Western world and buddhist life

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby Alfredo » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:24 am

Education does not have to be meaningless or worthless, judging from the numerous Buddhist worthies who have devoted themselves to it. This "humanistic" side of education is often neglected these days. The "job training" aspect needs to be kept in perspective, but is also very valuable, since food is not simply going to fly into your mouth. Balancing career with dharma practice, or with family, is a very typical problem which most of us face to some degree (even monks and nuns have to work), and there is reason to consider it an inescapable part of the human condition.

Rightly or wrongly, a university degree will open many doors that would otherwise have remained closed. Yes, you will be older when you earn it, but you'll be older no matter what you do. There are ways to keep the expense down, and any number of non-traditional alternatives to "beer and circus" (to use Murray Sperber's phrase describing certain U.S. universities).
(no longer participating on this board)
Alfredo
 
Posts: 421
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:52 am

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby thunderbumble » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:34 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:yeah i practice the nembutsu every day to greater or lesser degree.
The Buddha taught


So, bhikkhus, you should train in this way: The heart-deliverance of loving-kindness will be maintained in being and made much of by us, used as our vehicle, used as our foundation, established, consolidated, and properly managed. That is how you should train
Samyutta Nikaya 20:3
thunderbumble
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:28 pm

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby thunderbumble » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:46 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:yeah i practice the nembutsu every day to greater or lesser degree.

Have you tried, Naikan?
(There is a book)
In a nut shell; Naikan is based on an old complicated system of Shin Pure Land Reflection.
Personally, I take this into my Metta mediation.
Naikan is a cultivation of Gratitude to beings and even the things in your life and world.

I'm 50 years old. I work long long hours, 10 to 13 a day
On my feet. I can say you possibly should work some time or educate before you temporarily withdrawal from the world.
Restarting after a long time off is like plunging in to I've water.
The Buddha taught


So, bhikkhus, you should train in this way: The heart-deliverance of loving-kindness will be maintained in being and made much of by us, used as our vehicle, used as our foundation, established, consolidated, and properly managed. That is how you should train
Samyutta Nikaya 20:3
thunderbumble
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:28 pm

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:27 pm

1. The life of a monk is actually much harder than the life of someone who is not a monk.
2. You obviously have some education or you wouldn't be able to write out your thoughts.
3. Learn more on your own. Public libraries are free. You'd be amazed at how much you can teach yourself.
4. I never graduated from high school.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:32 pm

basically i have never graduated from high school either.

i dont want to become a monk to make life easier, i maybe will become a monk to make spiritual practice and effort more meaningful and effective.

padmavonsamba you can learn a lot from libraries but it wont bring you money to manage in the western world.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:16 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:How can you live both lives?

im 21 year old soon 22, i have no education and it would take many years to get a proper education and then off to work long days.


I had forgotten that you started this thread with this statement.

Basically you seem to be a slacker and perhaps want to live an easy life.

You were born in a 1st world country with significant social support. Unlike 2nd world countries like the US and others, you don't have to worry about hunger, deprivation and the effects of long-term unemployment (well, not as much, and your life is basically covered).

Finns also don't *have* to work all that much. Don't you have the 35 or even less hr week in Finland? Of course in Germany the 35 hr week was a joke for professional people but even there, workaholics usually cap the week at 50 hrs.
But for normal workers this is 7 hrs a day.

This gives you plenty of time for practice *if* you work.

The real problem with living in the west is insecurity (if you live outside a social democracy and then to some extent even in some of them [but not in Scandinavia]) and *wasting time* with friends, lovers, music, partying, drinking, sex, etc. (IOW, what most people call *a life*). Even in the upper half or so of the US, a country coming apart at the seems wrt employment, wasting time is the primary problem.

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4460
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:23 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:basically i have never graduated from high school either.
....
padmavonsamba you can learn a lot from libraries but it wont bring you money to manage in the western world.


I'm not sure how this could have happened in Finland of all places but .... take 2 yrs to graduate from basic school (hs, whatever).

Investigate the demand for teaching Finnish in South Korea, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, India, etc. People insist of course that English is the world's lingua franca but other languages are still in demand (I even knew an American who translated from Swedish to English even though most Swedes are fluent enough so niches may be found/created). Also Finnish is alleged to be close to Lithuanian which is said to be pretty close to Sanskrit. So perhaps you can get funded for occasional study in India (Sanskrit, Tibetan, etc.) if you are interested.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4460
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby smcj » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:36 pm

I don't know your karma. You may have a karmic trajectory that is rich in a store of merit. So this is not advice for you per se, but just a general take on your type of situation:
*************************************************
When I was 25 I was living at a buddhisht center. A guy my age moved in that had been living in his pickup truck. He had been picking berries in the woods and selling them to the hippie market in town for gas and food money.

After he moved in he got a job as a bank teller. That got boring quick, so he said, "If I'm going to work in a stupid bank I might as well do it right." So he went back to school and finished his bachelor's. Then he went to grad school and got his M.B.A. He became an assistant vice president of a large American bank, made a bunch of money, and retired at the age of 35. That includes paying off his student loans. So in 10 years he went from homeless to retired because of education.

If you are doing it with the motivation to be able to practice Dharma, accumulating the materials for doing retreat also has merit and is part of the path. The hardest part of that particular path is to not end up spending the money on such things as an expansive lifestyle, and getting married.

What you don't want to do is in a quixotic way dedicate your life to an ideal, only to find out later that your life has too many difficulties for you to see it through, and then you resent the Dharma for your problems. That's bad, and it has happened a lot. My hippie friends that refused to get serious about work are nearing retirement age with absolutely nothing to show for it. They will have to work until they drop dead, at whatever age.

