Accepting Attachments/Household Life

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Zealot
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Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby Zealot » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:41 pm

I am struggling. I see two paths in front of me: One where I relinquish all my possessions, take up the robe and bowl, and find a master to teach me or a forest to live in. The other is the life Im living now, the household life. Though a few books Ive read talk briefly of this lifestyle, mostly I've come to understand that the edge here is sharper and the path more difficult.

Well, I've certainly ran out of clarity. How does one live the household life? How can I own things yet remain unattached to them? How do I enjoy the company of my family when their enjoyment is intoxication and sloth? Maybe Im being melodramatic. My family likes to sit down and watch TV at the end of the day. There are cigarette smokers, coffee drinkers, and cannabis tokers. We eat throughout the day. The more I think about it, the more household life seems to be an intoxicant: once the work is done, enjoy the spoils. Do I accept these pointless pleasures while trying to maintain mindfulness? It seems to reject them is to reject my family and house.

Confused and curious,
Zealot
"My life for Aiur!" - Protoss Zealot

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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby Admin_PC » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:01 am

Are you the owner of the household?
When you say "my family" are you referring to living in your parents' (or siblings') house?
Or are you talking about a family that you started?

If you don't like the path that you're parents/siblings have laid out in front of you and you really want to practice Dharma as a renunciate (sp?), then as long as you're old enough to make your own decisions I don't see why not.

However, if you have a house that you own and a family that you started (ie wife & kids), I don't know that anybody in good conscience would recommend that you abandon them; unless you have someone like Suddhodana to provide for any & all of their needs.

As far as how folks practice while living the household life?
It's a matter of reserving time & space in order to practice, to develop a clear mind, and to not let the craziness get to you.
I have my study, with my shrine, and I retreat there early in the morning and late at night.
For possessions, remembering impermanence and remembering to not let the things you own, own you really helps.
The stoics have a practice of occasionally visualizing losing the objects & people in our life that we cherish in order to understand their impermanence and appreciate them more. I find this helps.

greentara
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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby greentara » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:11 am

I've thought along these lines... but the truth is is you had no doubts you'd be long gone! It's also better to look at the family with their many habits and foibles with compassion rather then distaste
Who knows maybe they need you or rather you need them...thats for you to figure out. Leaving the family maybe like pulling out the stem of the flower, which supports the petals.

Zealot
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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby Zealot » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:32 am

:namaste:

Porkchop, I am not the main provider of this household. I could leave this life behind. It would be hurtful, but only emotionally. If I were to keep the household life, likely it would end me in a position as provider. But currently, I could in good conscious leave.

Im a little more concerned with the heedlessness and waste that comes from a household life. Should I not watch television with my family and loved ones? What about eating three meals a day and snacks?
"My life for Aiur!" - Protoss Zealot

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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby tomamundsen » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:21 am


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Quiet Heart
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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby Quiet Heart » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:37 am

:smile:
Zealot:
I do not mean to be unkind, I really don't.
But in my personal opinion you seem to have a very idealised and simplistic view that there are only two ways to go....either the path of total abandonment of the world or a path of total attachment to the "sinful" and evil world.
There is a middle path you know.
The thing you seek is inside you, in your true nature. It is not going to be found outside of your self, your true nature,
You can find it as easily in a crowded street in a busy city as you can find it in a forest Wat in Thailand isolated from the outside world. (By the way, as I live in Bangkok, I can tell you that these days....although you WILL find some pretty isolated Wats in some areas....the ideal of finding an isolated Wat in a peaceful forest and living apart from the world....actually takes a lot of work....because such places are hard to find these days).
If you feel you must leave your family, then do that.
But, as I said, not being unkind; but the answer you are looking for is NOT outside....it is inside you.
That's the place to look for it.
:smile:

P.S. Read my signature that adds itself automatically to the end of this post just below this.
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach

Zealot
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Where shall I live?

Postby Zealot » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:58 am

Thank you for the reply, everyone, and in particular, Quiet Heart. You are right that what Im looking for is right here, it is right in front of me, but I keep being dragged back into defilement in this household life. My wish to leave it behind is pure, and wind of travel is within me. I need somewhere new so that I can leave behind all these things and find out what baggage Im still carrying. I need a master, a lineage to be a part of, a light to guide me. Because although I have pure intentions, my mind and body are lacking.

As much as I have tried, I cannot accept the household life. Perhaps the Sangha will guide this body to its proper place?
"My life for Aiur!" - Protoss Zealot

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby Monlam Tharchin » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:19 am

Do what you can where you are and don't worry too much. :twothumbsup:
on hiatus since September, 2017

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Re: Where shall I live?

Postby Yudron » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:21 am

Author of Buddhist young adult fiction. Vlogger at Wisdom and Compassion: Grandma Yudron's Totally Chill Vlog on Meditation and Tibetan Wisdom Blogger at Very active on Twitter.

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KathyLauren
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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby KathyLauren » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:52 am


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Indrajala
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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby Indrajala » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:44 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby Jnana » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:16 am


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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby Admin_PC » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:53 am


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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby lobster » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:59 am


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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby Grigoris » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:06 am

Zealot, no matter where you go your mind goes with you. Your attachment is a quality of your mind. You can be by yourself at the top of a mountain peak, in a cave, or living deep in the forest and still have attachment, yearning, memories, aversion, etc... Peace of mind and equanimity are an inner quality, not an outer quality. Renuncuation helps because you do not have objects of attachment at hand, but if you understand the emptiness of these phenomena, that the qualities you crave for or are repulsed by are just projecions of your mind, well then...

Find yourself a good teacher and stop beating yourself up. Stop being so dramatic all the time, just relax. Cut the idealism and be more pragmatic with what you are capable of RIGHT NOW.
:namaste:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Jesse
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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby Jesse » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:42 am

“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

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Seishin
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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby Seishin » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:46 am

Middle road is best for now. Get rid of things that you know you don't need. De-clutter so to speak. See how you get on. Meditate daily for at least 30mins :smile:


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seeker242
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Re: Where shall I live?

Postby seeker242 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:16 pm

One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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florin
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Re: Where shall I live?

Postby florin » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:27 pm

"Bow down to me for I thirst for an infinite ocean of blood, since the innumerable torrents of floods at kalpa's end that terrify all world systems do not even wet the tip of my tongue"

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Re: Accepting Attachments/Household Life

Postby greentara » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:42 pm

Perhaps you need to be stingy with the books you read, stingy with concepts, stingy with likes and dislikes. There is a 'pattern, the most obvious, perfect, and beautiful, in which a man is born, grew to manhood, married, produced children, toiled for his bread, and died;' but there are others, intricate and wonderful, in which happiness did enter and in which success was not attempted; and in them might be discovered a divine grace.


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