the social squeeze, e.g. saying grace

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
steveb1
Posts: 549
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

the social squeeze, e.g. saying grace

Postby steveb1 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:27 am

Is there a Buddhist way of meeting social situations such as being called upon to say grace? Is there a non-denominational blessing that a Buddhist could use that would be appropriate to the occasion and at the same time honor the Dharma?

A similar example might be being expected to pray at weddings or funerals. Is it okay to recite, say, the Lord's Prayer in order to show solidarity with the celebrators and/or the mourners? Or is a bowed head and silent lips the preferred course?

User avatar
Monlam Tharchin
Posts: 1266
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:11 am
Location: Oregon

Re: the social squeeze, e.g. saying grace

Postby Monlam Tharchin » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:56 am

I would personally join in the spirit of the prayer or grace. If you're uncomfortable saying words, then don't say them :) It's better than doing the motions while hypocritically lacking a spirit of love or gratitude. If you are comfortable saying the words, then I personally see it as another part of our unending practice. We practice love by saying silly things to our children or spouses, or by making small talk to put someone at ease. So any specific concept or word is just a tool for this, unless you think it might bring suffering to others somehow.

Specifically for grace, if you're called on to do it and people know it will be non-denominational, keep it simple :) Since ideally giving gratitude is good practice before any meal, there's lots of time to find something that works for you. When I'm by myself, I use a Kagyu prayer that resembles taking refuge but would be fairly opaque to non-practitioners:
The unsurpassed teacher is the precious Buddha; the unsurpassed protector is the precious Dharma; the unsurpassed refuge is the precious Sangha. To these three jewels, I make this offering.

Off the top of my head, a totally secular, non-denominational grace may resemble:
We are grateful for this meal. It is the gift of much hard work, countless people, and the earth and sky. May we stay in the present moment with each other and this food, so we don't miss this precious opportunity to eat together. May everyone be happy and meet with success in all things, and through this meal, may we in some way learn to be gentler, kinder people.

It's really up to you. I haven't been put in that situation yet, so good luck! Intention is more important than form, I think. HHDL has attended Catholic services and participated fully, as I recall. :thumbsup:
on hiatus since September, 2017

steveb1
Posts: 549
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

Re: the social squeeze, e.g. saying grace

Postby steveb1 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:04 am

duckfiasco, thank you for your reply and thoughtful ideas :)

dakini_boi
Posts: 683
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:02 am

Re: the social squeeze, e.g. saying grace

Postby dakini_boi » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:16 pm


User avatar
Konchog1
Posts: 1468
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am

Re: the social squeeze, e.g. saying grace

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:58 pm

This food is the gift of the entire universe
each morsel is a sacrifice of life
may I be worthy to receive it.
May the energy in this food
bring me strength
to transform my unwholesome qualities
into wholesome ones.
(leave out the following:) I am grateful for this food,
may I realize the path of awakening for the sake of all beings.

Reciting the Lord's Prayer to please others would damage your refuge vows.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 8493
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: the social squeeze, e.g. saying grace

Postby DGA » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:11 am


steveb1
Posts: 549
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

Re: the social squeeze, e.g. saying grace

Postby steveb1 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:07 am

Again, thanks to all who are replying for all the suggestions and insights :)

User avatar
Huifeng
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:51 am

Re: the social squeeze, e.g. saying grace

Postby Huifeng » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:29 am



plwk
Posts: 2933
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: the social squeeze, e.g. saying grace

Postby plwk » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:54 am


Simon E.
Posts: 4372
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: the social squeeze, e.g. saying grace

Postby Simon E. » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:32 pm

The common ground is gratitude.
" My heart's in the Highlands
my heart is not here.
My heart's in the Highlands
chasing the deer."

Robert V.C. Burns.

User avatar
seeker242
Posts: 1204
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: the social squeeze, e.g. saying grace

Postby seeker242 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:47 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!


Return to “Dharma in Everyday Life”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bristollad, Vasana and 27 guests