably thinking :p)

Sorry that my first thought wasn't terribly constructive! But I thought I'd throw in an "outsider's" perspective.
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Ben
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Ben » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:14 am

Aloka,
YES! Have fun, and be happy!
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:39 am

One can always find quotes to support different view points. Obviously, spiritual joy is one of the wholesome factors leading to enlightenment, but intoxication, idle chatter, silly jokes, etc., are unwholesome. See, e.g., the or this verse from the Dhammapada:

What is laughter, what is delight, when the world is ever burning?
Shrouded by darkness, would you not seek a light? Dhp v146



Even lay people should try to observe the five precepts, which includes abstaining from idle chatter — various kinds of talk with no benefit, neither for worldly progress nor for spiritual uplift.

If a Buddhist practises well, the mind will become free from coarseness that delights in vulgar humour based on lust and aversion, racial prejudice, etc. However, the mind will become light-hearted and innocent, child-like and joyful, but not childish and silly.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Aloka
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Aloka » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:54 am


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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:03 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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retrofuturist
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:12 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Aloka
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Aloka » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:32 am


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David N. Snyder
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:05 pm

There is a four-fold assembly of [Theravada] Buddhists; monks, nuns, lay men, and lay women. Further this could be divided to just two; monastic and lay.

Lay people follow five precepts and sometimes 8. Monks follow 227 and nuns 311. Obviously a big difference there.

Just as there is sometimes the 'arahantification' of sotapannas -- that is some who believe a sotapanna has virtually the same traits of an arahant; there is also the 'bhikkhuification' (sorry for the made-up word) of lay people. There are some who think lay Buddhists must avoid all sense pleasure and follow a life virtually the same as monks and nuns. There is a big difference between monastic and lay. Lay people must earn a living in the mundane world of Wall Street or some other fortune 500 company or for some other company or business where the bosses, owners, co-workers may be less than ideal to say the least. Lay people must look after their families. Lay people also procreate. At times it is certainly good to voluntarily engage in more serious precepts, such as taking the 8 during Uposotha Days or while on retreat, but for everyday life to avoid taking your children to an amusement park "because you are Buddhist" or some other "fun" would actually be doing harm to the family, not good.

We can listen to music, watch movies, watch sports, participate in sports, just knowing that it is a temporary pleasure and that we will still strive for the higher precepts when we are ready or during Uposotha, retreats, etc.
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Kare
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Kare » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:33 pm

:goodpost:

The Vinaya is for bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, not for lay people.
Mettāya,
Kåre

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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby SamKR » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:28 pm


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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:40 pm


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Aloka
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Aloka » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:02 pm


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polarbear101
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby polarbear101 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:08 pm

Last edited by polarbear101 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Dan74
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:10 pm

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retrofuturist
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:21 pm

Greetings,

:redherring:

This ad-hominem red herring that those who aren't interested in brothelizing the Dhamma (and Vinaya) are somehow dour-faced, is wearing a bit thin now.

:focus:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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manas
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Re: Is it possible for practising Buddhists to have fun?

Postby manas » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:25 pm

There are times as a lay Buddhist when, imho, you do need to remember that the layperson's path involves a bit of dust however much we try otherwise, and not to stress about this. For example, when I am playing hide and seek with my youngest daughter at the local park, we just tear around the place, have fun, laugh etc. It's a normal and healthy part of raising kids, to let go and just engage with them like this. I'm not very sober while I do this, I just let go and have fun with her, and she really appreciates this.

At other times, she sees me in a more sober, serene mood, such as in the mornings when I have just meditated. But then also, I make sure to engage with her, to not be distant or detached. Kids need us to be emotionally engaged with them, that's part of child rearing.

Because my daughters see that my Buddhist practice does not hinder me from living what they perceive as a 'normal' life, they feel better inclined towards it. They know that their dad, who as a general rule is careful even about tiny creatures, who tries not to speak badly about others, and who meditates, is nevertheless not 'boring' and is able to have fun in life too. Sometimes this involves a bit of joking around, and yes some idle chatter inevitably. But it's important to me that my kids not be put off Buddhism for life, by a perception that when their dad got serious about the Dhamma, he stopped having simple, childlike fun with them. I would not want them to think about the Dhamma like that.

I do admire the life of the monk, as 'pure as a polished shell', but as long as I am raising my dear kids, it's not possible or even appropriate for me to imitate it.

With metta and respect

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."


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