Relationship break up for dharma?

Pavel Pek, modified 1 Month ago.

Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 12 Join Date: 8/22/21 Recent Posts
Hello guys, I have a girlfriend and we eventually in like 2 years after we're done studying want to get married. However I just got on Dharma path recently. My mind is now racing and telling me "You will not get awakaned if she is gonna be talking to you and you have to respond, you lose your mindfulness there. You will have to break up with her." I read a book recently where the guy said that the best thing that can happen to anyone is to have a free time for Dharma practice. However my girl is my sweetheart I wanted to have a lot of kids with her, it feels sociopathic to leave her in order for me to practice dharma, even if that may not matter one bit on an absolute level. In terms of morality it would shatter her to pieces since she loves me a lot. So I don't want to do it plus I have A LOT of free time, she meditates too and soes yoga, but is doing it more to calm the mind not caring about dharma as of now (she's younger too).

Is my mind jusy trying to be perfectionistic? 

Or is there something on it and should I rather get single to be able to practice ALL THE TIME? I think I may end up like these people who get on social welfare to practice Dharma and then actually procrastinate for most of the day. But I don't know. Maybe it's a silly question all together.

However, anything welcomed on this.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 4073 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
The last thing you should do is create a mess for yourself and your girlfriend by breaking up with her over practicing the dharma, which is antithetical to anything so extreme. The dharma is called "The Middle Way" for good reason.

​​​​​​​Moderation, please.

Extreme practices were rejected by the Buddha himself after he tried lots of them. So now, you can learn from what he learned and save yourself a lot of heartaches.

Good luck keeping yourself on an even keel!

emoticon
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Oatmilk, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 110 Join Date: 7/30/20 Recent Posts
The entire thing leads in the direction of being there for other people. What you may come to realize if you see behind your self is that doing certain things won't fulfill you as much as you would have thought. No matter how much mindfulness, you are a social creature. Having someone you can be around with who loves you is wonderful and there's nothing wrong about it. I'd suggest not getting too involved into theory and the "non attachment" bla bla - it may only fuel the fire and is easily misunderstood. Mindfulness is a "tool" - it should not dictate your life. 
Jake Frankfurt Middenhall, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 97 Join Date: 9/12/18 Recent Posts
You should check out MCTB advice on the matter, which is similar to Chris´s answer. 
Needless to say i did the opposite. In the end, i don´t think we have much choice.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 5922 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
You can be mindful while talking. In fact, that's excellent practice. You can be mindful while making out, while shopping groceries together, while doing the dishes and while playing with your children. If your mindfulness can't take that, it wasn't worth the sacrifice anyway. 
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Balint Pinczes, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 61 Join Date: 8/3/18 Recent Posts
Your relationship, even your entire life, can be looked upon as falling outside your practice, as the source of obstacles in your way - or as (part of) the practice, (part of) the way itself.

Your practice can be seen as something separate from, even located on a higher plane than, your relationship or your life. Or as deeply embedded in the latter, enriching and enriched by the latter.

