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Love relationships and renunciation - Dhamma Wheel

Love relationships and renunciation

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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kareniel
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Love relationships and renunciation

Postby kareniel » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:04 am

I've been considering renunciation for a few years now. Month after month, I worked delicately at detaching myself from worldly pleasures, contenting myself with less and less, and maintaining a profound joy and confidence. Practice has been very rewarding, and it seemed as though most obstacles have been cleared for me to go forth in the homeless life.
"...having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I pursued that theme; having understood the reward of renunciation, I familiarized myself with it. My heart leaped up at renunciation, grew confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace."— AN 9.41

But something unexpected happened last winter, during a period when I didn't practice regularly, and indulged in intoxicants. I grew fond of the person I was living with. I am currently in a relationship with this beautiful, kind and compassionate woman who is very dear to me. We've been dating for a few months. She has two kids and takes care of them alone. I was not careful and have said things that generated expectations from her. As I am practicing more and more, getting back on track, my goal comes back to the surface and I've come to see this relationship as a hindrance. I am now in front of a situation and choice I never thought would happen.

A part of me wants to leave her, although she is very dear to me, and go into preparatory retreats for a few months before approaching a monastery for ordination as an anagarika.
Another part of me sees this as very neglectful of her feelings and irresponsible, as though I was engaged profoundly in something that was beyond me. It would be hard for to find peace knowing that I have broken someone's heart and given the dhamma a bad reputation at the same time.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this. I am not taking this matter lightly, and don't want to rush this decision to regret it afterwards.
I also think that this is a good opportunity to discuss the moral repercussions surrounding this topic relating to the Buddhist doctrine.
Another case would be divorce for the sake of ordination. It also applies to friendships and family relationships.

What are your thoughts?

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ground
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Re: Love relationships and renunciation

Postby ground » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:49 am


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Lazy_eye
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Re: Love relationships and renunciation

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:58 am


Reductor
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Re: Love relationships and renunciation

Postby Reductor » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:43 am

Good points above.

Sadly I do not think there is an easy answer, but the cause of your prediciment is easy to see. Your desire has changed yet again, and you wish to browse some other pasture. What happens when you find that pasture does not satisfy either?

Regardless whether you go forth or not, I would suggest you put the brakes on your romance with this woman, as you are not yet mature enough to take on the responsibilties that come with serious relationships. Continuing on as a lukewarm husband and father figure will not do any of them a lick of good.

Be that as it may, I assure you that practice can be rich and meaningful even as a husband and father. In fact your practice enriches you and every other person that comes in conact with you. To practice as a layman doesn't condem you to a fruitless spritual life.

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Claudia
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Location: Fuerth, Germany

Re: Love relationships and renunciation

Postby Claudia » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:09 am

Dear kareniel,

a relationship or a beloved partner needn't to be necessarily a hindrance.
My husband and I are married since 20 years now and we support each other to grow inside. My husband is not a practicing buddhist, but to me he is a role model in calmness, kindness, patience....
and we are completing each other from the first moment of our relationship and: we also can "let go" each other.

Of course there are also attachments, but he supported me more, to get free of some bad attachements instead of generating more attachments.

I feel blessed that we found each other. :smile:
Many greetings from

Claudia

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altar
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Location: Great Barrington, MA

Re: Love relationships and renunciation

Postby altar » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:26 pm

my friend, i have similar thoughts...

in such times i like to err on the side of the sutta "to gotami"

which states the dhamma in brief

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kareniel
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Re: Love relationships and renunciation

Postby kareniel » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:00 pm


rowyourboat
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Location: London, UK

Re: Love relationships and renunciation

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:15 pm

Hi Karaniel,

As long as we have cravings and desires (call it what you will -fear of commitment- ie 'craving to have my own way'; craving for affection, craving for intimacy, craving for a lay life) you will not be able to fully commit to a renounced life - in fact, it is best to renounce life itself, in such an endeavor. Are you there yet?

:anjali:

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Claudia
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Location: Fuerth, Germany

Re: Love relationships and renunciation

Postby Claudia » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:39 pm

Many greetings from

Claudia

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daverupa
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Re: Love relationships and renunciation

Postby daverupa » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:47 pm


Nicro
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Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Re: Love relationships and renunciation

Postby Nicro » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:08 pm

I think this is a matter of considering what you want more. Homelessness or a romantic partner. Which ever one you are drawn to the strongest wins.

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Ben
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Re: Love relationships and renunciation

Postby Ben » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:06 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Moth
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Re: Love relationships and renunciation

Postby Moth » Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:37 pm

Consider that Buddha himself left his wife and newborn son.
May you be happy. May you be a peace. May you be free from suffering.
http://www.everythingspirals.com


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