Children and spiritual progress

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom
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Sati1
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Children and spiritual progress

Postby Sati1 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:44 pm

Hello,

A slightly personal question: my wife and I are in our early thirties and currently childless, but she has recently become keen on having 1-2 children. I used to share her interest, but since getting on The Path about a year ago I feel like children would become a massive inhibitor of spiritual progress due to time & money stress. Does anybody have thoughts on the consequences that having children has for Path pursuit?

Thank you,
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)

Virgo
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Re: Children and spiritual progress

Postby Virgo » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:58 pm

Entanglement.

Kevin

culaavuso
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Re: Children and spiritual progress

Postby culaavuso » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:06 pm

Ven. Ajahn Fuang Jotiko gave a talk titled A Single Mind that discusses in detail children and marriage in relation to practice.

With children, AN 3.48: Pabbata Sutta may be inspirational. Suttas that reference relationships between parents and children such as SN 12.63: Puttamansa Sutta and Snp 1.8: Karaniya Metta Sutta may become more visceral in effect.

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bodom
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Re: Children and spiritual progress

Postby bodom » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:03 pm

My 4 and 3 year old children have been my greatest teachers of the paramis of patience and loving kindness.

: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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Jetavan
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Re: Children and spiritual progress

Postby Jetavan » Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:03 am

A perfect chance to produce some little Buddhas.

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Sati1
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Re: Children and spiritual progress

Postby Sati1 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:04 am

Thank you for the advice.

culaavuso wrote:Ven. Ajahn Fuang Jotiko gave a talk titled A Single Mind that discusses in detail children and marriage in relation to practice.


This text certainly provides a very strong message. I will continue to reflect on the topic.

Best,
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)

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Cittasanto
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Re: Children and spiritual progress

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:44 am

stress should be known...

Just remember every moment is an opportunity to practice and see the truth of the Dhamma. Even the less conductive to practice situations we may encounter.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

binocular
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Re: Children and spiritual progress

Postby binocular » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:11 am

One way to think about this matter is to focus on the topic whether one is fit to be a parent.

Ideally, like the Buddha, a parent should be able to enlighten his or her children, as opposed to participate in the children wasting their lives. So if one realizes one isn't able to live up to that standard, then it is better not to have children.

This way one abstains from having children not out of aversion for the difficulties that having children tends to bring along, but out of a recognition of one's own incompetence to be an enlightened parent.

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Re: Children and spiritual progress

Postby Ananda26 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:54 pm

Sati1 wrote:Hello,

A slightly personal question: my wife and I are in our early thirties and currently childless, but she has recently become keen on having 1-2 children. I used to share her interest, but since getting on The Path about a year ago I feel like children would become a massive inhibitor of spiritual progress due to time & money stress. Does anybody have thoughts on the consequences that having children has for Path pursuit?

Thank you,


In the United States we have big brother and big sister programs. One spends some time with like an orphan or someone in need of a relationship. Maybe it is a way of helping children and without getting locked into too much time and money stress.

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Zom
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Re: Children and spiritual progress

Postby Zom » Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:15 pm

Does anybody have thoughts on the consequences that having children has for Path pursuit?


This depends on your current position on the Path -)

In someone's case (like that of prince Siddhattha Gotama) children would be an obstacle (Rahulas -). While it is okey for another person, less spiritually developed. So it is up to you to decide whether to create your own "full family" or not.

PS: My dhamma friend went to Thailand and became a monk. However, he saw that he was not spiritually developed enough to be a monk, so he disrobed and decided to make a family.


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