​​​​​​​Who decides? Who does the looking, the seeing as? Who are you?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 5922 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
That was a much better wording of what I was trying to say. emoticon 
SigmaTropic, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 149 Join Date: 6/27/17 Recent Posts
From personal experience, it's probably best to communicate your thirst for the dharma clearly and honestly to her and make it clear that it's an important part of your life. You say you have free time - great, use it to practice. When you're with her give her your full presence. Women would rather have a half hour a day of your full undivided attention than 3 hours of your low quality halfass time of you scrolling dharma forums while she watches Gilmore Girls.  
Adi Vader, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 39 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu
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Ni Nurta, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 774 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Go to your girlfriend and talk with her about that fascinating idea.
Maybe the issue will resolve itself in (un)surprising ways emoticon
Soh Wei Yu, modified 29 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 42 Join Date: 2/13/21 Recent Posts
Pavel Pek Hello guys, I have a girlfriend and we eventually in like 2 years after we're done studying want to get married. However I just got on Dharma path recently. My mind is now racing and telling me "You will not get awakaned if she is gonna be talking to you and you have to respond, you lose your mindfulness there. You will have to break up with her." I read a book recently where the guy said that the best thing that can happen to anyone is to have a free time for Dharma practice. However my girl is my sweetheart I wanted to have a lot of kids with her, it feels sociopathic to leave her in order for me to practice dharma, even if that may not matter one bit on an absolute level. In terms of morality it would shatter her to pieces since she loves me a lot. So I don't want to do it plus I have A LOT of free time, she meditates too and soes yoga, but is doing it more to calm the mind not caring about dharma as of now (she's younger too). Is my mind jusy trying to be perfectionistic?  Or is there something on it and should I rather get single to be able to practice ALL THE TIME? I think I may end up like these people who get on social welfare to practice Dharma and then actually procrastinate for most of the day. But I don't know. Maybe it's a silly question all together. However, anything welcomed on this.
Daniel M. Ingram and most other awakened people I know personally are married, and many have kids.

It is rare (or at least not super common) to find a girlfriend with similar interests like meditation and yoga. So maybe you should cherish it.
Soh Wei Yu, modified 28 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 42 Join Date: 2/13/21 Recent Posts
Just two days ago someone asked me for articles on relationships.

I said I enjoyed these articles, and also John Tan (my mentor 'Thusness') and I like all the articles by this teacher:

https://wwzc.org/dharma-text/so-intimate-it-cannot-be-personal

http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/search/label/Ven.%20Jinmyo%20Renge%20osho

https://wwzc.org/dharma-texts-by-jinmyo-renge-sensei
Soh Wei Yu, modified 28 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 42 Join Date: 2/13/21 Recent Posts
Also, I just saw a quote on a spiritual book by a master called 'Ching Hai' (she has vegetarian restaurants and followers in Singapore):

"There is good in both marriage and friendship in this world. The greatest advantage is that we can provide mutual help and r emind each other of the Self Nature within and of the importance of spiritual practice. If there is any situation or relationship that can always remind us of spiritual practice and the Self Nature inside, it's a good relationship, with good affection and emotion."

"God is not so narrow-minded as to forbid us to love our husband or wife the way we used to. God is not so cruel as to separate loving couples in order to attain Hirm. We must enlarge our hearts to love God and also to include other beings, including our own family members. If we can love other beings who are distant from us and strangers to us, why can we not love our family members, our immediate loved ones?"
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Ni Nurta, modified 28 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 774 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
God is by definition closer to us than family members.
Also God cannot be loved because experience of God is all inclusive to the point emotions and feeling loose any meaning.
No matter how much you love someone or something it is nothing compered to God which is as much it, experience of it and all the emotions it creates and feeling someone can have for it.
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Jim Smith, modified 28 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 1014 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Buddha abandoned his wife and child to seek enlightenment. But he also abandoned his life as a prince and all his wealth and possessions. Do you want to give up everything to chase enlightenment or do you only want to give up your girlfriend?

You don't have to give up anything. Taking what you say at face value, I think you should wait and only break up if the relationship actually fails.

However it might be that you unconsciously have issues with the relationship? Fear? Something you don't like about her? Are you looking for an excuse because you secretly want to break up? I think there is something going on underneath in your mind - it is really strange to say she is your sweetheart and you want to have kids and  you want to break up to practice meditation. Maybe you are conflicted and the surface explanation is not the correct explanation. Have you considered counseling?

Also, you are right to be concerned. Taking up meditation can change your personality and change how you view other people and how you view pretty much everything. It can really mess up relationships if one person grows and matures while the other person remains superficial and shallow. Either person may become disenchanted. I would be cautious about having children until you feel more certain about the future of the relationship.

