Dhamma & Marriage?

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

User avatar
Zenainder
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 11:10 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Zenainder » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:30 pm

Hello forum!

As I've read the teachings and continue to practice dhamma, in my fragmented understanding I am left a question: how does love and marriage function on the spiritual journey of cessation? Likely due to my fragmented understanding I am left perplexed at how to collect a right view concerning these two. It would seem to me that absense of clinging and love / marriage oppose one another. Can someone kindly take the time to explain, both through commentary and the canons, how romantic & friendlike love is viewed in context of practicing the dhamma and marriage. If this is a common question, feel free to link me insightful forum or articles.

Please know that I have not lets this perplexity affect my marriage or practice. The question continues to arise and I am hoping to find answers.

Metta,

Zen

User avatar
BlackBird
Posts: 1861
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:07 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: New Zealand

Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby BlackBird » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:38 pm

Don't call the lawyer, no need to get a divorce ;)

There are a number of long time serious Dhamma practitioners here who are married, and perhaps they can offer you some reassurances about how the two fit together.

Here's a good post by Ven. Dhammika that outlines some canonical marriage stuff, I've quoted an excerpt:
The Buddha said that if a husband and wife love each other deeply and have similar kamma they may be able to renew their relationship in the next life (A.II,161). He also said that a couple who are following the Dhamma will ‘speak loving words to each other’ (annamannm piyamvada, A.II,59) and that ‘to cherish one’s children and spouse is the greatest blessing’ (puttadarassa samgaho etam mamgalam uttamam, Sn.262). He criticized the brahmans for buying their wives rather than ‘coming together in harmony and out of mutual affection’ (sampiyena pi samvasam samaggatthaya sampavattenti, A.II,222), implying that he thought this motive for marriage far better. Upholding fidelity in marriage he taught that adultery (aticariya) is against the third Precept.
The ideal couple in the Buddhist scriptures are Nakulamata and Nakulapita. Nakutapita said that since his wife ‘was brought to my house when he was a young man and she a young girl, I have never transgressed against her even in thought much less in deed’ (A.II,61). The Buddha told him that he was ‘blessed, truly blessed to have Nakulamata full of compassion for you, concerned with your welfare, as your mentor and counsellor’ (A.III,298).

- http://sdhammika.blogspot.co.nz/2008/08/marriage.html


metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

User avatar
Monkey Mind
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:56 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:26 pm

"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
Lazy_eye
Posts: 864
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Laurel, MD
Contact:

Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:28 pm

Hi Zenainder,
In addition to the excellent links given above, you might want to have a look at a series of blog posts by Bhikkhu Cintita, titled The Art of Lay Life.

I also just picked up this book by Bhikkhu Basnagoda Rahula, and am finding it a good read.

It seems clear to me that Buddhist teachings can serve as a guidepost for a happy and healthy lay life. The more complicated question, for me, is how deeply one can go in meditation practice and in cultivating Dhamma insights while still sustaining a marriage, family, career, etc.

If you're able to develop deep jhana states you might get to the point where you don't want to return to the world of ordinary sense pleasures. If you get good enough at "knocking out the hindrances" you might end up abandoning kamacchanda altogether, which could make it hard to stay married...or pay your mortgage. If you contemplate the Four Noble Truths deeply enough, you may find yourself wanting to ordain.

Being a fairly worldly person myself, I don't pretend to have the answers to these questions -- I often ponder them, and am always interested to hear what experienced meditators (who are also married householders) have to say. My own meditation practice is fairly limited -- at best, 20 minutes of anapanasati a few times a week -- so I don't expect to be riding waves of jhana bliss, although I have experienced some very nice states. The Buddha appears to have recommended a certain amount of meditation for laypeople, but there could be an argument that the really advanced meditative attainments are better suited for monastics or those who are in a position to detach from worldly life to a great degree.

I practice what I would describe as "appropriate renunciation" -- i.e.letting go to the extent that it doesn't clash with my social/familial/spousal obligations and personal goals which I would like to accomplish. There is a lot that any of us can do to simplify our lives and reduce our habit of grasping. Perfecting the five precepts is a potentially lifelong task -- for some of us at least!

FWIW. my advice (which is the advice I give myself) is to try to clarify what your goals are, both in life and in Buddhist practice, and use these to shape your decisions.

User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 3829
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Aloka » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:43 pm

.

Hi Zenaider,

You might like to have a look at this booklet "On Love" by Ajahn Jayasaro.

http://www.thawsischool.com/uploads/files/2011_348/On_Love_Final.pdf

With kind wishes,

Aloka

User avatar
Zenainder
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 11:10 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Zenainder » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:58 am

Thank you all for sharing these very insightful articles. I am still in the process of reading the shorter ones and will work my way to the longer documents. I forget which one said it, but it basically stated lay life still includes learning there is no self and to commit full devotion to family and marriage. I can completely appreciate this. (Not that I needed reasons to stay married [I have a wonderful marriage btw]).

Have any married lay persons become stream enterers? Much of the teachings come with such familiarity to me, most of it echoes many observations I've made before studying deeply into Buddhism. This vessel grows weary, I shall rest. Thank you all again. :) I hope to give back what already has been so graciously given to me!

pegembara
Posts: 680
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby pegembara » Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:45 am

Have any married lay persons become stream enterers?


179 (9) A Layman

Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika, accompanied by five hundred lay followers, approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Blessed One then addressed the Venerable Sāriputta: “You should know, Sāriputta, that any white-robed householder whose actions are restrained by five training rules and who gains at will, without trouble or difficulty, four pleasant visible dwellings that pertain to the higher mind, might, if he so wished, declare of himself: ‘I am finished with hell, the animal realm, and the sphere of afflicted spirits; I am finished with the plane of misery, the bad destination, the lower world; I am a stream-enterer, no longer subject to [rebirth in] the lower world, fixed in destiny, heading for enlightenment.’

http://www.palicanon.org/index.php/sutt ... y-follower
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

User avatar
marc108
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:10 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006

Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby marc108 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:15 am

Zenainder wrote: It would seem to me that absense of clinging and love / marriage oppose one another.


attachment and entanglement are not the same thing!
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

Ananda26
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:41 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Ananda26 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:43 pm

Zenainder wrote:Hello forum!

As I've read the teachings and continue to practice dhamma, in my fragmented understanding I am left a question: how does love and marriage function on the spiritual journey of cessation? Likely due to my fragmented understanding I am left perplexed at how to collect a right view concerning these two. It would seem to me that absense of clinging and love / marriage oppose one another. Can someone kindly take the time to explain, both through commentary and the canons, how romantic & friendlike love is viewed in context of practicing the dhamma and marriage. If this is a common question, feel free to link me insightful forum or articles.

Please know that I have not lets this perplexity affect my marriage or practice. The question continues to arise and I am hoping to find answers.

Metta,

Zen


Long Discourse #31, advice to Sigalla the householder's son includes 5 ways a husband ministers to his wife and 5 things a wife does for her husband.

User avatar
Sati1
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:54 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Dhamma & Marriage?

Postby Sati1 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:13 pm

Zenainder wrote:Have any married lay persons become stream enterers?


Yes, Visakha was a woman with 20 children who became a stream enterer: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... bl142.html
See also http://www.buddhistteachings.org/wp-con ... -Entry.pdf
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)


Return to “Classical Theravāda”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests