Zen Women, Chapter 8, Pages 155-165

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • Geika
    Treeleaf Unsui
    • Jan 2010
    • 4978

    Zen Women, Chapter 8, Pages 155-165

    Hello everyone!

    This chapter is very close to our practice, as it discusses women engaged in practice without leaving home, or being unable to. Schireson brings up the teaching the remaining at home while practicing is akin to being caught up in dust and messiness, and counters, what is holy if not dust?

    Do you think that we are missing out on something while practicing without leaving home, or is the practice more full without denying our human instincts to form bonds and family? Perhaps both?

    Women were formally seen as purely distracting objects of desire in the time of the Buddha, and Ananda questioned the Buddha on his deathbed over how exactly this was practical or even in tune with the teachings. Was Ananda perhaps more forward thinking than the Buddha himself?

    I personally feel that compassion for my husband and family life, even in the midst of problems that may arise, greatly enriches my practice. Do you feel the same?

    Please feel free to comment or post your own questions as you read.

    Gassho
    Sat, lah
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.
  • Stewart
    Member
    • May 2017
    • 152

    #2
    Those words about women ensnaring the hearts of men are shocking and respect to Ananda for trying to get the Buddha to go past them into something more constructive. Ananda was the Buddha’s personal attendant and intermediary between the Buddha and the laity who came to visit him. As such he would have seen far more of the state of ordinary people and it would make sense that he had more sympathy for them. Ananda wasn’t enlightened until after the Buddha died, unlike many of his monastic contemporaries. Yet he had the more finely tuned moral and practical sense. Enlightenment doesn’t equal perfection.

    Stewart
    Sat

    Comment

    • Bokucho
      Member
      • Dec 2018
      • 264

      #3
      I find practicing with my family deeply rewarding, it allows me a great perspective because I'm the only Zen Buddhist practitioner in the household. This allows my wife and I to approach things differently and I love to observe the differences and similarities between our responses to various situations. I feel like practicing in a convent or monastery may become too much like an echo chamber and lose touch with the laiety much like the Buddha did while Ananda better understood the common folks. All of life is practice and it would seem odd to me to leave my family behind to search for something "out there". The very idea that enlightenment and practice cannot be done in a home with a family reinforces the idea of separation. If not here, then where?

      Gassho,

      Bokuchō
      SatToday/LaH

      Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk

      Comment

      • Geika
        Treeleaf Unsui
        • Jan 2010
        • 4978

        #4
        Originally posted by Bokucho
        I find practicing with my family deeply rewarding, it allows me a great perspective because I'm the only Zen Buddhist practitioner in the household. This allows my wife and I to approach things differently and I love to observe the differences and similarities between our responses to various situations. I feel like practicing in a convent or monastery may become too much like an echo chamber and lose touch with the laiety much like the Buddha did while Ananda better understood the common folks. All of life is practice and it would seem odd to me to leave my family behind to search for something "out there". The very idea that enlightenment and practice cannot be done in a home with a family reinforces the idea of separation. If not here, then where?
        I feel much the same way. Life is right here, in it, with the people around you. Sometimes I understand the desire to go off and be alone, or with others of like mind, and I can see how conductive to practice it is. However, for now, it would seem that leaving the people in my life behind would be the exact opposite of a compassionate act.

        Gassho
        Sat, lah
        求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
        I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

        Comment

        • Heiso
          Member
          • Jan 2019
          • 824

          #5
          Originally posted by Geika
          ...leaving the people in my life behind would be the exact opposite of a compassionate act.
          I wholeheartedly agree with this. For me to leave and go practice in a monastery would be incredibly selfish.

          I heard someone once say that home life is it's own monasticism - that the monk is forced to confront his own mind because that's all there is in the silence of the monastery. While at home it is sometimes a struggle to find enough quiet to hear your own mind. Both are coming at the same issue for opposite ends.

          Gassho,

          Heiso
          StLah

          Comment

          Working...