Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Ivo B, modified 7 Years ago.

Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 42 Join Date: 2/11/13 Recent Posts
I've just read autobiography of Ajaan Lee and I was a bit shocked. First Buddha then a well established and recognized monk from Thailand. Both leaving their kids for their egoistic purposes. I can't even imagine living a day without them. Ajaan Lee disrobed after some time of being a monk and then he decides he will have a wife and a kid. Wife dies he's left with a kid, meets another women has another kid and when the going gets tough puts a robe back on and splits into a forest. Lame! And all this happened in the course of less then three years as far as I was able to decipher from autobiography.
He explained that he stayed until kids were able to take care of themselves. WTF? At age of 2 and 1?

Where's morality in that?

I call that being a coward.

Damn I really wish I hadn't read that bio.

Great monks with supranatural powers wandering around forest with macho stories nobody can confirm but unable to take care of two little toddlers?

Damn I'm pissed.

Edit:
Turns out I misread the autobiography. Thanks BB! Sorry for uncontrollable burst of emotions there.
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Florian Weps, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Good!

Cheers,
Florian
Ivo B, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 42 Join Date: 2/11/13 Recent Posts
Good?! (Good as in making me mad?)

I call Ajaan Lee a dog! He said so himself. If he ever disrobes he can be called a dog. He disrobed. Got a little taste of pussy and than ran away like coward. That whole autobio is a display of machistic ego with his devoted followers. And as a bonus we get a cold unemotional half page story of father leaving his family behind. I will not even go into consequences of such an act.

Makes one seriously wonder if person like that can be a pillar of morality. Makes one seriously wonder about teachings. What if he used his religion as an escape from reality?

Yes, this definitely reinforced my scepticism. I'm a little less of a believer right now.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I know nothing about Lee, but the general principle that people might be skilled in one area and not at all skillful in others is worth remembering in general terms.

Morality is the hardest to develop, not to make excuses for anyone, as I also think that leaving your kids is really ethically dodgy at best and more likely just a totally cowardly and exceedingly irresponsible move, though I must admit I don't know the fine points of his situation at all.

I personally know and have known a reasonably large number of people whose concentration and insight skills I consider reasonably solid and/or even quite advanced who I also wouldn't consider paragons of morality by any means and would never look to as examples for how to live my life.

Have I benefitted from some of their wisdom regarding other aspects of practice? At times, definitely.

In short, take what is good, leave what is bad, and don't imagine that skill in one thing will necessarily translate to skill in something else. It is one of the most pervasive and destructive myths in spiritual practice. You don't have to buy anyone's complete package, and, in fact, doing so is generally a pretty bad idea, but, if they have some useful dharma thing to add to your own personal puzzle, don't discard that just because they might have screwed other things up big-time.
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Florian Weps, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Ivo B:
Good?! (Good as in making me mad?)


Good as in "I like it when unrealistic expectations are questioned".

... as in "Anger can fuel practice".

I call Ajaan Lee a dog! He said so himself. If he ever disrobes he can be called a dog. He disrobed. Got a little taste of pussy and than ran away like coward. That whole autobio is a display of machistic ego with his devoted followers. And as a bonus we get a cold unemotional half page story of father leaving his family behind. I will not even go into consequences of such an act.

Makes one seriously wonder if person like that can be a pillar of morality. Makes one seriously wonder about teachings. What if he used his religion as an escape from reality?


The pillar of morality thing is no longer interesting to me, since he died years ago. He's not leading by example (or by counterexample) any more.

I agree with Daniel that it is possible to learn from teachers who are not ideal in every aspect of their being. I learned a lot about meditation from random people on the internet whom I don't know very well at all, and who may have all kinds of personal faults.

I like the "religion as an escape from reality" question. I like how you are applying it to yourself, concluding:

Yes, this definitely reinforced my scepticism. I'm a little less of a believer right now.


Good!

So what are you going to do now? It's none of my business actually, but if it were along the lines of, "I'll get to the bottom of this myself, because relying on the comfortable knowledge that people like Ajahn Lee would do it for me clearly is not working", that would not be such a bad outcome at all.

Cheers,
Florian
B B, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 69 Join Date: 9/14/12 Recent Posts
Just read that myself the other day, what a coincidence! I skimmed it and like you was amazed when he seems to start coldly recounting the facts of his life after he disrobes, ending with his second wife and children competing with each other to spend his money, and him getting sick of them and re-ordaining. But then I checked to make sure.

You must have missed the parts where he introduces it with "So late in the quiet of a moonlit night, I climbed up to sit inside the chedi and asked myself, ‘If I disrobe, what will I do?’ I came up with the following story" and ends it with "when I came to the end of the story, my interest in worldly affairs vanished."

Bottom line: Ajahn Lee never disrobed in the first place, just told a story of what might have happened if he did.
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Florian Weps, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
B B:
Ajahn Lee never disrobed in the first place, just told a story of what might have happened if he did.


I have been trolled by a dead monk! emoticon

Now that's awesome.

Cheers,
Florian
Tom Tom, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
The Buddha still left his child. Did people still learn any dharma from the Buddha? Yes they did.
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Jen Pearly, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 566 Join Date: 7/28/13 Recent Posts
The Buddha's wife and child joined him later, after he was enlightened, and stayed and taught with him for many years. He left them before he was enlightened.
Tom Tom, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
The Buddha's wife and child joined him later, after he was enlightened, and stayed and taught with him for many years. He left them before he was enlightened.


I'm aware that he returned on a few occasions.  I doubt their relationship was anything like it was before on account of him being a celibate monk who was completely uninterested in raising children or living anything remotely close to a householder life.  He returned simply because he wanted them to do the practices he taught and for no other reason than that.
Tom Tom, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Let's take the original poster's comment: "I can't even imagine living a day without them. "

The Buddha would not have felt this way about his son, before or after his enlightenment.  There is, in fact, some evidence that Rahula, his son's name, translates to "fetter/chain" or "impediment."
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John P, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 155 Join Date: 1/24/12 Recent Posts
Tom Tom:
The Buddha still left his child. [..]
Yes, but he was rich as heck.
His kid probably lived a luxurious life.
Ivo B, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 42 Join Date: 2/11/13 Recent Posts
You are right.

Wow what an emotional outburst on my side for nothing.
Sorry and thanks all for good advice inspite of my totally misreading and wrongly accusing this monk.

Funny how things turned up.
I feel like shit right now. Embarrassed, humiliated and degraded. Agh!

It was weird from the beginning.

(Don't read pdfs on kindles)
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. Jake ., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Ajaan Lee and Buddha (maybe others) leaving their kids

Posts: 698 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Ivo B:

(Don't read pdfs on kindles)


An excellent take-away lol. That does suck.

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