Knotty Veneer wrote:Sara H wrote:dsaly1969 wrote:Ethnic temples are also generally far more child and family friendly than the "elite" centers.
That's an important observation.
I've also noticed that many of the (for lack of a better word) "white people" Center's also tend to be very child unfriendly, as if they are adult spaces only.
There seems to be an aversion to children practicing, as though , to quote the movie Patch Adams "This is SERIOUS!!!! BUSINESSS!!!!" lol.
And children arn't allowed.
I've actually seen some people speak as though they don't have a right to bring their children, or that it would be wrong of them to encourage their children to practice, or make it available to them.
It's really really weird.
I love seeing children at Dharma Centers.
I am of the opposite opinion. I don't know how you can really do silent sitting or long pujas or retreats etc. with kids running around the place.
I do not have or want children and am grateful that the monastery I visit most often does not allows under sixteens to stay over night. It's the only space I know which actually caters for single people and is reserved as an adult space. Why does everything need to be "child-friendly"?
Does this mean that you can't have a serious practice if you have a family? I think in the completative traditions it pretty much does - or at least it's a whole lot harder.
I don't think everything needs to be child friendly in the sense of 24/7, but I do think things shouldn't be child unfriendly as in they are never welcome.
I don't think retreats are the place for children under 15 or 16. unless they have gone through Jukai, which usually is after their 15 or 16th birthday that they do that.
But at festivals, informal events, celebratory ceremonies, Wesak, Segaki, and other major events, I do think they have a place there, and should be encouraged to come.
Buddhism is also for families, not just for individuals.
This is not therapy, this is religion. Kids have a place, (and so do families), even if it's not all the time.
They have a right to train in Buddhism too.