Sherab Dorje wrote:I mean easier in the following way:uan wrote:Sherab Dorje wrote: When you are not allowed to watch film, theater, music, etc... then being distracted by these is just not an issue.
then again ... The lama in the video is Loppon Rechungpa (Nyingma).
It's Saturday night and you are a vow holding monastic, do you:
a) Go out with some friends, to a venue of your liking, to imbibe the intoxicant of your choice and hopefully end up in bed for some causal sex.
b) Go out with your better half to a movie/restaurant, have a couple of drinks and go home to make love.
c) Stay at home with the spouse and kids, suffer through some children's movies before putting them to bed, put on a show of your choice and drink a couple of glasses of wine/beer before going to bed.
d) Stay at "home" and practice sadhana, then go to bed and practice sleep/dream yoga.
See how it is "easier"?
d) of course.
However, a person shouldn't need to be a vow holding monastic to make that choice. Vows shouldn't be viewed solely by what you are being denied, rather they should be a reflection of who you are. There are many types of vows. I'm married and have taken marriage vows. The vows reflect my deep love for my wife. I don't look at them as a series of things I can't do anymore, including: a) hooking up with that hot number I met at the beach; b) hanging out with my mates 24/7 when I'm not working; c) taking vacations on single cruises on my own.
I know many soldiers who have taken vows (oaths) to defend their country. But those vows/oaths followed what they already felt in their hearts. Their highest values were already to defend their country by carrying arms against enemies.
In that sense, there shouldn't really be a choice, because sadhana would be what you want to be doing, not something you "should" be doing. It would be more rewarding to you personally than going out to the pub for drinks and a roll in the sack afterwards. But, of course, that's easier to say than to do. We all waste time in one way or the other, for sure I'm as guilty of this as anyone!
But knowing where you are is very important, as well as knowing where you want to go (or perhaps where you think you should be?). On one level, we are where we want to be, at least to the extent that we prefer that to the effort it takes to be somewhere else.
So on the one hand, we as practitioners normally would/should find our practice the most enjoyable thing. On the other hand, I'd agree that there are times, when we know ourselves well, that applying an external "discipline" is the best course of actions. For myself, there are many things I can learn on my own in my professional life, but I find going to a class makes it easier to carve out the time needed for study.
I'd agree with Dan74 above, that life, just day to day, is an opportunity to practice. Every moment is sadhana.
Moving back to monastics, thinking only of my teachers, they are beyond needing the vows to make the right choices for what they should be doing. For younger, less spiritually advanced monks, the vows definitely can help in those moments of weakness, but the goal should be to eventually grow beyond needing them - we'd act in accordance with the vows without even thinking of them.