Fear of becoming a boring person

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Digity
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Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by Digity »

One of my fears of becoming too committed to the practice is that I'll become a really boring person. I already feel that my life is kind of boring to begin with. What I mean, is if I stop watching all TV and don't play games, etc. I'll have little to talk about or relate with others in my life. I'd probably stop being friends with the friends that I have, since our friendships typically revolve around playing games, etc. I think the last thing I need is to become totally isolated from others. It makes me wonder how some lay people who are very committed and have let go of a lot of these things are still able to relate to people in their lives or maintain friendships, especially living in a Western culture that has little care for the values in Buddhism.
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Goofaholix
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by Goofaholix »

Digity wrote:One of my fears of becoming too committed to the practice is that I'll become a really boring person. I already feel that my life is kind of boring to begin with. What I mean, is if I stop watching all TV and don't play games, etc. I'll have little to talk about or relate with others in my life. I'd probably stop being friends with the friends that I have, since our friendships typically revolve around playing games, etc. I think the last thing I need is to become totally isolated from others. It makes me wonder how some lay people who are very committed and have let go of a lot of these things are still able to relate to people in their lives or maintain friendships, especially living in a Western culture that has little care for the values in Buddhism.
Boring to whom? are you required to entertain others?

I think if you should examine the definition of boring you are talking about here as it's quite ironic ... "if I stop watching all TV and don't play games, etc. I'll have little to talk about or relate with others in my life".
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

Boring is good if you want to drill down to what is hidden beneath the surface.
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retrofuturist
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Boring is good if you want to drill down to what is hidden beneath the surface.
:clap:

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

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
SarathW
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by SarathW »

I can understand your point.
As a lay Buddhist you are expected only to observe the five precepts and follow the Noble Eightfold Path relevant to a lay Buddhist.
Observe the eight precepts only once a month.
There are many Buddhist stories about kings and queens who follow the Buddha's advise and had a quite a happy and normal life.
Find some good Kalyana Mittas.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
Digity
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by Digity »

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Boring is good if you want to drill down to what is hidden beneath the surface.
That's exactly it. I fully understand that these sort of lay life pursuits/concerns don't lead to dispassion/disenchantment and keep us further entangled. So yes, I understand why the practice focus on the shedding away of these sort of concerns and I would fully expect a monk to not be worried about pursuing these sort of things. That being said, it's a bit different being a lay person. I guess part of me sort of resents lay life, because I see that it's not fully conducive to the path and it is dusty as the Buddha has said.

It seems that some lay practitioners have been able to let go of a lot of these worldly concerns and still be well-grounded in lay life. I haven't figured out how to do that myself. I feel the need to engage in lay life to some degree. Otherwise, I feel strange and detached from the people around me. I guess if I became really good at meditation I probably wouldn't care much about being thought of as boring or whatever.
Digity
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by Digity »

Goofaholix wrote:
Digity wrote:One of my fears of becoming too committed to the practice is that I'll become a really boring person. I already feel that my life is kind of boring to begin with. What I mean, is if I stop watching all TV and don't play games, etc. I'll have little to talk about or relate with others in my life. I'd probably stop being friends with the friends that I have, since our friendships typically revolve around playing games, etc. I think the last thing I need is to become totally isolated from others. It makes me wonder how some lay people who are very committed and have let go of a lot of these things are still able to relate to people in their lives or maintain friendships, especially living in a Western culture that has little care for the values in Buddhism.
Boring to whom? are you required to entertain others?

I think if you should examine the definition of boring you are talking about here as it's quite ironic ... "if I stop watching all TV and don't play games, etc. I'll have little to talk about or relate with others in my life".
It's not so much about entertaining others, but being able to relate with them. For instance, if I were to become more serious and follow the eight precepts on a full time basis I wouldn't be able to participate in any sort of entertainment, but that would greatly eliminate my interaction with others. I do follow the eight precepts once a week though. However, there are some lay people that do follow the eight precepts full time. I wonder how they do this and are still able to be a lay person. I admire them and their efforts and sort of wish I was that far along the path to do it too, but I just feel it's difficult in this western culture to pull it off. I feel like you almost have to remove yourself from society to do it.
SarathW
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by SarathW »

I do not observe eight precepts but now I do not watch TV and listening to music. (I feel much better now)
I watch only Dhamma related news.
Now I have no desire to associate any friends unless they are also interested in Buddhism.
I am not interested in going to parties and drinking etc.
Some times people think that I am spooky if I say that I did not know local news that there was an earth quake or floods killing people.
Some of my friends are more accommodative as they mainly are Buddhists.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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Goofaholix
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by Goofaholix »

Digity wrote:It's not so much about entertaining others, but being able to relate with them. For instance, if I were to become more serious and follow the eight precepts on a full time basis I wouldn't be able to participate in any sort of entertainment, but that would greatly eliminate my interaction with others. I do follow the eight precepts once a week though. However, there are some lay people that do follow the eight precepts full time. I wonder how they do this and are still able to be a lay person. I admire them and their efforts and sort of wish I was that far along the path to do it too, but I just feel it's difficult in this western culture to pull it off. I feel like you almost have to remove yourself from society to do it.
I haven't heard of laypeople following the 8 precepts fulltime other than those living in monasteries or retreat centres, the Buddha recommended 5 precepts for the rest of us as practicing all 8 isn't really practical for most laypoeople.

