In Love - what to do about it?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: In Love - what to do about it?

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:10 pm

kayy wrote:Point taken about TNH, Batchelor, Goldstein etc. In order to teach a lay community effectively, though, I would still argue that it is necessary to have real experience as a lay practitioner, so as to gain a real understanding of the things we have to deal with living in society, having jobs, relationships and so on.


I read ya. Definitely appreciate having teachers around who have insight into those things -- either from personal experience, or in some cases just because they have a real affinity with laypeople.

Of course it depends on the student. Personally, I feel the need for teachers with experience of a lifestyle similar to mine. Other lay practitioners, as I know, prefer the teachings of some of the monastic community. When it comes down to it it's just a personal feeling caused by our personal karma, that we attempt to justify using 'rational' thought and language.


When I started out exploring Buddhism, I felt alarmed and threatened by the emphasis on monasticism. Maybe I felt my balls would fall off if I thought about it, or that I'd feel some mysterious urge to ordain. And so at first I tended to minimize that aspect of the tradition. My entry point was through Zen, anyway, where these days even priests can get married. :)

But, you know, this was just ignorance and aversion. It makes a lot more sense to try and understand rather than shutting it out.

I agree about rationalizing one's karma. So easy to fall into that mental trap.
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Re: In Love - what to do about it?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:52 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:
kayy wrote:Point taken about TNH, Batchelor, Goldstein etc. In order to teach a lay community effectively, though, I would still argue that it is necessary to have real experience as a lay practitioner, so as to gain a real understanding of the things we have to deal with living in society, having jobs, relationships and so on.


I read ya. Definitely appreciate having teachers around who have insight into those things -- either from personal experience, or in some cases just because they have a real affinity with laypeople.

I appreciate having contact with a variety of teachers. However, those I really trust happen to be monastic.

I think that there can be some seriously mistaken impressions about monastics among those who have not spent time with them. All monastics were once lay people, and thus may have had various experiences in terms of relationships and so on that they can, and do, draw on. (Though one of my teachers was a novice since age 13 and sometimes jokes that there was no point asking him questions about sex...). Besides, it would be foolish to assume that monastics do not have to deal with most of the same sorts of interpersonal and organisational conflicts as the rest of us...

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Re: In Love - what to do about it?

Postby kayy » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:55 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:
kayy wrote:Point taken about TNH, Batchelor, Goldstein etc. In order to teach a lay community effectively, though, I would still argue that it is necessary to have real experience as a lay practitioner, so as to gain a real understanding of the things we have to deal with living in society, having jobs, relationships and so on.


I read ya. Definitely appreciate having teachers around who have insight into those things -- either from personal experience, or in some cases just because they have a real affinity with laypeople.

Of course it depends on the student. Personally, I feel the need for teachers with experience of a lifestyle similar to mine. Other lay practitioners, as I know, prefer the teachings of some of the monastic community. When it comes down to it it's just a personal feeling caused by our personal karma, that we attempt to justify using 'rational' thought and language.


When I started out exploring Buddhism, I felt alarmed and threatened by the emphasis on monasticism. Maybe I felt my balls would fall off if I thought about it, or that I'd feel some mysterious urge to ordain. And so at first I tended to minimize that aspect of the tradition. My entry point was through Zen, anyway, where these days even priests can get married. :)

But, you know, this was just ignorance and aversion. It makes a lot more sense to try and understand rather than shutting it out.

I agree about rationalizing one's karma. So easy to fall into that mental trap.




Yeah - I've started to realise lately that the more I understand and accept something, the less threatened I feel by it. You have to turn towards something to be unharmed by it, rather than turning away. I guess that's the whole point of...well.... Buddhism, really, isn't it? Turn towards life and death, rather than turning away and distracting ourselves, shutting it out.... :soap:
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