General Renunciation Thread

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General Renunciation Thread

Postby Jikan » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:39 pm

I'd like to pursue a topic that has come up elsewhere (at the link below, in discussions on celibacy, and so on).


What kinds of renunciation must a serious student of Dharma engage in? How does renunciation vary by tradition in practical ways? What forms of renunciation are appropriate to monks & nuns, and laymen and laywomen? How is renunciation understood, how is it practiced, for what purpose, and in what contexts?

Whaddya think, folks?
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Re: General Renunciation Thread

Postby Jnana » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:17 pm

Those are all good questions, and I look forward to reading the replies.

Jikan wrote:How is renunciation understood?...

I think sometimes renunciation is considered as a negative -- as just a restraint on actions and desires. But there is also a more positive way to approach renunciation, as a way to live simply in order to experience greater freedom. This positive approach to renunciation has contemporary social parallels in lifestyle choices related to voluntary simplicity.

Jikan wrote:how is it practiced?...

Committing to keep precepts is usually considered to be an integral part of conduct. There are also a variety of practices, varying somewhat from vehicle to vehicle and tradition to tradition. For example, developing awareness in order to experience greater freedom from attachments can be approached from the perspectives of (i) applying an antidote, or (ii) through transformation, or (iii) through non-reactive awareness and self-liberation. And all three of these methods can be used together.

Jikan wrote:for what purpose?....

To liberate oneself and others from bondage and suffering.
Last edited by Jnana on Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: General Renunciation Thread

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:18 pm

I think for a layperson,
you don't need to renounce anything
except attachment.
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Re: General Renunciation Thread

Postby Indrajala » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:39 am

Jikan wrote:Whaddya think, folks?

I think one aspect of renunciation that gets overlooked is the economic factor: in terms of enabling people to practice, it is definitely more cost-effective to have childless monks and nuns in communal living arrangements.

As Ajahn Brahm jokes, it is cheaper to look after a monk than a dog.
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