I think if you want to try and do that then all power to you but I'm inclined to think not being able to have a casual conversation about TV or games will be the least of your challenges.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah
Digity
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by Digity »

SarathW wrote:I do not observe eight precepts but now I do not watch TV and listening to music. (I feel much better now)
I watch only Dhamma related news.
Now I have no desire to associate any friends unless they are also interested in Buddhism.
I am not interested in going to parties and drinking etc.
Some times people think that I am spooky if I say that I did not know local news that there was an earth quake or floods killing people.
Some of my friends are more accommodative as they mainly are Buddhists.
It's good that you stopped watching TV and listening to music. I'm slowly trying to ween myself off of that stuff. I don't watch TV or listen to music on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, but the other days I'm allowed. I notice that when I have watched a lot of TV or listened to a lot of music my mind can feel more contracted and it feeds the desire to be distracted. I'm hoping I'll eventually cut it out for good.

You're lucky to have Buddhist friends. I wish I had even one friend that was really interested in Buddhism, but I don't. None of my friends care about Buddhism. I don't think there's anything wrong with having non-Buddhist friends, though. As long as they're good people. So yeah, I guess having Buddhist friends would definitely make following the practice easier. It complicates matters for me, since my friends have no understanding of the practice and would not be able to relate to it. The practice has become something I mostly just keep to myself.
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Sprouticus
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by Sprouticus »

Hi Digity!
Do you have pets? Or creative hobbies? Maybe a yard or home that you take care of? Any of these things can be the basis of conversation with friends. If you do keep some entertainment options, you can always choose things that you find more wholesome or educational.

:anjali:
Namo buddhaya
chownah
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by chownah »

Sprouticus wrote:Hi Digity!
Do you have pets? Or creative hobbies? Maybe a yard or home that you take care of? Any of these things can be the basis of conversation with friends. If you do keep some entertainment options, you can always choose things that you find more wholesome or educational.

:anjali:
Good post! :goodpost:
I'll just add that developing new interests can attract new people and be the basis for new friendships....maybe some people who understands you better.
chownah
dhammarelax
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by dhammarelax »

Digity wrote:One of my fears of becoming too committed to the practice is that I'll become a really boring person. I already feel that my life is kind of boring to begin with. What I mean, is if I stop watching all TV and don't play games, etc. I'll have little to talk about or relate with others in my life. I'd probably stop being friends with the friends that I have, since our friendships typically revolve around playing games, etc. I think the last thing I need is to become totally isolated from others. It makes me wonder how some lay people who are very committed and have let go of a lot of these things are still able to relate to people in their lives or maintain friendships, especially living in a Western culture that has little care for the values in Buddhism.
Do you remember the Sutta where Ananda says to the Buddha that good friendship is half the holy life and the Buddha replies no, its all of it?

Try to find good friends.

smile
dhammarelax
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5
Digity
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by Digity »

dhammarelax wrote:
Digity wrote:One of my fears of becoming too committed to the practice is that I'll become a really boring person. I already feel that my life is kind of boring to begin with. What I mean, is if I stop watching all TV and don't play games, etc. I'll have little to talk about or relate with others in my life. I'd probably stop being friends with the friends that I have, since our friendships typically revolve around playing games, etc. I think the last thing I need is to become totally isolated from others. It makes me wonder how some lay people who are very committed and have let go of a lot of these things are still able to relate to people in their lives or maintain friendships, especially living in a Western culture that has little care for the values in Buddhism.
Do you remember the Sutta where Ananda says to the Buddha that good friendship is half the holy life and the Buddha replies no, its all of it?

Try to find good friends.

smile
dhammarelax
I'm well aware of the importance of spiritual friends, but it's hard to find fellow Buddhist. The reality is that most people in western culture don't care about Buddhism. Most people don't even understand what the path is about and this whole notion of liberating oneself from samsara is so off their radar.

My litmus test for friendship is whether they would cause me to break the precepts. If a "friend" is pushing me into behaviour that would break the precepts or lead to immoral behaviour then I distance myself from them. Otherwise, if they're generally good people I'll be friends. If I limited myself to just Buddhist friends I'd have no friends. It's a sad fact. I wish Buddhism was a more popular thing, but at the same time I understand why it isn't. If you have fellow Buddhist friends consider yourself lucky and make sure you maintain them.
dharmacorps
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Re: Fear of becoming a boring person

Post by dharmacorps »

Interesting post-- I have been observing this lately but I have been experiencing this in a different light. I am noticing my attachment or craving to being known as an "interesting person"-- i.e. funny, witty, sharp, etc. Maybe this is the flipside, the aversion to being thought of as boring. The question may be, what does it mean to you that you are seen as boring?
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