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What's wrong with living a "normal" life? - Page 3 - Dhamma Wheel

What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Mukunda
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby Mukunda » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:08 pm


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altar
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby altar » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:34 pm

This is hardly ironic that those who are involved in sense pleasures are least likely to recognize the importance of renunciation. Maybe the word you are looking for is "suspect"?

Anicca
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby Anicca » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:46 pm


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bodom
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby bodom » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:30 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

PeterB
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby PeterB » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:40 pm

Well said Bodom.

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mettafuture
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby mettafuture » Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:11 pm


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Laurens
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby Laurens » Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:45 pm

No there is nothing wrong with it at all, and I think you're getting the wrong end of things if you think that.

You don't have to abandon a "normal" life to be a Buddhist and it is never encouraged. If you're teacher is encouraging this then you ought to research them, cause teaching such things sounds pretty cultish to me.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

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Sobeh
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby Sobeh » Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:49 pm

I agree that the problem is only in the question; the householder life isn't wrong, it's simply not as efficacious as the life of a renunciate in terms of the Path. Giving up the householder life is therefore encouraged and enabled, but the idea of "wrong" simply does not occur.

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Lazy_eye
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:35 pm


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Lazy_eye
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:39 pm


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bodom
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby bodom » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:40 pm

:thumbsup:

Thank you for posting these.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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bodom
Posts: 5713
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby bodom » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:55 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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kc2dpt
Posts: 957
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:26 pm

- Peter


chownah
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby chownah » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:55 pm


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manas
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby manas » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:28 am

Yes, that question troubles me from time to time. The things that are most important to me, such as meditative awareness, and peaceful reflection (I don't always have these things - I am a lay person with two dear children) - these peaceful, simple things are not praised by popular culture, or in the media (other than in a superficial, sentimentalized way). So sometimes I also feel like 'a fish out of water' in this sense-enjoyment driven culture we all live in. Because what the Buddha points to looks beyond appearances. Yes, to live an ordinary worldly life, not wisely reflecting as we live it, is not the same thing as living the Dhamma.

But the Buddha was a very practical person. He did not say that everyone should ordain, after all if everyone did there would be no-one to feed all the monks and nuns! Its simply reality that we all have different karmic influences, and will as a result have to practise the Dhamma in a way suited to our own acquired nature. So yes, he advocated ordaining for those that could make that commitment (or even just try it out for a while and see what happens), and for others he recommended being the best lay Buddhist you can, as another noble alternative rather just 'going with the flow' that is ordinary, unreflective worldly life.

You can be a lay Buddhist and have a nice house, car, loving partner (hard to find, but I wish you luck)...so why not have it all? Buddhist laypersons are allowed to make use of these things, so long as in our enjoyment of the above we do not kill, lie, steal, misuse sex, or take drugs. Now that still leaves: walks in the forest, nights out at the movies, snuggling in front of the fire together...I mean, use your imagination, it leaves lots of 'normal' things that you can still do! But the difference is that you will avoid the harmful consequences of unvirtuous behaviour.

Hope that was helpful in some way. I really do understand where you are coming from with such questioning. That answer is the best I can come up with. :)
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Vepacitta
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Re: What's wrong with living a "normal" life?

Postby Vepacitta » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:53 pm

Hey - I don't think there's anything wrong per se with a "normal" life. However, if you think about it - trying to tread the "ariya path" is pretty difficult within the "worldly world". It's difficult enough for bhikkhus and bhikkunis - read some of Ajahn Sumedho's funny stories about his travails as a younger monk in The Mind and the Way (and other articles which you can google). Read all about the strife as to Bhikkuni ordination. I remember a Carmelite Priest telling me about his 3 year vow of silence retreat at some out of the way monastary and that he had a constant urge to want to choke a certain brother monk who slurped his porridge!

Everyone - even the renunciates - are "samsara-ing" (I'm experimenting with Aj. Thanissaro's suggestion to use samsara and nibbana as verbs).

And - here in my so-called "normal" (rolls over larfing) life - although I don't think there's anything "wrong" - I do note that it's just sooooo easy to cling-on to things (and not in a good way - kaplah!)

So, the establishment of the Bhikku/Bhikkuni sangha was a way to help those to really let go - because there's nothing much one has to hold onto in that sort of life experience - and yet there's still "Klinging-on" in that lifestyle.

It's our underlying tendency to identify view, to doubt, to rules and observances, to have ill will, etc etc that gets us and being in the household life it's so easy to get 'caught' to 'kling' to all the shiny things (or even) noble things and causes.

I don't recall the Tathagatha saying that any of this was easy - but then I certainly haven't read the entire Tipitaka :namaste:

Your friendly, neighbourhood Asura,

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura


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