To some extent I think some of the other posters are trying to sugarcoat the problem and that is not really nice in the long run. A few people get enlightened and live happily ever after with their families, others have long and deep dark nights and experience other personality changes that change who they are compatible with. The answer to your question is not strawberry shortcake.
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Chris Marti, modified 27 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 4073 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
... it is really strange to say she is your sweetheart and you want to have kids and you want to break up to practice meditation.

Actually, in the original post he said he doesn't want to break up - a quote:

... my girl is my sweetheart I wanted to have a lot of kids with her, it feels sociopathic to leave her in order for me to practice dharma, even if that may not matter one bit on an absolute level. In terms of morality it would shatter her to pieces since she loves me a lot. So I don't want to do it...
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Ni Nurta, modified 27 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 774 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Chris Marti
Actually, in the original post he said he doesn't want to break up
Really?
From the quote you posted it is quite obvious he doesn't want to raise children and the main reason for hesitation is that this is apparently immoral selfish thing to do.

The girl's heart has already been broken, this horse is dead.
At this point it is my recommendation to drop everything and run ;)
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Chris Marti, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 4073 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Really.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 5922 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I agree with Chris's reading. If I interpret it correctly, it's just an idea that you would need to cut off anything that isn't formal practice, which actually isn't true. I don't see anything here that indicates a wish not to have kids, just the notion that one should obstain from it all. Is that so, Pavel? Actually, raising kids involves a treasure of opportunities for practice. 
Pavel Pek, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 12 Join Date: 8/22/21 Recent Posts
Yep. Kids are what I started really looking forward to with her.  Thanks for the thoughts especially since I had no idea people like Daniel Ingram are married. I still have the notion that raising kids and family is somewhat contradictory to getting to enlightenment as fast as one can, to other part of me it feels dumb however to ditch worldly stuff in such an extreme manner as to immediately break up with my girlfriend for instance.

Comments that helped me the most so far and that I need to give the most kudos to: middle way comment, using everything as a practice and if your mindfulness is not strong enough to keep it when talking to her, then it's just not all that strong. Also thanks to Oatmeal. Jim Smith comment was however the most challenging and you are right too, since I have conflicting thoughts due to living in the possible epicentre of all party life in Europe and feel some FOMO from not being able to "enjoy my life" as much as my friends will be able to due to getting into a serious relationship early, but that is for a whole different post in an of itself I think.

Thanks to everyone else too, it's fascinating how many people gather up here to answer questions even if you've never seen me. This forum is well alive. Thank you guys from Prague, Czech Republic. You surely got me thinking (lol).
George S, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 2064 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
One of the paradoxes of enlightenment is that it involves waking up to the actual conditions of your life as they already are. In an internal sense everything changes, or at least the relationship to everything. But in an external sense not much at all necessarily needs to change. (Actually the concept of internal vs external also falls apart, but you could frame it like that from a dualistic perspective.) That's not relationship advice, just something to reflect on before making any drastic decisions ... Good Luck!

EDIT: and FWIW, I started practicing when I had young kids ... it certainly puts life in perspective!!
George S, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 2064 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
You also reminded me of something that Nisargadatta said in I Am That:

Q: I am 24 years now. For the last two and a half years I am travelling, restless, seeking. I want to live a good life, a holy life. What am I to do?

M: Go home, take charge of your father's business, look after your parents in their old age. Marry the girl who is waiting for you, be loyal, be simple, be humble. Hide your virtue, live silently. The five senses and the three qualities (gunas) are your eight steps in Yoga. And 'I am' is the
Great Reminder (mahamantra). You can learn from them all you need to know. Be attentive, enquire ceaselessly. That is all.

Q: If just living one's life liberates, why are not all liberated?

M: All are being liberated. It is not what you live, but how you live that matters. The idea of enlightenment is of utmost importance. Just to know that there is such possibility, changes one's entire outlook. It acts like a burning match in a heap of saw dust. All the great teachers did nothing else.