What you do is up to you. I've read your posts. You're a bright guy. Don't automatically think that getting you act together is somehow contrary to Dharma. Dharma is about developing your awareness. A secular education also develops awareness, but in a lopsided way. If you have a Dharma practice to go with it, you will have all your bases covered.

Investigate the demand for teaching Finnish in South Korea.

I know that to teach English in South Korea you need a college degree, fwiw.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby mañjughoṣamaṇi » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:38 pm

kirtu wrote: Also Finnish is alleged to be close to Lithuanian which is said to be pretty close to Sanskrit. So perhaps you can get funded for occasional study in India (Sanskrit, Tibetan, etc.) if you are interested.


FYI, Finnish is not alleged to be related to Lithuanian. Lithuanian is a member of the Baltic subfamily of Indo-European languages, while Finnish is a member of the Finnic subfamily of Uralic languages. It is close to Estonian, another member of the Finnic subfamily.
སེམས་རྣམ་པར་གྲོལ་བར་བྱའི་ཕྱིར་བྱམས་པ་བསྒོམ་པར་བྱའོ།
“In order to completely liberate the mind, cultivate loving kindness.” -- Maitribhāvana Sūtra
mañjughoṣamaṇi
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:26 pm

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:40 pm

smcj wrote:
Investigate the demand for teaching Finnish in South Korea.

I know that to teach English in South Korea you need a college degree, fwiw.


That's true but you also usually need to be a native English speaker.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4460
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby Luke » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:52 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:i find it hard to live in the cities because in the past i have experienced great mental issues, such as very very intense anxiety living in the city. and this is what i have to go back to i guess if i want to go to school and get an education and a foundation in our modern society. :jedi:

Aren't there some universities up in the countryside in central or northern Finland you could go to?

KonchokZoepa wrote:Is it worth it? do you feel that for some of us the life of a westerner is just not meant for us. i am basically at square one. havent started building a life in the western world. and i dont want to. but i feel like its my responsibility..

should i strive to become a monk and forget this western world for like 5-10 years and think about it again then or what ?

it seems to me that in my situation it is impossible to live two lives, i cant see the way. its like choose hell or heaven. stay as wanderer which is in a sense quite easy and enjoyable or build a house on a sea which is not very comfortable place to build a foundation for a house.

Be careful not to over-idealize "the East." It is not like every part of Asia is some magical Shangri-la type of paradise! Asia has its problems, too, and not every Asian is extremely spiritual. There are plenty of Asians whose only concerns are work, school, and family, just like many westerners! lol And not every Buddhist monastery in Asia is a wonderful paradise either. Monasteries can have their own problems, too. No place is perfect. Just strive to observe and train your own mind wherever you are. Anyplace can be a good place if you have the right mindset. After all, why should walking through the hills of Asia be any more special than walking through the hills of Finland? Try to appreciate the opportunities which are already right in front of you.
User avatar
Luke
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:04 pm

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby smcj » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:58 pm

...not every Buddhist monastery in Asia is a wonderful paradise either. Monasteries can have their own problems,

The few monasteries I've been to irritate me greatly after a few weeks. But that's my karma. Maybe it is a blessing, and maybe it is an impediment. I don't know. But if you think going to a monastery is some sort of easy answer, think again.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby dude » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:12 pm

smcj wrote:
...not every Buddhist monastery in Asia is a wonderful paradise either. Monasteries can have their own problems,

The few monasteries I've been to irritate me greatly after a few weeks. But that's my karma. Maybe it is a blessing, and maybe it is an impediment. I don't know. But if you think going to a monastery is some sort of easy answer, think again.


Care to tell me more?
dude
 
Posts: 552
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:18 pm

kirt i will answer you in pm.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:23 pm

Luke wrote:
KonchokZoepa wrote:i find it hard to live in the cities because in the past i have experienced great mental issues, such as very very intense anxiety living in the city. and this is what i have to go back to i guess if i want to go to school and get an education and a foundation in our modern society. :jedi:

Aren't there some universities up in the countryside in central or northern Finland you could go to?


you might think that if your some big city usa. but in finland all the universities are in places i call cities.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby Alfredo » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:41 pm

Anyone with psychological issues should stay the hell away from teaching English in Korea.

If you want to attend university, but not in a city, and in Finland all the universities are in cities, could you perhaps go to university in some other country? One preferably condusive to your continued sanity.
(no longer participating on this board)
Alfredo
 
Posts: 421
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:52 am

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:41 pm

thanks everyone for all the replies, its nice to have some feedback. smcj i like your story and your input.

i dont know what will happen. we'll see.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:42 pm

Alfredo wrote:Anyone with psychological issues should stay the hell away from teaching English in Korea.


why so, this would be an easy lane as TEFL teacher with good salary if you have bachelors.

If you want to attend university, but not in a city, and in Finland all the universities are in cities, could you perhaps go to university in some other country? One preferably condusive to your continued sanity.


ive thought about it but the least expensive way to go to uni is in finland.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:45 pm

smcj wrote:I don't know. But if you think going to a monastery is some sort of easy answer, think again.


i think it greatly depends on what you are really looking for as a western monk, and what are you escaping.

those two factors when honestly answered and addressed will give an answer that will address the ''easiness or not ''. i think.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Western world and buddhist life

Postby smcj » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:27 am

The few monasteries I've been to irritate me greatly after a few weeks. But that's my karma. Maybe it is a blessing, and maybe it is an impediment. I don't know. But if you think going to a monastery is some sort of easy answer, think again.

Care to tell me more?

In short, try to imagine all the people on this website trying to live together in cramped and uncomfortable conditions. How smoothly do you think that would go?
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

PreviousNext

Return to Personal Experience

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

>