Family lost in maya

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Family lost in maya

Postby flowerbudh » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:43 am

I understand that I have karmic ties with my mother, father, and brother and in that regard am in the exact living situation I am meant to be in. However, I find it increasingly difficult to tolerate the suffering my family members impose on each other, on me and on themselves. In a sense, I am mad at them, but I also have compassion. They know of my becoming a Buddhist, but believe it to be (in their words) just as "woo-woo" as any other religion and that makes my heart hurt. I am not denying that I too have flaws, in fact, I am taking full responsibility for them. I just don't know how to adjust.. I suppose once I get to a certain level in my spiritual development, their ignorance won't irk me as much, but for now what can I do?
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha
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Re: Family lost in maya

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:58 am

Nothing really, try not to talk about it much with them if it makes them uncomfortable or they are nasty about it. Practice, study, become more secure in what you believe by earnestly investigating.

I don't recommend repeating anything like this, but if you are just looking for consolation, most people don't have examined belief systems at all, so they can talk all they want about "woo-woo", but if they live the kind of unexamined life that is pretty much standard, you don't need to feel intimidated by their criticisms, they probably couldn't defend their own worldviews at all if they had to. You should also feel good that you're willing to step our of what counts as normalcy in your family in order to further yourself spiritually, IMO that's the sign of a certain level of maturity.

Just do you best to get along other than that, but don't be a doormat.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Family lost in maya

Postby Alfredo » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:42 am

I too believe that Buddhism is just as "woo woo" as other religions, in the sense that they all have superstitious or culture-bound elements. But that doesn't make Buddhism, or other religions, worthless--it just means you have to be selective.

Buddhist or not, we are all ignorant, and we all cause suffering as well as receive it--especially in relationships. Anyway, teasing may just be their way of expressing intimacy and familiarity, and meant good-naturedly. Try to cultivate a sense of humor about it, and don't be too bothered about what their remarks. In time, they may see what effect Buddhism has on you, and come to respect your choice.
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Re: Family lost in maya

Postby oushi » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:41 am

flowerbudh wrote:I understand that I have karmic ties with my mother, father, and brother and in that regard am in the exact living situation I am meant to be in. However, I find it increasingly difficult to tolerate the suffering my family members impose on each other, on me and on themselves. In a sense, I am mad at them, but I also have compassion. They know of my becoming a Buddhist, but believe it to be (in their words) just as "woo-woo" as any other religion and that makes my heart hurt. I am not denying that I too have flaws, in fact, I am taking full responsibility for them. I just don't know how to adjust.. I suppose once I get to a certain level in my spiritual development, their ignorance won't irk me as much, but for now what can I do?

I think that it is because you still have trust in their opinion, and you doubt yours. A common way to solve it, would be to convince them to your views, and this is the last thing you should try. Give them compassion without expecting anything back.
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Re: Family lost in maya

Postby ClearblueSky » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:06 am

Not only a certain level of spiritual development, but also when you reach a certain age and become more independent, so luckily it's pretty much a guarantee. I'll also second what Alfredo said, how instead of trying to convince them of anything about Buddhism itself (which may be impossible) they may see what effect Buddhism has on you, and come to respect your choice. Even if they don't see an outward change, tell them it makes you very happy and hopefully they can appreciate that. Maybe share some ways that it's helped you work towards some things they themselves wanted for you. And if they never understand, that's okay, sometimes the things you can value despite the lack of validation from others can be extra powerful, just remind yourself that it feels very beneficial to you regardless.
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Re: Family lost in maya

Postby lobster » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:41 am

:woohoo:

oh you said woo woo . . .
We have woo woo in Buddhism, so your parents are right.

. . . some people eg. parents, moderators, advanced practitioners, born again Buddhists, teachers, young people etc think they know better but [possible know it all revelation coming] . . . what if people know things in different ways :shrug:
[time to break out the pop corn] and just observe others, ourself and so on . . .

:popcorn:
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Re: Family lost in maya

Postby wisdom » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:24 pm

flowerbudh wrote:I understand that I have karmic ties with my mother, father, and brother and in that regard am in the exact living situation I am meant to be in. However, I find it increasingly difficult to tolerate the suffering my family members impose on each other, on me and on themselves. In a sense, I am mad at them, but I also have compassion. They know of my becoming a Buddhist, but believe it to be (in their words) just as "woo-woo" as any other religion and that makes my heart hurt. I am not denying that I too have flaws, in fact, I am taking full responsibility for them. I just don't know how to adjust.. I suppose once I get to a certain level in my spiritual development, their ignorance won't irk me as much, but for now what can I do?


Almost everyone you ever meet will go through life conditioned by the world around them, conditioned by their own mind, and they will rarely if ever seek greater awareness or do whats needed to attain it. Nor will most of them ever be able to really break free of their conditioning, they will just be swept away by it. They will suffer and not understand why, then they will make more suffering from the "solutions" they implement to relieve their pain. They will remain trapped in Samsara until the day they die. The worst part is that no matter how realized we are, we cannot force other people to become realized, we cannot force them into awakening, we have to just have as much compassion as possible for them and from that place of compassion always act to benefit them, wishing that they attain liberation as swiftly as possible. Besides cultivating patience towards the faults of others, this is all we can really do in a situation like this.

For ourselves we can look at this and contemplate the pitfalls of samsaric existence and attachment. Seeing suffering unfold in front of us and knowing why its happening can be a powerful tool to remove ourselves further from our own attachments which hold us back from attaining freedom.

The "religion" of Buddhism is indeed woo-woo. The religion is the external appearance of the internal teachings and is based heavily, or perhaps entirely, on culture, its the teachings themselves that are important, that is the real Dharma. It is the teachings that liberate beings, not the practice of religion or ritual. Of course we must put the teachings into practice, but the teachings never say we must adopt a religion or religious attitude. They say we must cultivate non attachment and compassion!

As Buddhism comes to the west, we can see how our culture is adopting it in its own way. The message remains the same though. The way the message clothes itself... that is all religion.
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Re: Family lost in maya

Postby longjie » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:33 am

Well, the first step is to not view basic family interaction in terms of karma, maya, and other Buddhist concepts. For the purpose of daily life, your family is just your family. If they disagree with you, just let them go. Conflict over religion will just breed more animosity, which is bad for everyone. Just live a peaceful life and be respectful, and hopefully after some time, they will show the same generosity to you.
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