He had 4 kids and made a living selling cigarettes if I remember correctly ...
Eudoxos ., modified 24 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 87 Join Date: 4/6/14 Recent Posts
I'd suggest you do retreats before you start family with many kids, as you plan. You will see better whether the practice is really what you want/need. Whether you pursue it further or not later, it will be beneficial for yourself, your wife and your kids, as the daddy will be less of a jerk. With kids, you probably won't have the chance for retreat for a few years at least, and will have to develop mindfulness mostly in daily life. This is worthwile and commendable, and perhaps sufficient for the talented (few?) among us; for myself, though, retrats were (and are, so far) indispensable as both foundation and deepening. I have no kids myself and see how difficult it is for my friends who have families to find time/energy/motivation for a retreat; and I also noticed that the number of kids does make a difference for them.

In practical terms, I know the Thai-Mahasi tradition, which is relatively hardcore, and there are a few places within easy reach: tisarana.cz (by tram ;) ), vipassana-dhammacari.com (near Regensburg/DE, direct train), vipassana-dhammanikhom.de (near Cottbus/DE), vipassana.sk (SK).

Greetings from Prague emoticon

(PS the FOMO party life will likely disappear with some practice pretty soon)
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Not two, not one, modified 26 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 941 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Love is one of the greatest dharma practices, including love for your loved ones, and love for yourself.  It is a refuge in stormy seas, the best of all attainments. The antidote to the three poisons.

Love from me, to you, Pavel.
- Malcolm.
Emil Jensen, modified 21 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 306 Join Date: 7/16/20 Recent Posts
  I have a question that might get your monkey on the ice...

You say you have free time as of now and FOMO about not meditating more...
But! Are you actually meditating as much as you could, even now?

How much free time per day do you have?
How much of this are you actually meditating?

If you're not already, through months and months, using ALL your free time to meditate, you can't say yet that it isn't enough.

So yeah, if the case is that you're just sitting for 30-90 minutes a day and you watch tv (Gillmore Girls?) for 1-2 hours a day, then optimize the fuck out of that first and see how serious you really are. 

You may find that it's enough AND you can keep that sweet gearl o'yers. ! WIN-WIN!

My take.

  
Emil Jensen, modified 21 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 306 Join Date: 7/16/20 Recent Posts
 From MCTB (review chapter), thought of it as relevant:

"Remember, the kind of renunciation that brings insights is seeing the true nature of things. If you can see the true nature of the sensations that make up a fun and healthy life, there is no need for any other type of renunciation! In fact, buying into a dogmatic renunciation trip is well-known for making people quite bitter, difficult, and neurotic, and at that point the challenge is to see the true nature of the sensations that make up renunciation-induced neuroses. I’m not convinced that neurotic renunciation is an easier way to go. Interestingly, the Pali word nissarana that is typically translated as “renunciation” actually means something like “definite emergence”, “departure”, and “escape”, like you can and will get out there and do this and yet, when filtered through a puritanical Western filter, the word renunciation connotes something quite different, painfully restrictive and/or aversive."
 
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terry, modified 21 Days ago.

RE: Relationship break up for dharma?

Posts: 1770 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
aloha pp,

   You find yourself at this moment in a relationship and you have made promises. Your reasons regarding failing to keep these promises amount to selfrish considerations. Keeping your promises, if they were not extorted under duress, especially when not to do so would "shatter" some one, is clearly the right thing to do, if one has any choice.

   Enlightenment involves transitioning from self-oriented thinking to global thinking. From being concerned with one's own individual happiness - a will o the wisp - to being concerned with what is best for all sentient being(s).

   Keep all of your commitments, as a matter of course. 

  Alter course when love requires it. Rest in doing the best you can, however humble that may be. Face reality.

   If you are good at loving, if you are good at raising children, do that. If you can meditate all day in a state of ecstasy, do that, your family will understand and support you.

  The question is not a no-brainer, and the answer depends truly on your character, so look within and do your best. 

   The truth is, it doesn't matter.

   Many are called but few are chosen.


terry



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