Dharma Wheel

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:01 am
Posts: 152

I know that some of the members of this forum are members of the monastic sangha. I was wondering, especially for those of you who don't come from Buddhist cultures, how your families took the news.

So how did they take the news and how did you deal with their reaction?

Also, I would like this thread to avoid becoming another debate on the current state of Buddhist monasticism.


"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Posts: 5991
Location: Taiwan
My father died when I was seven, but my mother was fine with it. I had left home at seventeen and have been doing my own thing since then without much connection to my family, so there were no problems. My brother and sister have been supportive.

My extended family have been supportive as well and think it is cool what I'm doing.

I know some people, especially in Asia, have problems when they tell their folks they want to become a monk or nun. I think it is because their parents have expectations that their son or daughter (especially sons) will become successful professionals who they can brag about and rely on in their old age. This is of course samsaric thinking, but is also one of the greatest hurdles for a lot of people.

Even devout Buddhist families, especially Chinese ones, have problems when their son expresses an interest in becoming a monk. In a lot of Chinese communities becoming a monk was an indication that you either failed at life or had some crisis in life that made ordination look a bit better than suicide. I'm not sure if that stigma is still entirely gone.

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